Family Qualifier, Exam Waiver and Suspended CA Licenses

A ‘qualified’ answer for two brothers planning to ‘divide and conquer’ a license change. Time waits for no one but as the expert I know that ‘experience’ can ‘trump’ the calendar in a license application. Can’t leave our last contractor up in the air as he issues a call for help that began with an ‘SOS’ issue…

Q:  I am applying to replace my Father on our company license as the Qualifier.  My brother and I have both worked for the company since we were teenagers (over 15 years).  You are helping me request a Waiver of the exams.  My question is, after I become the Qualifier, can my brother then apply to replace me with a Waiver request so that he can then get his own license?

A:  When the CSLB grants a waiver of the exams based on B&P Code Section 7065.1, no other 7065.1 waiver will be granted for a period of five yearsrelated to that particular license.  Your brother can qualify for his own license based on his experience, however he would need to take the exams.  The other option would be for him to wait five years from the time you are added to the license, and then replace you with a request for a Waiver.

Q: We are a Landscaping contractor and I want to add myself as a Responsible Managing Employee (RME).  My experience stems from two different companies and spans a period of 3 years.  Is this acceptable to the CSLB? FYI, I also have a College Degree in Architecture.

A: In order to qualify as an RME for a license, you are required to document at least four years of full-time work experience.  The CSLB will give you up to two years credit for a four-year degree.  It sounds like you have the appropriate experience, however you will need to structure your application in a way to reflect your experience with the two companies in a particular way.  Please contact my office to further discuss.

Q: Our license is currently Suspended due to the fact that our insurance company did not notify the CSLB of our updated Worker’s Comp coverage.  How do we rectify this and get our license back to Active as soon as possible?

A: I love when I can give Contractors good news!  The CSLB has an online submission process which allows you to upload your insurance certificate directly to them which will lessen the processing time.

Q: Our company applied for a Contractor’s license about 7 months ago. We are being told we cannot proceed because we are “SOS suspended”. We dropped the ball, but it is now becoming a priority again. Can you help with this and how long does it take?

A: It appears that you need to file a Statement of Information.  And yes, we can assist you with that.  Generally, Statements of Information are processed within one business day. Contact us if you would like our assistance.

Joint Ventures, Qualifier Change and Disaster HAZ Requirements

Yes, we did, so no you don’t! Our second answer is here today but gone tomorrow. I ‘hazard’ another for contractors who may help restore or rebuild after disaster strikes, and our last one a real corporate road ‘trip’…

Q:  Your company recently assisted us with obtaining a Joint Venture (JV) license in California.  Are we required by the CSLB to file a fictitious firm name and notify them?

A:  No, the CSLB does not require you to file a fictitious business name.  You may want to contact the County you are doing business in to inquire about their local requirements.

Q:  We just noticed our former CEO is still listed on our Contractor’s License.  We changed our Qualifier recently and I went online to check to see it had been completed and noticed the CEO is not current.  Are we in jeopardy of any implications with the CSLB?

A:  According to B&P Code Section 7083, you must report a change in personnel within 90 days of the effective date, however after reviewing your license, there will likely not be an issue.  You have several other Officers listed who can authorize changes.  I see the Secretary of State has already been updated with your new CEO, so you’ll now want to file a Disassociation notice for your former CEO (signed by a current Officer), as well as an application for adding personnel for your new CEO.

Q:  We are a restoration company and we are wanting to help with the repair efforts in the City of Paradise.  We have a current contractor’s license with several classifications, but we are wanting to add the HAZ certification.  I understand there are only certain classifications that allow you to qualify for the HAZ.  Can you confirm which classifications allow for that certification?

A:  Eligibility for this certification is limited to licensees who hold the “A” General Engineering, “B” General Building, “C-12” Earthwork and Paving, “C-36” Plumbing, “C-57” Well Drilling (Water), or “C-61/D-40” Service Station Equipment and Maintenance (only those licensees who currently hold this classification) license classification.  Since you have “C-12”, you will qualify!  We appreciate your contribution to the re-building effort in Paradise.

Q:  I am the owner of a CA licensed construction company, but I myself recently relocated to Nevada.  At the recommendation of my CPA, I dissolved my domestic CA corporation and registered as a Nevada corporation.  I was issued a new EIN.  I then registered my Nevada corporation with the CA Secretary of State.  I am now being told I need a new Contractor’s License number.  Does this sound accurate?

A:  Absolutely.  Any time a new entity is formed, it will require a new Contractor’s License.  Being that you converted from a domestic corporation to a foreign corporation, you can request that the license number be re-issued to the new entity.  You probably want to keep your lower number!

