How to check a california licensed contractor

February 15, 2022

The Burbank, CA based Contractors State License Center is encouraging local contractors to sign up for home study courses if they are concerned they will not be able to attend classes in person. Whether due to scheduling conflicts, Covid concerns or any other reason, these California contractors home study courses give the community an opportunity to study for the licensing exam from the comfort of their own home.

The Center clarifies that enrolling for in-person classes remains the most effective way for a candidate to prepare themselves for the licensing exam. According to the Center’s observations, those who attend classes on their premises are generally more likely to pass the exam on their first attempt. This is due to the fact that many find it harder to focus on the study materials and apply themselves as well as they may be able to within a classroom environment where a dedicated instructor is present to offer guidance and educational direction.

Additionally, the classroom is designed for a single purpose, and distractions are limited as much as possible in order to ensure that candidates can focus on absorbing the material and preparing themselves to sit for the licensing exam. On the other hand, this may not be the case in a personal setting such as a home, especially given that many candidates have to share their space with roommates, family and so on. There also tend to be more personal distractions, in the form of social media, television, etc.

Last but not least, studying the material alone may mean that they are only able to memorize its contents. The licensing exam is designed to test their knowledge of the material as well as their ability to apply it in real-world situations, so memorization may not be enough for a candidate to truly understand the context of what they have studied. In a classroom, they have every opportunity to explore questions or clear up any confusion with their instructor.

However, the Contractors State License Center firmly states that the presence of all these challenges need not necessarily mean that studying at home for the licensing exam is an impossible task. Their home study program, for instance, is well-established, and many candidates have successfully utilized it to pass their exam with ease. The Center enables students to purchase all relevant books, study guides and even practice exams that can be used to prepare at home.

It is recommended that students take a proactive approach to minimizing distractions and taking every measure possible to maximize their chances of passing the exam. If they are staying with roommates and family, for instance, the Center suggests that they work out a schedule where all residents are required to be quiet for a certain period. If this is not possible, a student may find it easier to take their study materials to a nearby park, coffee shop or similar area where they can work in relative peace.

Similarly, study time should be used for this purpose alone. Since social media and phone notifications can prove to be highly distracting, the Center suggests that students temporarily switch off their devices for the duration of their study. While these may appear to be simple fixes, every small advantage can help, and students are advised that their career would be best served if they are able to pass the licensing exam on the first try. This will enable them to get involved in more lucrative projects without further delay, whereas they may be obliged to wait some time for the next scheduled exam to try again.

The Center offers students access to the most up-to-date materials in the event they wish to study at home. Despite encouraging students to attend classes wherever possible, they consider it their mission to give every student the tools they need to succeed, and they have taken several measures in light of recent events to minimize the impact on home-study.

Eric Jacobs of the Contractors State License Center is on hand to assist students in the event they wish to learn more about the materials on offer. Alternatively, those who wish to attend classes in person are welcome to submit an application today as well. Further details on both programs can be found on the Center’s official website. Learn more here: Contractors License School Los Angeles.

For more information about Contractors State License Center, contact the company here:

Contractors State License Center
Eric Jacobs
(800) 562-0008
[email protected]
3014 West Burbank Blvd #C, Burbank, CA 91505

According to the California State License Board (CSLB), any person who bids on a construction contract worth $500 or more of labor and materials must have a current contractor’s license from the State of California. The CSLB is the first place to check a CA licensed contractor. You’ll learn critical information about a contractor such as when the person acquired their license, how much insurance they carry and if the individual has any current or past legal actions against their company. Further research such as contacting former clients and inspecting work quality can also help determine the quality of a California contractor.

Check Online

How to check a california licensed contractor

1. Visit the California Contractors State License Board. Look for the menu option on the left that says “Instant License Check.”

How to check a california licensed contractor

2. Search by the contractor’s license number. Locate your vendor’s six-digit license on any printed materials such as advertisements, an estimate worksheet or business card. By law a California contractor must include their license number on all printed materials.

Another way you can search for the contractor in this website option is by typing the

person’s first and last name or company name.

