Kalb's Q & A For California Contractors

Sept. 28, 2010

Q: I would like to know if I could pursue a contractor's license for the "B," "C-29" and "C-27." I have worked as a project manager for over five years. Please let me know if I would need to test in all areas? Thank you.

Q: I would like to know if I could pursue a contractor's license for the "B," "C-29" and "C-27." I have worked as a project manager for over five years. Please let me know if I would need to test in all areas? Thank you.

A: While the CSLB should ultimately allow you to obtain these license classifications, you may only apply — and test — for one at a time. The Board will require that someone certify four or more years experience in general building ("B"), masonry ("C-29") and landscaping ("C-27") before approving you to sit for these exams.

CONTRACTOR ALERT: The California Department of Consumer Affairs is considering a plan to require fingerprinting for ALL contractors no matter how many years they have been licensed. Presently, the state's fingerprinting program is only triggered if you apply for a new license, add a class, replace a qualifier, etc. This legislative proposal would mandate that all presently licensed contractors get fingerprinted as a condition of renewing their contractor license. So far, many in the construction industry — including myself — have spoken out strongly AGAINST this idea. More information as it becomes available.

We are all hoping this New Year brings us new hope, new opportunity and new vision for prosperity and profit. As we move forward into this new calendar, let's work together to solve our problems, discover new prospects and build a better future because America is a 'joint venture' we all share. As contractors know and another Illinois senator noted as our 16th president, a "house divided against itself cannot stand" ...

Q: We are thinking of forming a joint venture and have two questions. 1) We have been told there are some business names the Contractors Board won't allow. Could you explain this? 2) Between the two companies, we hold three license classifications but we only need one for the license. Will the CSLB allow us to apply for only one classification, or are we required to list all three?

A: The CSLB does have some strict standards regarding what name styles they will allow for Joint Ventures (JV). For instance if you use the full legal names for BOTH JV partners, this is acceptable, as is listing a partial name for each entities. You can also apply under a completely fictitious name. However, using the FULL business name of one entity while only using the partial business name of the other is not allowed. It is common for Joint Venture entities to collectively hold two or more classifications. There is no requirement that you list more than one classification on the JV application.

Q: I heard that you could get another license with no testing. I have a General building ("B") and want to get a "C-36" (plumbing). Is there a way to add this to my license with no trade exam?

A: I think you're referring to Code Section 7065.3, which allows the registrar to consider issuing an additional classification to a licensed contractor with a waiver of the trade test. To be eligible for this waiver, you must be able to show the following: a) you were listed on the personnel of the license — which was active and in good standing — for five of the prior seven years; b) you can conclusively show experience in the additional classification; and c) the classification being applied for is closely related to the class presently held by the contractor. In my experience, plumbing is considered by the Board to be closely related to the "B." In fact, general contractors applying for this type of related classification (concrete, painting, electrical, roofing, drywall, etc.) was one of the driving forces behind passage of this law back in 1990. It was — and still is — felt that general contractors who regularly perform this specialty work should be considered for exam waivers. As part of the application process, the CSLB requires a very detailed work and project history. The CSLB also will consider an additional class waiver for those holding the "A" and some specialty classifications.

Knowledge is power. Knowing where to go for the answers is half the battle. Get expert assistance immediately when you call 916-443-0657, e-mail [email protected] , fax 916-443-1908, or write me at Capitol Services, Inc., 1225 8th St. Ste. 580, Sacramento, CA 95814.