SBE News

Capitol Connection #1091

Who can speak for experience in a license application? What is an ‘unrelated’ trade, generally? When does a simple alteration in business practice mean no ‘change’ in a license? How can a contractor jobsite ‘HAZ-ard’ not require special CSLB attention? Why, because, everyone has contractor licensing questions and fortunately I have answers for them! …

Shauna Krause, writer of Capitol ConnectionQ:  We have a license in the name of our corporation, we have three Officers and several Directors.  We are considering changing from an ‘S’-corp to a ‘C’-corp.  I currently Qualify three licenses based on common ownership.  If we decide to change our corporate status, how does that affect our licenses?  We have to ensure all licenses remain in place.

A:  Changing from an ‘S’-corporation to a ‘C’-corporation does not change the business entity itself, so the license will remain the same.  I’m not a tax expert, however it’s my understanding ‘’S-corps vs. ‘C’-corps is an election you make for the purpose of filing taxes.  When the Contractor’s license would be affected is if a new entity is being formed.

Q:  I have a “B” (General Building) contractor’s license and I will be moving red mercury from one spot to another on one of my jobs.  I will not be removing from the site, just moving it out of the way from where I’m working on the structure.  Do I need to have the Hazardous Substance certification on my license in order to do that?

A:  The CSLB HAZ certification is strictly for the handling and removal of Underground Storage Tanks and soil that contains oil or gasoline. All other hazardous materials are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Toxic Substances Control. Their website is I would suggest checking with that agency.

Q:  I have been working for my own Construction and Consulting company in Florida for the last several years. I have a GC (General Construction) in Florida. I need to get a license in California and I’m in the process of filling out the paperwork.  On the Certification of Work Experience where I’m listing my experience with my own company, do I sign the bottom of the form since I am the contractor who holds the license?

A:  No, you cannot certify your own work experience.  You will have to have someone with first-hand knowledge of your work experience sign on your behalf.  Examples would be an employee, a fellow contractor you’ve worked with, a sub-contractor, etc.

Q:  I have a pending application with the CSLB for a “B” (General Building) license.  I was informed prior to applying that I needed to document experience in framing and two unrelated trades in order to qualify for the license.  My former employer completed my Work Experience page, and he included as part of my work experience framing, painting, and carpentry, which I thought would meet the requirement.  The CSLB has rejected my application asking for more specific trade duties.  Do you have any advice?

A:  The trades you mentioned would only be considered framing and one unrelated trade.  Framing is a form of carpentry, so carpentry is not considered an unrelated trade.  Contact our office if you’d like further assistance.

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