Licensing Timing, Asset Risks and Salaries for RME’s

I will reassure a reader who is worried about a ‘qualified’ husband. The answer is a lesson in ‘risk/reward’ everyone can learn from. Another contract only has 30 days to live unless the licensing process goes at warp speed…

Q: My husband was recently offered a position with his company to act as the Responsible Managing Employee (RME) for their license. I have a couple of questions while we are considering this. 1. Are there any personal liabilities by taking on this role, i.e., if something were to happen, could our personal assets be at stake, and could my husband’s personal contractor’s license be affected? Or does all liability fall completely on the corporation since the license belongs to the Company, with my husband as the RME? 2. How easy would it be for my husband to disassociate himself from the RME role should he ever decide to leave the company? And finally, 3. Is it common to negotiate a higher salary since he would be the one who holds the contractor’s license for them?  

A: All are great questions! To answer the first question, there are definitely responsibilities which come with the role of RME such as working at least 32 hours a week and being actively involved in overseeing projects and workmanship. 

However, I have never run across a situation where an RME’s personal assets are at risk due to association with a Company license. If he were to have the title of RMO (Responsible Managing Officer) my answer would be different. I have heard that many times Qualifying Individuals have the Company they are serving as the Qualifier for provide them with an indemnification though, as a layer of comfort and for “just in case” purposes.

Which leads us to question #2. It is not difficult to disassociate from a license should he decide to leave the Company, or if he feels the Company is performing unfavorable practices that may affect the license. There is a disassociation notice available on the CSLB’s website your husband can complete if necessary. If there are any unsatisfied judgements, citations, etc. associated with the Company which cause the Company license to be suspended, it is very likely your husband’s personal license would also be suspended until he removes himself from the Company license.

And lastly, the question regarding a higher salary. I don’t get involved in that side of things, but I’ve heard that yes, that is common practice.

Q: We are discussing the plausibility of obtaining our California license by the time the project we need it for comes up. Is it possible to obtain a license in less than a month?

A:  Not usually. It’s possible, at the current moment anyway, to get approved for testing in less than a month. But then test scheduling, bonding, fingerprinting, etc. usually adds a couple of weeks to the process. The CSLB has an Expedite Committee that will consider your reason for needing an application to be expedited, but those are approved only in rare instances, such as public safety concerns or the like. If you believe you have a valid reason for expediting, please call my office to discuss this further.