SBE News

Capitol Connection #1005

As noted in October, at Capitol Connection we’ve offered assistance to contractors with questions for more than a thousand weeks here! Once in a while it’s good to remember history, so contractors don’t repeat those same mistakes over again…

Looking for Loopholes 1/20/14

Q: For many years I have been doing unlicensed construction, most of the work under $500. I have a corporation already set up and I have an opportunity to take a large home improvement contract but it would require me to get my license within two weeks which I know is next to impossible since I will need to take the exams and get fingerprinted. I have a buddy who has a Sole Owner license that he is not currently using. He said that I could use his license in order to take the job. Can I do that if I change the name on his license to reflect the name of my corporation? (This is so wrong then and still not legal now!)

A: We frequently talk with contractors who come up with all sorts of different scenarios in order to use someone else’s license. There is no loophole here. No matter how clever you are, there is no way for an unlicensed contractor to “share” a license and still be in compliance with the CSLB’s regulations. First of all, changing a business from a Sole Owner to a corporation is not as simple as changing the business name on the license; you are required to re-apply for the license. Secondly, it is still his license and you cannot do any work with that license number unless you are a bona fide employee of his company, in which case the work is still done under his company and not your corporation.

Protecting Your Assets 6/1/04

Q.: Thank you for your informative articles. Given your expertise in this field I am submitting the following question: I am a Sole Proprietor. I Incorporated and would like to work under the corporation; however, I want to keep my CA License as a Sole Proprietor. I am looking for the protection of my personal assets while still working as a Corporation. (While not asked as a question there is an answer to share!)

A.: Thank you for your kind words. If you apply for a new corporate license, you have the option of keeping your individual license OR assigning it to the corporation. There is no problem having two licenses, a Sole Owner and Corporation. The decision is yours.

I am not an attorney so therefore cannot address your primary reason for applying for a second license (i.e. asset protection). Seek qualified assistance.

Handy, Man! 7/29/13

Q: I have been doing ‘minor’ repair work for the last several years, but I don’t have a contractor’s license. I would like to know what services a Handyman cannot perform or advertise for. I plan to get my license once I have the four years of experience under my belt, but until then I want to make sure that I’m not doing anything incorrectly. (We all have to start somewhere and having a good moral compass often the best guide!)

A: There are no specific trades/services that I am aware of that a Handyman cannot perform and advertise for, as long as the total cost of the project does not go over $500, including materials and labor. Also, when advertising, individuals who are unlicensed are required to indicate in their ad that they do not have a State Contractor’s license.

Feel free to call us when you ready to obtain your license or if you have any additional questions. We can help navigate the route to a successful conclusion in obtaining a license in California, Nevada or Arizona.

Capitol Connection is produced by Shauna Krause, President, Capitol Services, Inc.
While knowledge is power, knowing where to go for the answers is half the battle. Get expert assistance immediately when you call 866-443-0657, email, or write us at Capitol Services, Inc., 1225 8th St. Ste. 500, Sacramento, CA 95814. Research past columns at