SBE News

Capitol Connection #1042

Our last inquiry is the longest as questions ‘multiply’ when contractors combine their ‘ventures.’ Rejection is always hard to take, especially when they are right. Another contractor must seek an ‘advantage’ and balance ‘risk vs reward’ as more is never less!…

Shauna Krause, writer of Capitol ConnectionQ:  I recently applied for a “B” (General Building) Contractor license.  My work experience page was rejected with several items highlighted, one of them being “managed/oversight of sub-contractors”.  The rejection letter states the highlighted items do not apply.  I can make the corrections, but just for my own curiosity, why would managing sub-contractors not be considered relevant experience to obtain a contractor’s license?  It seems to me that several of the other highlighted items would be relevant as well.

A:  First they, the CSLB, do not consider “managing sub-contractors” as experience because sub-contractors should be licensed as well, meaning they have been deemed to qualified contractors who do not need supervision.  After reviewing your Work Experience page, I agree some of the items are “relevant” however the CSLB is only concerned with your trade duties.  They do not want you to include tasks such as estimating, hiring, contracts, pulling permits, etc.  Don’t forget as well, when applying for a “B” license, you are required to show experience in Framing and two unrelated trades.

Q:  You are helping my new company obtain a Contractor’s License for HVAC (“C-20”).  I tried to apply to qualify the license early last year and the CSLB wanted me to have an EPA Certificate, which I didn’t have at the time, so now we are using an RMO (Responsible Managing Officer) who already has an Inactive “C-20” license.  He also has several other classifications on his license (General Building, Refrigeration, Concrete, and Masonry).  Even though we are an HVAC company, is there any disadvantage (i.e. additional bonding) to attaching his other classifications to our license as well?

A:   The only “disadvantage” is the State fee will be higher.  The initial License/Application fee is $530, and each additional classification is $75.00. If you don’t mind the additional fee, you may as well apply for all of his classifications as it will allow your company to provide a wider variety of services.

Q:  We are going to be forming a Joint Venture in California.  Our company is already licensed.  The company who we are Joint Venturing with is almost done with the licensing process.  Their Qualifier has already passed the exams and they are just waiting for it to be issued.  I have several questions.  First, is the Joint Venture required to be licensed upon entering a contract, or upon performing the work?  Second, is the Joint Venture required to be registered with the Secretary of State?  Last, since we have several projects in San Francisco just waiting for the JV to get a license, can we submit the application prior to our partner company actually having a license number?

A:  While Joint Ventures are permitted to bid on projects prior to being licensed, they cannot enter into any contracts or perform any work until the JV is properly licensed.  Joint Ventures are not required to be registered with the Secretary of State.  Lastly, as the JV application requires that you list both entity’s license numbers, you cannot submit an application, prior to your Partner company obtaining their license.

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,, or write us at Capitol Services, Inc., 1225 8th St. Ste. 500, Sacramento, CA 95814. Research past columns at