How to check a california licensed contractor

3. Click the contractor’s name to examine the license history. Several people with the same name may appear. If so, search for the city where you believe your contractor resides.

Verify when the contractor obtained a license and what type of construction work they are licensed to perform. Notice if the license is currently active and how much insurance and bonds they carry.

How to check a california licensed contractor

4. Ensure the contractor has workers compensation insurance for employees. If they don’t, you can be liable for any on-the-job injuries incurred by workers. If it is noted that the Contractor is exempt from workers compensation insurance be alert as this means that the contractor has stated to the California Contractors State License Board that he is working alone and that he has no workers or not using subcontractors.

How to check a california licensed contractor

5. Look for judgments against the contractor. Verify there are no public complaints or civil actions against substandard work.

Check by Phone

How to check a california licensed contractor

1. Telephone the CLSB at 800-321-2752. This allows you to check contractor’s licenses using an automated voice system.

How to check a california licensed contractor

2. Press the number 1. This enables you to check the validity and history of a contractor’s license.

How to check a california licensed contractor

3. Press the number 1 again. Next, enter the license number. A license only has numerals, not letters.

4. Review the license information provided. The automated system shares the same contractor license histories available on the CLSB website.

Speak with an agent if you don’t know the license number. Press the numeral 2, then 9 to transfer your call to a live agent who can answer questions Monday through Friday during business hours.

Is proud to maintain an impeccable record with the CLSB at all times. We carry $1million liability insurance and all our workers are insured with proper workers compensation insurance

Table of Contents

How do you check if a contractor is licensed and insured in California?

You can check the license status online or call (800) 321-CSLB (2752). REMEMBER Most licensed contractors are competent, honest, hardworking and financially responsible.

What is an RMO?

A Responsible Managing Officer (“RMO”) under California law is an individual who is a bona fide employee of the applicant for a contractor’s license, and is actively engaged in the classification of work for which that responsible managing employee is the qualifying person on behalf of the applicant. California …

Who is AGC California?

Associated General Contractors
The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of California, the voice of the construction industry since 1920, is an organization of construction firms and industry-related companies committed to improving our physical environment through our commitment to the principles of Skill, Integrity and Responsibility.

What does RMO mean in construction?

Responsible Managing Officer
Renting a qualifier means that a non-licensed contracting business pays an individual who holds a California contractor’s license to act as the Responsible Managing Officer (“RMO”) or Responsible Managing Employee (“RME”) of a construction company, when that person has no actual involvement in the day-to-day operations …

What insurance should my contractor have?

Contractors and carpenters should have a general liability policy or CGL that is designed for their field of work. Professionals such as CPAs and consultants should carry professional liability insurance, which includes errors and omissions coverage. Hired workers should also carry workers’ compensation insurance.

How do I get my RMO license in California?

According to the CSLB website, to qualify to receive a Contractor’s License, you must be at least 18 years old and have the necessary construction business management experience (including experience in field supervision) or be mentored by an existing RMO.

How to check a california licensed contractor

How many general contractors are there in California?

Appointments are made by the governor and the state legislature. CSLB licenses and regulates contractors in 44 classifications that constitute the construction industry. There are approximately 300,000 licensed contractors in the state.

What does AGC stand for in construction?

Associated General Contractors of America
About Us. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the leading association for the construction industry.

What is the difference between being insured and bonded?

Being bonded means you have purchased a surety bond that offers limited guarantees to clients. Being insured means that you have an insurance policy that protects against accidents and liabilities, often with greater limits than bonds.

What does bonded mean?

Being bonded means that a bonding company has secured money that is available to the consumer in the event they file a claim against the company. The secured money is in the control of the state, a bond, and not under the control of the company.

Licensed plumbers are always in high demand in California and the rest of the country. Find out how to become a licensed plumber, so you can join the ranks. You’ll also discover how to use a California plumbing license lookup tool to verify a plumber’s credentials.

How Do I Check a California Contractor License?

You can check a contractor license on the Contractors State License Board website. This site allows you to search by HIS name, HIS number, personal name, business name, or license number. “HIS” stands for Home Improvement Salesperson.

How Do I Check a Contractor’s Insurance?