Experience Credit and Illegal Unlicensed Contracting in Disaster Areas

As we learn from our first contractor experience does have an expiration date. Disaster however knows no calendar, cares nothing about its victims and often opens doors to unscrupulous criminals who would victimize those already damaged by tragedy as they seek to recover and rebuild…

Q:  I worked for a Construction company many years ago and I’m considering purchasing an existing business which has a Contractor’s license.  Will my past experience allow me to Qualify the license and become the RMO (Responsible Managing Officer)?

A:  It depends on what you mean by “many years ago.”  The CSB will only consider work experience gained within the last ten years.  As you probably know, a total of four years of full-time work experience is required.  If you meet the requirement and would like our assistance with this process please contact the office.

Tragic firestorms have cost lives, destroyed dreams and reduced urban and wild landscapes to ashes in 2018 across the state. As communities recover and work begins to clear property and rebuilding starts it’s important that these victims of disaster are not victimized a second time. It’s also a crime. 

The Contractors State License Board is issuing a warning to consumers to beware of ‘unscrupulous, unlicensed contractors who often prey on victims of natural disasters.’

In a press release the Board reminds everyone that it is a felony to contract without a license in a declared disaster area. In a personal appeal from CSLB Registrar David Fogt, “Take your time and protect yourself against con artists who will take your money and run, or incompetent contractors who perform shoddy work. Hire only licensed contractors and check their qualifications.”

Whether a fire, flood, mudslide or earthquake in CA consumers can quickly verify a contractor’s license status online:

Or by phone at 800-321-CSLB.

Consumers and contractors are reminded that no more than 10% down or $1000 is required, never pay cash and don’t pay ahead of actual work completed. Three bids are recommended, always check references, license status and get everything in a written contract. CSLB is always available to answer questions when called on. 

Licensed contractors are also important in helping law enforcement discover unlicensed activity they may observe or learn about in serving disaster victims.  

Contractors can call to report unlicensed activity with CSLB and protect residential and commercial consumers. SWIFT agents and local law enforcement will follow up to help disasters victims avoid a second injury to their life and property.  Disaster victims didn’t ask for their fate and helping keep them from a ‘double whammy’ is everyone’s concern because next time it might be you or those you care about. 

Family Transfer, LLC Officers, “C-10” Roofers and Nevada to CA Electrical

Q:  My Dad currently is the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) on our Contractor’s license.  I want to get my own license just have in case anything were to happen to Dad.  If I were to apply towards the end of the year, when can I expect to test?  Does the CSLB schedule it and are there certain dates?

A:  The CSLB will schedule your test date.  They give the exams Monday thru Friday, and they will schedule it about three weeks out from the time they approve your application.

Q:  We have a pending application for a Contractor’s license for our Limited Liability Company (LLC), and we have submitted all required documents including insurance certificates, bonds, etc.  It just occurred to me that our Qualifying Individual is an RMO with the title of “Vice President”.  Are we going to be required to list him on our Statement of Information as Vice President before they will issue the license?

A:  No.  Officers of an LLC are not required to be listed on the Statement of Information on file with the Secretary of State.

Q:  We have a “C-10” (Electrical) license and we install solar panels on residential homes.  In such cases where a customer needs a new roof in order to install the solar panels, are we permitted to sub-contract the roof installation to a licensed “C-39” (Roofing) contractor?

A:  No, again.  It is not appropriate for a “C-10” contractor to subcontract for a new roof installation.  The customer will need to contract directly with the Roofing (“C-39”) contractor.  Contractors can only subcontract work they can also perform.

Q:  I am a Nevada contractor and I am interested in getting licensed in California.  In Nevada, I hold an “A-17” license.  Nevada’s definition of an “A-17” (Lines to Transmit Electricity) is: “the installation, alteration and repair of primary overhead line which transmit electricity, including the erection of poles, towers, anchors, guys, transformers, substations, circuit breakers and any other related hardware, equipment or systems.”  What would California’s equivalent license be?

A:  You can do all of the work described with the exception of substations with a “C-10” Electrical license.  If you intend on doing substations in addition to the other work described, you would need to obtain a CA “A” General Engineering license.

