Sole Proprietor, Fictitious Names, Registered Agents and RME

We begin with a little bit of ‘sole’, move on with no place like ‘home’ and help ease the worry about a ‘responsible’ person hitting the highway…

Q:  I recently applied for a Contractor’s license and I used the word “Builders” in my business name.  I checked the status online today and it says, “provide a corrected business name” and then has the word “builders” in parentheses.  Do you know what this means?

A:  I am assuming based on the notification you applied for a Sole Proprietor license.  ASoleProprietorcannot use pluralsin their business name, such as “Builders” or “ABC & Sons” or “HVAC Installers”.  The CSLB considers the plural as a mis-representation of personnel for a Sole Proprietor license.

Q:  We have a fictitious name filed with Kern County.  When filing for a new Contractor’s license, should the company name include our fictitious name or just the out-of-state Corporation’s name?

A:  The company name should be your registered name as reflected in your Home State.  If you are using a ‘dba’ (doing business as) name in CA, that will follow your corporate name (example: ABC Inc. dba XYZ).

Q:  If we are an Oklahoma corporation, are we required to have a California address in order to do business there?  Basically, I’m wondering if we can list an address outside of CA.

A: You can list an address outside of CA, that will not be an issue.  If you are a foreign Corporation, meaning formed in another state, you will be required to have a Registered Agent in CA.  We can act in that capacity if needed, contact our office for that or other licensing needs in CA, AZ and NV! 

Q: We are a brand-new company and we need a CA Contractor’s license ASAP.  We are looking to hire someone who already holds the Qualification.  Our only concern is, what happens when he leaves the company?  What are the ramifications of a Responsible person leaving the license?

A: If your RME (Responsible Managing Employee) leaves the company, the license remains with the Corporation and you are given 90 days to replace him/her.