SBE News

Capitol Connection 09/14/20

Subsidiary Bids, Company Advertising & CA Licensing Requirements

There’s no changing the name, even to protect the innocent, when it comes to contractor’s advertising. Another license applicant learns ‘that was then, and this is now’ in seeking a place for the license exam, and a question from the frozen north gets a ‘chilly’ response…

Q:  We have hundreds of work trucks throughout California and the business name on the trucks is a shortened version of our full business name.  We were recently cited by the CSLB for not having our full business name on one of our trucks.  We have no problem paying the fine, but without having to update our hundreds of trucks, how do we make sure this doesn’t happen in the future?

Shauna Krause, writer of Capitol Connection

A:  The business name that you have on your company vehicles is considered “advertising” so yes it must match the business name on your license.  Since you don’t want to change all of your existing trucks, I would suggest adding the shortened version of your company name that you have on your trucks as a DBA on your license.  That would require a name change form with the CSLB.

Q:  A friend of mine took the CSLB exam six years ago and didn’t pass.  Now he’s been in the trade for a total of 14 years and he recently re-applied for a license.  He states that the CSLB will not let him sit for the exam again due to not being able to produce records of four years of experience.  My question is, if the State allowed him to sit for the exam six years ago, why not now?  Has the CSLB changed the rules?

A:  CSLB has not so much “changed the rules.”  They still (and always have) require that an applicant display at least four years of full-time work experience within the last ten in the trade they are applying for.  However, they do require more documentation now than they did six years ago.  In addition to the work experience page that has always been required, they sometimes now request additional documentation such as W-2’s, contracts, permits, etc.  If an applicant cannot produce such documentation, they do not qualify to sit for the exam or obtain a license.

Q:  We are a large corporation based in Canada.  We provide consulting services to our subsidiaries and they do the actual construction work.  One of our customers wants us to build a few hotels in California.  If the parent company (providing the consultation work) obtains a CA contractor’s license, does that allow for our subsidiaries to do the construction work?

A: Sorry to give this the ‘cold shoulder’ but by law each entity bidding on, contracting for, or performing contracting work in CA is required to have their own contractor’s license. Let us know if we can assist in your licensing needs.