Solar, ‘DBA’, Sunrooms, Business Names and Subcontractor Pay Rule

I start with a suggestion to help put some ‘shine’ in ‘doing business as’ a “C-46” in this opener. Follow up with advice on ‘truth and consequences’ in your business name and share why excuses won’t ‘pay’ for a ‘general’s’ failure…

Q:  We are a solar energy company, we are applying for a “C-46” (Solar) Contractor’s license.  Our business name is, for the purposes of this article, ABC Energy LLC.  We submitted an application for a new license and they sent us a rejection letter stating we cannot use the word “Energy” in our business name unless we are a “C-10” Electrical contractor.  The two options they gave us is to either a) change our business with the Secretary of State, or b) add a dba to our business name.  Since solar is a form of energy, we aren’t sure what would be acceptable to the CSLB for a dba name.  Do you have any suggestions?

A:  If you’d like, you can come up with a couple of possible choices for a dba name and I can check with the CSLB to see which would be accepted.  Adding the word “Solar” to the dba name would certainly be acceptable because you would be directly referring to your classification, so the dba could be “ABC Solar Energy”.

Q:  If our true business name is not acceptable to the CSLB and we must add a dba, will they focus solely on the dba and that is how we are required to conduct business in CA?

A:  A company with a dba can either do business as the whole entire name (ex. ABC Inc. dba XYZ), or just the dba.

Q:  If I wanted to use the word “Sunroom” in my business name, what classification would be necessary?

A:  The most appropriate classification would be the “B” General Building since they can perform construction of “patio rooms” or “sunrooms”.

Q:  I completed a project as a subcontractor back in January.  It’s been five months and I haven’t received payment from the General Contractor.  He stated he has not obtained a Certificate of Occupancy yet from the county and will not pay me until he gets it.  Is there a law that requires the General to make payments within a certain time frame?

A: Thank you for contacting Capitol Services Inc.  There is a law (B&P Code 7108.5) which states “A prime contractor or subcontractor shall pay to any subcontractor, not later than seven days after receipt of each progress payment, unless otherwise agreed to in writing, the respective amounts allowed the contractor on account of the work performed by the subcontractors, to the extent of each subcontractor’s interest therein.”