CEO Departures, Pool Pumps, RMO Judgments and Adding ‘C-8’ to a General License

Help for a General with ‘concrete’ plans to win the bids! Coming back from overseas, this contractor may be ‘guilty’ by association unless he acts fast. What could be better in a heat wave than a dip in a ‘pools’ question, and be sure to do more than wave goodbye when your CEO heads out the door…

Q:  I currently have an “A” (General Engineering) license in CA.  While I know I can do concrete work with my “A” license, sometimes in order to do a foundation or a sidewalk, people want to see that we have the “C-8” (Concrete) classification on our license.  How do I go about sitting for the exam and adding it to our license?

A:  You will need to complete and submit the Application for Additional Classification.  You will be required to show at least four years of full time work experience doing concrete work specifically.  With regards to the exam, B&P Code Section 7065.3 allows the CSLB to consider a Waiver of the Trade exam for someone holding a closely related classification, if you can prove that concrete is a significant portion of your General Engineering work. Sweet!  Waiver requests however are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and there is no assurance the CSLB will approve the request.

Q: I have been out of the country since last year. I just returned, and I need to make sure that my Contractor’s License and corporation are in order.  I contacted my Responsible Managing Officer (RMO), who also has his own personal license, and he tells me that he was sued by a large company and lost in relation to his personal license.  Is that going to affect my license?

A:  It has the potential to affect your license depending on whether he complies with the Judgement or not.  If your RMO has an unsatisfied Judgement attached to his license, the CSLB will suspend any/all licenses he is associated with.  I would suggest that you disassociate him from your license to avoid the potential for suspension.  Once you disassociate him, you have 90 days to replace him on the license.

Q:  I have “B” (General Building) license and I’ve been doing solar work for a couple years.  I want to start a pool pump business.  Can I do that with my building license or would I need to get a “C-53” (Swimming Pool) license?

A:  General Building contractors are required to be performing at least two unrelated trades on their jobs.  In order to start doing projects which only involve pool pumps, you would want to add the “C-61”/ “D-35” (Pool and Spa Maintenance) classification to your license.  The “C-53” classification is needed if you are constructing pools.

Q:  Our CEO recently left the company.  Do we need to notify the CSLB?

A:  Yes, you will want to notify both the Secretary of State as well as the CSLB of any Officer changes.  I looked up your license and your CEO is the only Officer listed on the license so you definitely want, and need, to update it.  The Officers you have listed on your license are the only ones with signing authority for the license to make changes, sign renewals, etc.

Expediting HIS, CFC/EPA, NV Bidder’s Preference and License Change Fingerprinting

When are the slowest and fastest way to get something done exactly the same? When it’s the only way! I have a ‘preferential’ answer for a contractor with ambitions to ‘gamble’ on public works in Nevada and pass along an answer on another question that is a real cool ‘gas’…

Q:  I am a California General Contractor with an active “B” license.  It’s a Sole Proprietor license that was first issued in July 2010.  I also have a Corporation registered with the Secretary of State.  I want to apply for a new license for the corporation.  I don’t want to reissue my Sole Proprietor license.  Do I have to fill in all the information on a Waiver form such as the work experience and do live scan fingerprinting again?  It seems like a bunch of redundant information considering I am already licensed and have been actively operating for the past seven years.

A:  No you don’t.  Since you are currently Actively Licensed, you can leave out the work experience information.  As far as fingerprinting, we have seen them purge fingerprints in some cases, however usually, as long as a License remains active, they keep the fingerprints on file for all of the licensee’s personnel.  Therefore, you most likely will not be required to fingerprint again.

Q:  Are you familiar with what I would need to do to gain the 5% preference for bidding public works projects in Nevada?

A:  Yes, I recently looked in to this.  The requirement for bidders preference are 1) You must be licensed for at least five years either as a General Contractor (for a General Certificate), or a specialty Contractor (for a restricted specialty certificate), 2) You need to complete the application, which includes a portion that must be completed by your CPA, and 3)  You must have paid directly your behalf (not paid through subs) $5000 in taxes for each consecutive twelve month periods for sixty months.  In other words, $5000 a year for five years.  Taxes must be sales and use or governmental services tax (formerly called the motor vehicle privilege tax) or a combination thereof.