You can ask the contractor to see a copy of the Certificate of Insurance. You also have the option of contacting the insurance carrier to request proof of insurance.

Do You Need a License to Be a Plumber in California?

You need to have a license to work as a plumber in California. You should also only hire licensed plumbers to work for you. You can make sure a plumber is licensed on the Contractors State License Board website, or you can use the California plumbing license lookup at the top of this page.

How Long Does It Take to Get Certified in Plumbing?

You can expect to spend eight years working toward your plumbing license. Apprenticeships generally last for four years. You will follow that up by working as a journeyman for another four years. You can then apply for your C-36 license. The licensing process typically takes a few months.

Once your license is approved, the Contractors State License Board will add your information to the database. Then, potential customers can use a State of California plumbing license lookup tool to verify your credentials.

How Do I Become a Plumber Apprentice in California?

You have to be at least 18 years old and have a GED or high school diploma to become a plumber apprentice. You also need to meet the physical requirements and must be able to read and communicate in English. If you meet those requirements, you can join a plumber apprentice training program.

You’ll attend training classes two nights a week during your apprenticeship. The apprenticeship lasts for approximately four years. During that time, you’ll get 9,000 hours of on-the-job training and attend 1,080 hours of training classes.

After you complete your apprenticeship, you can apply to become a journeyman plumber. That will get you closer to obtaining your plumber license in California.

How Do I Get a C-36 License in California?

If you want to become a plumbing contractor, you’ll need a C-36 license. You need to have at least four years of work experience as a journeyman, supervisor, or foreman. That must include at least a year of practical experience. You also have to pass a criminal background check and pass the plumbing license exam. You can then apply for your license on the Contractors State License Board website.

Work Toward Your Plumbing License

Now you know what to do to earn your plumber’s license. Keep this page bookmarked as a guide. You can also refer to this page when you need to use a California plumbing license lookup tool. Just input the information into the search located at the top of the page and then go through the results.

License Search

Hailey is a creative content writer who previously worked for various companies generating content in different industries. A writer by day and a reader by night, she is passionate about helping people understand about the written topic through her easily digestible content. Not only does she make her written pieces understandable by different audiences, she also puts lots of effort into making it easily understandable by her friend Google.

How to check a california licensed contractor

Related Articles

  • What Should I Know When Hiring Someone to Build a House?
  • How to Schedule the Building of a New Home
  • How Do I Hire a General Contractor for Residential Construction?
  • How to Check a Plumber by License Number
  • How to Compare Dealers of Gas Furnaces

Hiring a general contractor can be a daunting experience. The contractor is most responsible for turning your project idea into reality and requires a great deal of your trust. Hiring the wrong individual can cost you more than money; incompetence can also lead to a delay or abandonment of your project. A thorough background check on the contractor can help you determine whether the contractor’s experience and reputation make him worthy of your trust.

Contact the builders’ association in your area and ask for information regarding required licensing the contractor must attain. Meet with the contractor and ask him whether he’s in compliance with the licensing requirements. If so, request that the contractor show you the license and then check that it’s up to date.

Make sure the contractor has liability, property and workers’ compensation insurance. Ask for proof of insurance and make sure the insurance is up to date and covers the period of time that you’re considering having the work completed.

Check with the consumer protection office in your state and the building inspector’s office for your area for any complaints filed against the contractor. Contact the Better Business Bureau as well for information regarding complaints. Keep in mind that a complaint is not necessarily proof of a bad act on the part of the contractor, but a slew of complaints can signal potential difficulties with the contractor’s services.

Ask the contractor for customer references. Contact the references and ask about the contractor’s work. Find out whether the contractor completed the work on time in a professional manner. Ask about unnecessary cost overruns on the previous customer’s project. Find out whether the previous customer would recommend the contractor to others and, more importantly, use the contractor again. Approach good references with caution, as the contractor is unlikely to use an unsatisfied customer as a reference.

Ask the contractor for a list of subcontractors normally used during projects. Contact the subcontractors and ask for their experiences in working with the general contractor. Ask them for any safety or ethical concerns and whether they’re comfortable working with the contractor.

