Kalb's Q & A For California Contractors

Staff | September 28, 2010

Like the first contractor notes, simple changes in how you apply for a license can require 'sound' advice to avoid long-term problems ...

Q: In a recent column I notice you direct the questioner to a different form and procedure to transfer a 21-year-old license. Would not the applicant be better off to "Qualify" a new license with the newly formed corporation, thus retaining the lower number in the event of un-incorporation at a later date? I understand the corporate license "dies" with the corporate demise. Some of us understand the value added of a low license number. Your thoughts?

A: Thank you for reading my column and responding with your comments. Nothing pleases me more than direct reader feedback. The issue of whether to transfer an older sole owner license to a new corporate license is a personal choice each applicant faces. On one hand, having a license number that is 20 or 30 years old would show that the corporation has some history and experience rather than being issued a new number over 900,000. On the other hand, like you mention, "in the event of un-incorporation at a later date" this old number would be lost.

Applicants often ask me what is the best thing to do in this situation and my answer is always the same: This is your choice! I can point out the pro and cons, but ultimately it is up to the contractor to make a 'sound' decision.

Q: How long would it take and what is the process to change the RMO on our contractor's license if the new RMO already has a contractor's license and has been fingerprinted?

A: You'll need to file an application for replacing the Qualifying Individual. The likely processing time at present, since the person has already been fingerprinted, is four weeks. The Board's review backlog changes on a regular basis. It will almost certainly run another two weeks, or more, if fingerprints have not previously cleared the review process.

Q: We have a partnership license. Can we change our Qualifying Partner (QP) to an RME? If not, can we simply cancel this license and apply for a new license with the same business name?

A: Changing the QP to a RME would cause the license to be canceled. Any change of a General Partner (adding or subtracting) results in the license being cancelled. Yes, you can choose to cancel the existing license and reapply for a new one with the same name. (A new license number will be assigned.)

Recent legislation enacted by the State Legislature and signed by the governor should help small businesses throughout California. AB 761 (Coto) was signed in October and requires each state agency to establish a 25-percent goal for the participation of small businesses in the construction of the state's infrastructure contracts.

The various infrastructure-related bond acts passed by the voters in 2006 set the above goal in order to encourage participation of small businesses in the construction of the state's infrastructure. This includes, but is not limited to: Highway Safety and Traffic Reduction; Housing and Emergency Shelter; Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities; and Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention.

To qualify, you will need to be registered with the state Dept. of General Services (DGS) as an officially recognized "small business." For information on this program and how to get certified, contact the Office Of Small Business And Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification (OSDC) by phone at 800-559-5529 or on the web at http://www.pd.dgs.ca.gov/smbus/default.htm.

Knowledge is power. Knowing where to go for the answers is half the battle.

Get expert assistance immediately when you e-mail, call 916-443-0657, e-mail info@cutredtape.com, fax 916-443-1908, or write me at Capitol Services, Inc., 1225 8th St. Ste. 580, Sacramento, CA 95814.