Home Improvement Sales or HIS Primer

Having assisted contractors from across the west over more than 30 years this is new. As it is likely to affect many and currently ongoing it bears taking time to share this contractor’s issues, although not in a question form…

Q:  The new HIS Home Improvement Salesperson regulations has created a bad situation: Basically, an HIS salesperson can work for as many contractors as they want, and they must be ‘W-2’ and be on my Worker’s Compensation Insurance. They (ie,the Legislature) have created a brokerage potential which is happening all over CA with past mortgage guys exploiting this. Now an HIS can represent 10 contractors and take control over the market. This gives the HIS control with no skin in the game, no general liability, no workers comp of their own, etc. This takes all control away from the contractor that has experience, studied, took a test, licensed, bonded, insured, etc. In So Cal these guys have brokerage with 10 or 15 HIS reps and have deals set up with lots of contractors and its making a mess with over pricing and taking deals with whoever will pay them the most. I feel this needs to be just like Real Estate, there should be testing and a license required. They should work for one contractor and the contractor maintains control over the employees. I don’t allow my HIS to work for anyone but us, but it is really causing issues in the market, especially solar.


A:  Let’s see if I can help. You referred to the “new” HIS (Home Improvement Salesperson) regulations. The only “new” law, which took effect on January 1, 2016, removed the requirement for an HIS individual to register separately with the CSLB for each contractor that employs them.  So, they basically register with the CSLB once, and then they are permitted to work for as many licensed contractors as they’d like.  The new law also rests the responsibility of notifying the CSLB with the licensed contractor.  The licensed contractor is required to notify the CSLB with the appropriate form prior to employing a registered HIS, and within 90 days after their employment ends. Okay?

As you likely already know, Home Improvement Salespeople (HIS) serve the purpose of soliciting, selling, negotiating, or executing home improvement contracts for licensed contractors.  There are no experience or educational requirements because they are not permitted to perform any contracting/construction work.  Because there are no qualifications for an HIS employee (besides being 18 years of age), I’m not sure what they would be tested on.  Essentially HIS employees are just like any other CA resident in that we are all free to work for as many employers as we’d like and our time allows (with the exception of course, of contract employees). What do you think about this?

If other contractors share this concern please contact Capitol Services so we can gauge the affects this may have, and other issues that may arise on this issue and update our readers.