Research the business itself. Determine how long the contractor has been in business, how long in the current office and how easily the contractor is to contact. Ask around the area about the contractor to get a general idea of the contractor’s reputation.

How to check a california licensed contractor

The California State License Board (CSLB) licenses contractors in the state of California.

You must get licensed if you construct, alter, or offer to construct or alter any of the following:

• Building
• Road
• Highway
• Railroad
• Parking facility
• Excavation
• Other structure

In California (apart from federal projects in California) a person must be licensed by the CSLB if the total cost of materials and labor under one or more contracts of a project is $500 or more.

Eligibility for the California Contractor License

The basic qualifications for obtaining a California Contractor License are:

• At least 18 years of age
• Have a valid Social Security number
• Show proof of experience and skill necessary to manage the activities of a construction business, or being represented by another qualifying individual with the necessary experience or skills.

Out of state individuals can apply for a California Contractor License if they meet the qualifications. Several states have reciprocity agreements with California which makes it easier to get a license.

How to get a California Contractors License

Step #1: Determine your California Contractor License classification

  • Class A: General Engineering Contractor
  • Class B: General Building Contractor
  • Class C: Specialty Contractor (which contains 41 separate licenses)

For a full explanation of class licenses, visit the Contractor License Classification Section.

Step #2: Apply for original exam by completing the following steps

  • Complete an Application for Original Contractor’s License
  • Complete the Certification of Work Experience Form 13A-11
  • Complete a Project List Form 13A-6A, if applicable
  • Submit the above with a $330 non-refundable processing fee* to the address below:

CSLB Headquarters
Contractors State License Board
P.O. Box 26000
Sacramento, CA 95826-0026

Be sure you submit your application on an updated form. CSLB will only accept licenses on the updated 2017 forms.

Do not submit anything else with your application. Simply mail the above paperwork and fee to the CSLB headquarters.

Then, move onto Step #3.

If you DO NOT require an examination because you meet the general qualifications, view Steps To Get Licensed Without An Exam.

Step #3: Wait for the CSLB to send you a letter of acknowledgement

This letter will contain two important numbers: an application fee number and a 4-digit PIN number.

    If your California Contractor License application is denied (because of insufficient or incomplete) information, you will have the chance to resubmit your application with the missing information included.

  • If your California Contractor License application is approved, you will receive:
    • Fingerprinting Live Scan packet
    • Notice to Appear for Examination
  • Step #4: Complete the fingerprinting scan packet and take examination

    About the examination: There is a written law and business examination and a specific trade examination. Examinations are 3 ½ hours and are multiple choice.

    Step #5: Upon passing the examination, you will be notified of the final items you must submit:

    • Licensing fee of $200
    • Proof of Worker’s Compensation Insurance
    • $15,000 California Contractor License Bond

    Step #6: Purchase California Contractor License Bond

    Purchase a bond from a licensed surety bond provider.

    The bond amount is set at $15,000.

    The price you pay for your bond will generally be between 1-15% of the total bond amount ($150 – $2,250)

    The best way to see what you’d pay for your bond is to get a free quote:

    If you are needing a bond to renew an already-active license, reactivate your license, or maintain an actively renewed license, you might only need a $12,500 bond. You can get a free quote for that bond amount below:

    Step #7: Submit

    Submit proof of Worker’s Compensation Insurance, original bond, and licensing fee to the CSLB.

    You should get your CA Contractor License wall certificate and pocket card within one week after your license is issued.

    CA Contractor Licenses are valid for 2 years.

    If you’re considering moving forward and becoming a licensed contractor in the state of California, you might be wondering how long the process takes.

    That’s a good question, and the answers depend on a few different things:

    You have to meet a certain set of requirements to take the California state contractors license exam. You can find specific requirements on our website, but generally speaking you’ll need four years of experience in the construction industry or a lesser amount of experience with a college degree.

    The amount of time needed will depend on your personal schedule and study preferences. While some students can learn everything they need to know within a week using our “crash course” study options, most construction professionals find it more helpful to follow an online or at-home course, or even to participate in classroom sessions. These don’t take much longer, but can round out your learning and greatly improve your odds of passing the exam on your first try.

