DBA in Business Name Changes and Inactive Licenses

Don’t worry you can’t be ‘unsettled’ when you have a great foundation! However there might be a higher price for your ‘inactivity’. Complex or simple at Capitol Services I help everybody, even Smith, John Smith…

Q: I sold my Contracting business and I officially retired at the beginning of this year. I was the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) on the license which I originally obtained back in the 80’s. Over the years I had added several sub-categories of licenses. I’m not sure I even need to do this, but the thought of “losing” my qualifications is just a little unsettling and I think I should obtain a Personal license in my own name and keep it on Inactive status just in case. Do you agree? How much would that cost?

A: If you are feeling unsettled about it I would tend to agree you should obtain a Personal license on Inactive status. The CSLB just raised their fees so the fee for that will depend on how many classifications you have (it’s an additional $150 for each classification beyond the first one). Keep in mind you keep your qualification for five years, so you have some time to put it off and not have to pay the fees since you will not be using the license anyway. Congratulations on retiring, enjoy!

Q: First, for the purpose of this question, we are going to pretend my last name is Smith. I have a pending application with the CLSB to change my license status from a Sole Owner to a Corporation. I have actually had the corporation set up for several years and I’m just now updating my license. My Sole Owner business name is “Smith Construction”. When I set up the Corporation years ago I named it “Smith Builders Inc”. I’m now realizing once I transfer the license number to the Corporation, I will need to update my existing logo on all my documents such as contracts, change orders, and advertisements. The reason I named it “Smith Builders” was because “Smith Construction Inc.” was already taken at the Secretary of State. Is there any way you can think of which would allow me to use my current business name for the purpose of advertising and not needing to come up with all new templates and logos?

A: I know of a very simple way actually. You can simply add a “dba” (doing business as) name to your license. With the dba attached, you either work as the entire business reflected on the license, “Smith Builders Inc. dba Smith Construction”, OR just the dba “Smith Construction”. So, choosing the latter option accomplishes your goal.