Business Advertising and ‘Off the Book’ Experience

Like gum stuck under the café table, experience is best served when it’s all on the up and up. Being paid for work off the books might have you ‘stuck.’ Another contractor with foreign corporation changes will need to ‘advertise’ their new entity in CA according to the latest CSLB bulletin…

Q:  I have been working for a General Contractor for the past 15 years and I want to start my own company and obtain my own license.  I have collected an hourly wage most of the time throughout the 15 years, however sometimes the Contractor would pay me under the table (cash) to do extra work on the weekends and “on the side”.  Additionally, there were a few times when business slowed down and the company would lay off its employees for a period of time, again, where I would be paid under the table to help when needed.  What documentation is required when applying for a new license?  I know the Contractor will sign off on my experience, I just don’t know that I will be able to produce proof of the work done for a full four years within the last ten years.

A:  Thank you for contacting Capitol Services Inc.  The first and most important piece of documentation you will need to provide is the Certification of Work Experience page(s), which is part of the application.  You will need to list where you gained your experience, the license number (if there is one), the dates you worked as such, and then your Certifier will need to describe in detail the work you performed and then sign under penalty of perjury that he has first-hand knowledge of that experience.  You will need to complete one Certification page for each employer you worked for.  In your case, you may need to complete several, being that part of the time you collected a paycheck meaning you were employed by the Contractor, and part of the time you worked “under the table” for cash, which would be classified as “self-employed”.  Please contact me to discuss, as this can be rather sticky.

Q:  We just recently changed our entity type from a Delaware corporation to a Texas corporation.  This resulted in us needing to register as a “new” entity in California, which in turn required we obtain a new Contractors’ License number.  We kept the same exact business name.  We have trucks and t-shirts and business cards already printed with the old license number on them.  In reading through what changes we need to make to Company operations, I saw that we are required to include our license number on all vehicles and advertisements.  “Advertisements” is pretty vague.  What is considered an advertisement in the CSLB’s eyes?

A:  Good timing for this question, as the CSLB just released an industry update reminder on this very topic!  Your Contractor’s License number is required to be on all Commercial vehicles, and advertisements include online sales postings and websites, newspaper, radio, and television advertisements.  Also included are business documents, business cards, contracts, and any promotional materials.  For further information on advertising law and disciplinary actions and fines in relation to false/misleading advertising, please refer to Business and Professions Code sections 7027, 7029.5, and 7030.5.