Q:  I recently applied to replace the Qualifier on my company’s “C-20” (HVAC) Contractor’s License.  I passed the exam and everything, but now the CSLB is asking for my CFC/EPA certificate, which I don’t have.  We have other employees who have the certification.  It is my understanding the certification is needed in order to handle refrigerant or get it from suppliers, and I am not the person who will be handling this.  If we can provide evidence that some of our other employees are certified will that satisfy the CSLB?  In doing some research it appears there are several types of certifications.  In the event that I need to be the one certified, which CFC Certification is required?

A:  For “C-20” (HVAC) and “C-38” (Refrigeration) licenses, the Qualifying individual is required to have the knowledge to handle refrigerant, so you will need to obtain the CFC/EPA certification.  You are required to get either the Type II or Universal certificate.

Q:  Is there any way to expedite HIS (Home Improvement Salesperson) applications?  We are looking to hire about 40 new employees that we need to get registered.

A:  No, unfortunately the CSLB does not expedite HIS applications.  They process them in the order they receive them.  Currently they are taking about 2-3 weeks to process those.

NV ‘B-2’, CA ‘B’ Reciprocity, NV & CA Renewal Costs and Replacing Qualifiers

Better late than never? No! Not for licensed contractors. A Nevada General ‘stacks’ up his experience but discovers he won’t get a ‘reciprocal’ free ride or avoid being ‘tested’ in California. First, timing is everything in more than just comedy…(rimshot?)

Q:  Our RME (Responsible Managing Employee) recently left the company.  We have already submitted an application to add a new Qualifying Individual and he has already passed the exams, but now the CSLB is asking for a Bond for him.  We already have one on file for our former Qualifier which we just renewed prior to him giving notice.  Aren’t they able to transfer it somehow?

A:  No, unfortunately bonds are not transferrable.  A Bond of Qualified Individual is issued specifically in the name of the RMO/RME, so you will need to obtain a new $12,500 Bond in your new qualifier’s name.

Q:  I have a corporation in Nevada and California and I was previously licensed in both States.  What is the cost to renew my licenses in each State?

A:  I looked up your licenses and they are “expired” and have been for over five years.  In California, once your license has been expired for a period of five years you can no longer renew it.  You will be required to apply for a new license and re-take the exams.  In Nevada, once your license has been expired for a period of six months, you can no longer renew your license.  Also, since it has been more than five years since you were acting as the Qualifier on a license in Nevada, you will need to re-test and provide references when you apply for the new license.

The CA State license/application fee is $480.  The NV State license/application fee is a total of $900.  In both States your license is renewed every two years.

Q:  I have a Contractor license in Nevada and I want to obtain the same license in California.  In Nevada I have a “B-2” (Residential and Small Commercial) license.  This allows me to do General Contracting work under three stories in height.  What would be the equivalent license in California?  Will I be able to take advantage of the reciprocal agreement between these states?


A:  As you may know, in Nevada the only difference between the “B” & “B-2” classifications is the “B” classification allows a contractor to build any structure from the ground up, regardless of height.  “B-2” Contractors cannot work on structures over three stories.  California does not have an “equivalent” to the “B-2” but the “B”(General Building) would be most appropriate.  Unlike Nevada, California does not require that you document experience working on structures over three stories in height in order to qualify for the “B”.  You will just need to document at least four years of full time work experience performing/supervising General Building work.

As far as Reciprocity, Nevada’s “B-2” is not reciprocal with California’s “B” classification so both the law and trade exams will be required.


CA/NV Electrical Licensing, Forming Contractor ‘S’ Corp, Limited Partners and NV Indemnification

We ‘partner’ with contractors on questions and answers here. We find an ‘affiliate’ relationship to guide a license applicant in Nevada and recall former First Lady Nancy Reagan in having to ‘just say no’ to another contractor…

Q:  I am currently working on getting an application together for our company to obtain a Contractor’s license in Nevada.  Our financial statement includes several of our subsidiaries.  Will each of our subsidiary companies need to complete indemnification paperwork?

