“C-61”, License Borrowing and Generals

Whether by fortunate economy or unfortunate disaster contractors are in demand everywhere in CA. So now is the time to ‘build’ on your license and experience or get your contractor license.  Capitol Services has assisted contractor licensing for more than 30 years so as we are about to begin another new year, adding opportunity or becoming licensed may be easier than you know. These contractors discovered some expert ideas! …

Q:  I currently have a “B” contractor’s license under my construction company.  I just purchased another company and would like to get a “C-61” license.  Does having a “B” qualify me to take the Law exam to get the “C-61”? Or do I still need the 4 years?  Have any ideas? 

A: You can add the “C-61” class to your existing “B” license to handle this Specialty work or you can apply for a new license if you want this separated from your General Building work.  There is no need to retake the Law exam and the “C-61”(Limited Specialty) has no trade test; however, you will need to show4 years of experience in this field to qualify for the license.  Unless you have been handling this type of work under your “B” or have — within the past 10 years — handled this work aside from your licensed contracting, I do not know how you will qualify.  Maybe the person you purchased the company from will agree to become your Qualifier until you have the requisite experience? That’s at least one option.

Q:  I have some work opportunities coming up but need a California contractor’s license.  Is it legal to work under my father’s contractor license using my own business name?  Since he is the Sole Owner of his business, would he need to get Worker’s Comp Insurance if I use his license? And would I need to buy my own liability insurance or would the work fall under his? Any direction and advice in this regard would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

A:  Sorry, but you cannot use your father’s license number.  State law prohibits an individual to loan or give their license to another person.   There are generally three options if you want to pursue these “work opportunities”:  a) you and your father can apply for a partnership license; b) your father can hire you as an employee (but he would need to sign any contracts and obtain Worker’s Compensation coverage) or c) your father can form a corporation and you could be appointed as an Officer.  

Q: I currently have a “C-36” (Plumbing) and “C-20” (HVAC) license.  For the past 7-8 years I have also been doing smaller remodels/renovations and energy upgrades to residential homes and commercial buildings.  I recently applied to add the General Building (“B”) classification to my license in order to be covered for this type of work.  The CSLB rejected my application and requested that I provide proof in the form of permits or contracts that I have done Structural Framing.  

I handle nearly every other aspect of the “B” classification such as finish carpentry, electrical, plumbing, drywall, painting, HVAC, etc. Is there somewhere in the ‘contractor law’ where it states that you specifically need Structural Framing experience in order to become a General Contractor?

A: There is no California Contractor License Law that specifies the need for Structural Framing experience in order to qualify for a General Building license.  The “requirement” for framing experience is strictly a CSLB internal policy.  Framing is certainly one of the trades covered under the General Building category, in the same way that building bridges is a component of the General Engineering classification.  However, the CSLB does not require that all “A” contractors provide proof that they’ve built a bridge.