    The best students balance their schedules with their ambitions. In other words, it’s up to you to figure out how much time you can devote to study and preparation, as well as which hobbies or activities you might be able to cut back on for a short period of time. Our most successful graduates tend to be the ones who make becoming a licensed contractor a big priority and clear out as many distractions as they can. That allows them to keep moving forward, week after week, until they’ve reached their goal.

    The short answer to the question is that there isn’t any specific time frame that’s going to apply to every student, but you can probably count on getting through our programs in a few months or less if you already meet the requirements to take the exam. That’s not much work or waiting for something that could change your entire life or career, is it?

    Want more specific answers that apply to you? Get in touch with the CSLS team of admissions representatives today and let us walk you through your options. It only takes a few minutes, and one phone call could be all it takes to set you on the path toward more money and more freedom as a self-employed contractor in California.

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    In California, as with many other states, large home construction, repair, and remodeling projects must be completed by a licensed contractor. California contractor licensure is regulated by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), a state government entity that also protects consumers and regulates contractor activity. In addition to administering license exams, the CSLB investigates complaints and provides administrative services to contractors and their customers. It is also responsible for seeking criminal and civil actions against unlicensed contractors. Contractor licenses in California are divided into three different classes and include 44 specialty contractor license categories.

    Who Must Obtain a California Contractor License?

    According to the CSLB,

    “All businesses or individuals who construct or alter any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure in California must be licensed by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) if the total cost (labor and materials) of one or more contracts on the project is $500 or more. Contractors, including subcontractors, specialty contractors, and persons engaged in the business of home improvement (with the exception of joint ventures and projects involving federal funding), must be licensed before submitting bids. Licenses may be issued to individuals, partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, or joint ventures.”

    Basic Qualifications

    To qualify for a contractor’s license, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have at least four years of related experience or education. There are no financial requirements for obtaining a license, but applicants must hold a $15,000 bond before receiving a license. If you do not meet the requirements for licensure as a contractor, you may qualify for a license under a license holder who serves as your qualifying individual.

    California Contractor License: Reciprocity

    The CSLB offers reciprocity on a limited basis. The CSLB has formal reciprocity agreements only with Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. Contractors from other states may apply for California licensure if they meet specific qualifications. Reciprocal licenses are awarded only in specified classifications. In general, the CSLB offers limited reciprocity in areas where the scope and trade do not vary or where out-of-state requirements are identical to those of the California contractor requirements.

    California Contractor License Classifications

    The CSLB groups contractors into three classes. A Class A contractor is one whose principal line of business requires specialized and technical engineering knowledge. A Class B or general building contractor relates to any structure being modified or built and on which at least two different trades are engaged. This is the class to seek if you plan to operate as a general contractor on projects that involve two or more types of subcontractors. Class B contractors also may be primary contractors on framing and carpentry projects.

    Class C contractors are referred to as specialty contractors. This class includes most contractors who work in a specific trade or contract as primary contractors or subcontractors for a specific type of work, such as plumbing, roofing, concrete, or HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). There are 44 different licensing classifications for specialty contractors.

    You must have at least 4 years experience in the contractor trade you are applying for. This can be part-time or full-time as long as you can show four full years (full-time equivalent) of work experience within the last ten years. If you have a degree this may help count towards the work experience requirement as long as it relates to the contractor trade you are applying for.

    Where can I get a contractor license application?

    “>Contractors State License Board (CSLB) at: www.cslb.ca.gov

    You can also get a pre-screened application when you purchase our application processing service. We are happy to help you with all the application paperwork including your work history to insure you avoid mistakes that could cause delays on getting a test date. Currently the state takes approximately 3 months to schedule contractor license examinees.

    How much does it cost to take the exam?

    How long is the state exam for a contractor license?

    The state exam is divided into two parts the Law & Business section and the Trade section. Each exam is approximately two hours and thirty minutes long. You need to answer 72% of the questions correctly to pass the law. Passing scores on some trades vary but on most trade exams you need to answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass.

    How can I pass the exam?