A:  No, the subsidiaries do not need to indemnify.  If the companies were “Affiliates” as opposed to subsidiaries, then the Nevada Board would require indemnification paperwork.

Q:  We currently have two LP (Limited Partnership) licenses that we want to transfer to Member managed LLC’s.  The “Partners” (which will now become Members) will remain the same.  I see on the paperwork they mention transferring a corporate license to an LLC, but there is no mention of an LP transferring a license number.  Is this going to be doable?

A:  No, a Limited Partnership license is not transferrable.  You will be required to obtain new license numbers for the newly formed LLC’s.

Q:  Due to a past judgment, the CSLB is requiring that I obtain a Disciplinary Bond for my new Contractor’s License.  Will the Disciplinary Bond show up on my license for the public and my customers to see?

A:  Yes, all Bond information, including Disciplinary ones, are reflected on your license and available for the public to see when they look your license up online.

Q:  I currently have a “C-7” contractors licensed issued to me individually and I am operating a Sole Proprietorship in CA with a ‘dba’ name.  I am interested in forming a ‘S’ Corporation for my business.  What are the costs and requirements?  Will I be able to keep my license number?

A:  First, you will be required to file Articles of Incorporation with the California Secretary of State (SOS).  The fee to register with the SOS is $115.00.  You will then need to apply with the CSLB for a new license.  The CSLB fee for a new license is currently $480 and goes up to $530 after July 1, 2017.  If you own at least 51% of the Corporation, you have the option to transfer your Sole Owner license number to the corporation.   Keep in mind that if you transfer the license number to the corporation, you can never get it back as a Sole Proprietor in the future. Also, I am not a tax or legal advisor and suggest you get expert guidance there as well. Thanks for asking!

Q:  I have a Low Voltage (“C-2d”) Contractor’s License in Nevada and I need to get licensed in California.  What would the equivalent license be in CA and would I qualify for reciprocity and be able to waive the exams?

A:  The “C-7”( Low Voltage) classification in California is the equivalent to your Nevada license.  If you have been actively licensed in Nevada for five out of the last seven years and you passed the trade exam in Nevada, you should qualify for reciprocity.  Reciprocity grants you a Waiver of the trade exam, however you are still required to take the Law Exam.

Advertising Rules, Handyman Limit, License Requirements on Public Contracts

Sometimes concrete is hard, especially when it’s a public project. Unlicensed is unlicensed with a ‘hard cost’ if you do work beyond the legal limits. You should also be up to date on the ‘social’ implications for contractor’s advertising…


Q:  I have a question about classifications. Recently I was told I couldn’t bid on a City project because I didn’t have a “C-8” (Concrete) license. I have a “C-61”/”D-06” (Concrete Related Services). The project consisted of concrete cutting, concrete removal and concrete pouring to fix a damaged entryway to a public building. As I understand licensing, shouldn’t I be able to bid on this project because it is related to my “D-06”? The project had a mandatory bid walk and only one contractor showed up and they got the project.

A:  Thank you for contacting Capitol Services Inc.  You cannot do that work with the “D-06” classification.  The “D-06” allows you to do concrete related services, such as installing precast interlocking pavers, coloring concrete, stamping concrete, but does not allow for you to pour concrete.  Pouring concrete requires the “C-8” classification.

Q:  I have worked for a licensed contractor for several years now, however I haven’t been working for him for four years yet so I know I don’t qualify for my own license yet.  I have been doing work on the side, and when I advertise on Craigslist I always specify that I’m not licensed and cannot do work over $500.  Just out of curiosity, if a project does happen to go over $500 and I somehow get caught, what is the possible penalty?

A:  First-time conviction penalties for unlicensed contracting include up to six months in jail may cost up to $5,000 in fines. Penalties are more severe with each successive violation. A second conviction carries a mandatory sentence of 90 days in jail.  That being said you’ll want to make sure you don’t take on a project that potentially may go over $500 (labor and materials combined).

Q:  I saw in a recent article you wrote where a contractor was asking about signage on his work truck and whether that constituted “advertising”.  What does the CSLB consider “advertising” for contractors?