Quicker CSLB Service, Qualifier Bonds & Solar General Waivers

Moving things forward at a more rapid pace is one of the keys to our being experts in contractor assistance. Because when speed is of the essence, it likely wouldn’t be contractor’s licensing we were talking about! Plan ahead seems like good advice in any case. In another case, when some things sound the same, they really aren’t. We finalize this time with an ‘either/or’ choice that may be a headache any way…

Q:  I am going to be the RMO (Responsible Managing Officer) for a new company we are forming.  I understand the process for that to happen takes at least eight weeks.  Would it be quicker if I obtained a Sole Proprietor license first and then later attached it to the company?  I want to have my own license anyway in case I ever leave the company.  We are just looking for the quickest route so we can bid on work next month if possible.

A:  Whether you apply as a sole proprietor or as a corporation/LLC, the process will be about the same amount of time to obtain the license.  In fact, applying as a sole proprietor and then applying under your company name will only add more time to the process if your eventual goal is to license the company.  If timing is an issue for the company, I would suggest obtaining a license for the company first, and then you can obtain your own sole proprietor license afterwards without needing to re-test or get fingerprinted again.  If you don’t intend on using your personal license right away, you will not need to get a bond and you can have it issued inactive.

Q:  We are in the process of replacing our Qualifying Individual and the CSLB is requesting a $12,500 Bond of Qualifying Individual.  We already have one on file for our current Qualifier.  Is it necessary to get a new one, or can we just have the CSLB transfer the existing Qualifier bond?

A: Contractor’s bonds and Qualifier bonds are not transferrable, so you will need to obtain a new bond for your new Qualifier (assuming he/she owns less than 10% of the company).

Q:  I am a Solar contractor and I have a “B” General Building license.  Most of my experience comes from working for my Dad, who was also a General Building contractor.  I specifically did Solar work for him and when I obtained my license, I was told I could do it with a General Building license since Solar is considered two unrelated trades. Which is why I went ahead with the “B”.  However, some of my customers have chosen “C-46” (Solar) contractors over me for projects, solely due to the classification on our licenses.  I was curious as to whether I could get a Waiver of the”C-46” exam based on my current license?  I know I can pass the test, but it’s obviously easier and less headache for me if I don’t have to!

A:  You can always request a Waiver, we can assist with that.  You can request a Waiver of the Trade exam if you have an existing license in which you can document the classification you are adding is closely related and a significant portion of the work you’ve done.  There is some additional paperwork required so you’ll just have to decide if you are more willing to do the extra paperwork or pass the exam!  Just a reminder, Waiver requests are always at the discretion of the CSLB. 

Qualifier Replacement, Waiver and”C-10″ & RME

Even when you believe you’ve done everything right the results may surprise you without expert help. As our second contractor learns as well, complex rules make every word count in how they apply. ‘Expect’ a surprise before the end and ‘at least’ a good lesson in licensing rules…

Q:  We recently filed to replace our Qualifier, who left the company some time ago.  When I had originally called the CSLB, they advised me to submit the Replacement application along with a request for a 90-day extension, which is exactly what we did.  Now our license is Suspended.  It appears the CSLB didn’t process the extension request.  I have been unable to get a hold of anyone in the license modification unit over there.  Is there anything you can do to help?

A:  Once a contractor’s license status reflects “suspended” it is very difficult to get the CSLB to reverse the Suspension until the problem has been rectified. Keep in mind the 90-day extension request, is just a request, so the CSLB always has the authority to deny it.  If you have some sort of proof (such as a date stamped copy of the replacement application along with the extension request) showing it was submitted in plenty of time prior to your deadline, send it to me and I’ll see what I can find out.

Q:  I have been a “C-10” Electrical contractor since 2000.  I want to be an RME (Responsible Managing Employee) for a company and I read online that I’m required to work 32 hours per week.  The company is telling me I need to work 40 hours a week and they are not budging.  Can you confirm the requirement?

A:  The CSLB requires that RME’s workat least 32 hours per week.  However, perhaps this company has an internal policy which requires employees to work 40 hours per week. That’s kind of the employer’s call. 

Q:  I am the RME on my company’s license.  I had to Inactivate my personal license in order to Qualify theirs.  If I were to leave the company, is it “expected” that the company pay to re-instate my license, bond, and insurance?

A:  Not that I’m aware of.  I’m quite sure it happens, but that would be something you’d have to negotiate with your company.  There is no “expectation” for that cost to fall on them.

Q:  I have a “C-33” license and I just purchased 50% shares of the General Building company I’ve been an Officer of for the past couple of years.  I need to replace the Qualifier on the license for the “B” classification. Will I be able to get a Waiver of the Trade exam?

A:  I looked up the license and it was only issued in 2015.  In order to Qualify for a Waiver, you would have to have been either an Officer or a Supervisory Employee for the company for at leastfive years.