    We can help you pass the state exam the first time! All of our contractor courses are pass guaranteed and designed for the convenience of independent home study, that means you can prepare anytime, anywhere, 24/7. Study in the comfort of your home or favorite place, and learn at your own pace!

    I have some questions, can someone help me?

    We are happy to answer your questions. Please contact us by phone toll free at (877) 327-6144 or email us with any questions you may have about getting your contractor license or any of our course material. We are here to help!

    We have more information as well as a list of frequently asked questions with answers, on getting a contractors license. Please see our contractor trade classifications for detailed state descriptions. You will find the value of our contractor courses is unmatched.

    You must have at least 4 years experience in the contractor trade you are applying for. This can be part-time or full-time as long as you can show four full years (full-time equivalent) of work experience within the last ten years. If you have a degree this may help count towards the work experience requirement as long as it relates to the contractor trade you are applying for.

    Where can I get a contractor license application?

    “>Contractors State License Board (CSLB) at: www.cslb.ca.gov

    You can also get a pre-screened application when you purchase our application processing service. We are happy to help you with all the application paperwork including your work history to insure you avoid mistakes that could cause delays on getting a test date. Currently the state takes approximately 3 months to schedule contractor license examinees.

    How much does it cost to take the exam?

    How long is the state exam for a contractor license?

    The state exam is divided into two parts the Law & Business section and the Trade section. Each exam is approximately two hours and thirty minutes long. You need to answer 72% of the questions correctly to pass the law. Passing scores on some trades vary but on most trade exams you need to answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass.

    How can I pass the exam?

    We can help you pass the state exam the first time! All of our contractor courses are pass guaranteed and designed for the convenience of independent home study, that means you can prepare anytime, anywhere, 24/7. Study in the comfort of your home or favorite place, and learn at your own pace!

    I have some questions, can someone help me?

    We are happy to answer your questions. Please contact us by phone toll free at (877) 327-6144 or email us with any questions you may have about getting your contractor license or any of our course material. We are here to help!

    We have more information as well as a list of frequently asked questions with answers, on getting a contractors license. Please see our contractor trade classifications for detailed state descriptions. You will find the value of our contractor courses is unmatched.

    This article provides useful, detailed information about California Contractor License Check.

    California contractor license checks ensure that a dubious or unlicensed contractor doesn\’t dupe unsuspecting customers. The necessary checks before hiring a contractor can be done by enquiring about the credentials of a contractor with the Contractors State License Board at 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).

    When seeking the services of a contractor several things have to be strictly followed.

    Customers are advised to remember that some dishonest contractors pose as genuine ones. One should only seek the services of licensed contractors. A thorough assessment has to be made about a contractor\’s credentials before hiring one. Customers should also refrain from hiring the first contractor they find. Customers should ask for the contractor\’s pocket license.

    All contractors are given pocket licenses that illustrate the sort of trade for which they are licensed, and the termination date of the license. Some of the guidelines that need to be strictly adhered to are: only licensed contractors should be hired, and they should be asked to produce the necessary license. One should not make a hasty decision and hire the first contractor whom one finds. The license should be verified with the Contractors State License Board. No more than 10% of the cost of total project should be made as a down payment. The payment should not be made in cash, and steps should be taken to ensure that payments don\’t exceed the cost of the work. Three bids should be obtained, at a minimum, and references should be checked before a contract is finalized in writing. In accordance with the law, all contractors who are engaged in work that totals $500 or more (labor and materials) must be authorized by the CSLB.

    Perform a free San Bernardino County, CA public contractor license search, including contractor license lookups, checks, and boards.

    The San Bernardino County Contractor License Search (California) links below open in a new window and take you to third party websites that provide access to San Bernardino County public records. Editors frequently monitor and verify these resources on a routine basis.

    Help others by sharing new links and reporting broken links.

    San Bernardino County Contractor License Search https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicenseII/CheckLicense.aspx Look up San Bernardino County, California contractor licenses by name, business name, dba, and view information on complaint filings, applications and renewals.

    Find San Bernardino County Contractor Licenses

    San Bernardino County Contractor License Searches allow the public to look up Contractor Licenses in San Bernardino County, California. Contractor Licenses include information about a professional tradesperson’s skills and areas of expertise, as well as legal protections. Professional Licenses are maintained by California Secretary of State which also sets the requirements to receive a Contractor’s License.