A:  The CSLB recently released an article regarding Contractors advertising, where they stressed that advertisements are not limited to newspapers, radio, and TV commercials.  They also include: business cards, social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Other forms of advertisements: referral websites (Angie’s List, Contractor Connection, etc), any contract proposal, lettering on trucks and other vehicles, sign or billboards identifying a person or company as a contractor, electronic transmissions such as company’s website content, any soliciting brochure, pamphlet, circular, or internet posted or distributed, and clothing or giveaway items that include the company name or logo, and any directory or listing that states or implies an individual is requesting or looking for the kind of work that requires a contractor’s license.


Water Remediation, NV Owner’s Proof, Fiberglass and Contractor Signage

Now you see it, now you don’t? What’s the real news on business names and advertising? I will ‘synthesize’ the answer for a painting contractor, another gets the recipe for ‘proof’ pudding, and we ‘tear down’ the walls to expose the answer on a remediation contractor’s question…

Q:  I was told that contractors did not have to put signs on their trucks if they don’t advertise, since a sign constitutes an advertisement. And plumbers, well drillers, and electrical sign installers had to also include their complete address on their truck sign. Your thoughts please?

A:  Thank you for contacting Capitol Services.  According to B&P Code Section 7029.5, every Plumbing contractor, Sign contractor, and drill rig used for drilling water wells, assuming the vehicle is used in their business and a commercial vehicle registration has been paid, must have his or her business name, permanent business address, and contractor’s license number, all in letters and numerals not less than 1 1/2 inches high, displayed on both sides of their vehicle.

All other contractors not mentioned above shall display their business name and license number in a clearly visible location on the vehicle in print type of at least 72-point font or three-quarters of an inch in height and width.  This only applies if the contractor is using the vehicle for their construction business and a commercial vehicle registration fee has been paid.

So in your case, the key would be whether your vehicle(s) are registered as commercial.

Q:  I am a Painting contractor with a “C-33” license. Can I install Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) panels or do I need a different license?

A:  The “C-33” Painting classification would not be appropriate to install FRP’s, the “C-61”/”D12” (Synthetic Products) would be most appropriate.

Q:  I am applying for a second contractor’s license in Nevada and when I called the NV Board they informed me that in-order for me to be the Qualifier on more than one license I would need to document I own at least 25% of each entity.  I own 30% of each, but when they say “document”, what should I provide to show my ownership?  The certificates of good standing from the Secretary of State don’t mention ownership.

A:  For proof of ownership you can provide Stock Certificates, Secretarial Certificates, or the Operating Agreements (assuming they mention ownership).  Typically, these are internal documents and not “filed” with any State agencies.  I hope this was helpful.

Q:  My husband has been working for a water remediation contractor for the past 10 years and wants to obtain his own license for removing drywall from water damaged properties.  What type of license is required for removing the drywall only?

A:  The “C-61”/”D-64” Non-Specialized classification for Water Remediation is required when water damaged drywall, flooring, baseboard, cabinets, or other wet material is removed from a structure.

Renewals and Changes of Address, RME & RMO and General Advertising on Trucks

While time changes us, it doesn’t ‘age’ most of the rules and regulations for contractors. However, in this ‘blast from the past’ we take a look back at answers that remain the same.  Find more on under Archives! …


Q.   I have a question that is going to stump you.  I have a mobile service that does spray-on truck bed-liners.  I want to expand into using this spray on floors.  The supplier says I do NOT need a contractor license.  However, I want to make sure it’s legal for me to apply this polyurethane material on floors with no trouble from the State. If you can reply to my e-mail I would appreciate it.

A.  Sorry, but you can’t stump this Expert.  If you’re refinishing floors or using a synthetic sealant like the one described, you will need a contractor’s license.  This would either be a “C-15” (flooring) or “D-12” (synthetic products) classification.  A contractor’s license is required if the job is $500 or more.  While projects under this amount do not need a license, you must state in writing to every customer that you’re working as an unlicensed contractor.


Q.:   I was just issued a General building license.  What size does the wording need to be on my trucks?  What information is required on each vehicle?

A.:   Every contractor (other than plumbers, well drillers and electrical sign installers) must display his or her business name and contractor’s license number in a clearly visible location on all commercial vehicles used in their construction business.  This is specified in B&P Code Section 7029.6, as is a requirement that print type be “at least 72-point font or 3/4 of an inch in height and width”.  The three trades singled out above are required to have “all letters and numerals not less than 1 1/2 inches high” (section 7029.5).


Q:  I have been attempting to get a license for a new corporation. An employee has offered to be the qualifying employee but from my understanding cannot because he has been with the company less than five years in the last seven.  Is this only for the RME or can the qualifying employee be listed as an officer.  I have been having some confusion about this and would appreciate your help.

A:  Your employee can become the RME or RMO for the corporation if he has at least 4 years experience (at a journeyman level or above) and can pass the required law and trade exams.

There is no requirement that your employee have “been with the company five of the last seven years”.  This would only be an issue if you had an existing corporation and the employee hoped to get a aiver of the exam to replace the present Qualifier.


Q:  I never received my renewal in the mail.  Do you have any idea when the Contractors Board would have sent this out?  Assuming it was more than a few weeks ago, would you be able to pick up a renewal for my company?  I don’t want to take any chances that the license may expire.

A:  Normally, the CSLB sends license renewals between 60 and 75 days prior to expiration.  In your case, it appears the renewal application went out about two weeks ago.  You can call the Board and order a replacement or I can go to CSLB headquarters and pick one up on your behalf.

Since the Postal Service generally does not forward renewal applications, be sure to notify the CSLB immediately if you have moved or changed your mailing address.

While some things change, and contractor rules do, some remain the same. New law, changes in interpretation and the sheer volume of regulations are signposts suggesting an expert opinion might be wise. For more than 30 years we’ve had your back!

New CSLB Registrar, Convictions & Licensing, RMO & LLC and Limited Partnerships

Our congratulations end this session of contractor Q/A. I begin with ‘limited’ help for an attorney, offer a corporate contractor a chance to ‘sole’ source his work and respond with ‘conviction’ to help give hope to a license applicant…

Q:  I am an Attorney and you have helped many of my clients in the past.  I have a new client who operates as an LLC (Limited Liability Company) and they are interested in obtaining a California Contractors License.  I know, from my past experience that when an LLC has another LLC as it’s Member/Manager, both LLC’s are required to be registered and in good standing with the CA Secretary of State.  My new client’s LLC is structured with a Limited Partnership as its sole Member.  Is the Limited Partnership required to be registered with the CA Secretary of State?

A:  It depends.  If the Limited Partnership who is the sole member of the LLC is a California Limited Partnership, then yes, it is required to be registered with the CA Secretary of State.  If the Limited Partnership is a foreign entity (formed outside of CA), then it is not required to be registered with the CA Secretary of State.  If the LP is foreign, the CSLB will need to see proof that it’s registered to do business in its Home State.

Q:  I am currently the RMO (Responsible Managing Officer) for an LLC.  Is it possible for me to disassociate from the company license and start an individual
Sole Proprietor business without having to re-take the exams?

A:  Yes, once you disassociate from a license you have a period of five years to add yourself to another license without needing to re-take the exams.  Let me know if you’d like our assistance with the process of obtaining that Sole Proprietor license.

Q:  Can I get a Contractor’s License if I have a felony in my past?

A:  The conviction alone does not prevent you from obtaining a Contractor License.  Each conviction is reviewed by the CSLB, and in most instances only becomes an issue if they determine that the crime is “substantially related” to the Contractor’s ability to perform work in a safe and responsible manner.

Notice of New Registrar:

The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) recently announced David Fogt, who is currently the CSLB’s Enforcement Chief, has been selected to serve as the Board’s new Registrar of Contractors, effective May 2, 2017.  The current Registrar, Cindi Christenson, recently announced her plan to retire effective May1, 2017.  Mr. Fogt began his CSLB career in 1990 as a Deputy Registrar Contractor. Over the next ten years, he was promoted to other enforcement supervisory positions, and eventually to Enforcement Chief in 2001.  Mr. Fogt is also one of the few Registrar’s who is also a licensed contractor.  David currently has an Inactive painting license that he earned in 1986.

Congratulations to Mr. David Fogt!