    Learn about Contractor Licenses, Including:

    • Where to look up Contractor Licenses online
    • How to verify a contractor’s license
    • How to apply for a San Bernardino County Contractor License
    • What are the San Bernardino County Contractor License requirements
    • How to check if a contractor is licensed and insured

    There are several essential steps to obtain your general contractor license California. In California, larger home construction, remodeling, and repair projects are required by law to be done by a licensed contractor professional. The Contractor State License Board (CSLB) regulates contractor examinations and provides administrative assistance to CA customers and contractors. Additionally, the CLSB also oversees criminal and civil actions against unlicensed contractors. As a handy Californian entrepreneur, contracting work can be a lucrative way earn income. However, you need to follow the proper protocols to get your license. Read on to learn about how to obtain your general contractor license California.

    Meet California’s Qualifications

    When applying for your general contractor license, you must first meet California’s qualifications. For starters, you must be 18 years or older and have a valid social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification (ITIN) to become a contractor. In California, you also need to prove that you have had at least four years of experience in the contracting industry. For example, if you went to technical school for a year to become an electrician, this could count towards your experience. You could also have been a journeyman, foreman, employee, or owner-builder. Notably, if you are starting a business after the military, serving time is also accepted as valid experience. Be sure to list if you are a veteran and submit appropriate verification documents on your license application. Before you can apply for your general contractor’s license, you need to meet California’s qualifications.

    Decide On Your License Classification

    Once you know you qualify for application, you need to decide on your license classification. To take a case in point, there are three different major CA contractor classifications. For instance, Class A general engineering contractors typically work with fixed structures that require engineering knowledge and skill. On the other hand, general building contractors fall under Class B. These can work on existing buildings or structures being built that require at least two building traded or drafts during the construction phase. Class C specialty contractors are experts in a particular skill or trade. There are over 40 different separate licenses for a Class C contractor. Ultimately, you need to think about what type of work you are most interested in as well as where demand lies to decide on your license classification accordingly.

    Apply For Your Exam

    After you have chosen your license classification, you can apply for your exam. Currently, you can fill out your examination application form online, as a PDF, or order a blank form by mail. Regardless of which option you choose, there is a $330 application fee. All options involve a printing solution and mailing the form to the CLSB. On the application, you will need to provide a business name and address as well as personal information, such as your date of birth and SSN. Be sure to read the application carefully, as there are certain terms you must follow depending on your business structure. Moreover, you will also need to provide certification of your work experience and answer specified yes/no questions. It is essential to apply for your exam to become a licensed general contractor in California.

    Get Fingerprints & A Criminal Background Check

    You also need to get fingerprints and a criminal background check to go with your application. Once you have completed or “posted” your exam application, the CLSB will send each individual on the application directions for submitting fingerprints. It is imperative that you complete the application information section and take three copies of the completed form to a Live Scan station. You will submit one copy to the live scan station operator, keep one for your records, and send the other to the CLSB within 90 days of your exam application completion date. There will be an approximate $50 fee for fingerprinting services. You can usually find these finger printing sites at local police departments. It is crucial to get fingerprints and a criminal background check to qualify for your general contractor’s license in California.

    Pass Exam

    Finally, to obtain your CA general contractor license, you need to pass your exam or qualify for exemption. Fortunately, you can access study resources on the CLSB website to help you prepare for your test. The state contractor exam contains 100 questions that you must answer within 2.5 hours. You also need to get at least a 72% to pass the test. If you are a new applicant, you first need to complete an open-book test on dealing with asbestos. While it does not certify you to handle it, it demonstrates that you understand the dangers it creates. Once you take your exam, you should check your application status to see when you can get your license issues. It is essential to pass this test to become grow your independent contractor business in California.

    There are several important steps obtain your general contractor license California. First, you need to meet California’s qualifications. Next, decide on your license classification. Then, you need to apply for your exam and submit your application fee. In addition, get fingerprints and a criminal background check to get approved by the CLSB. Finally, it is essential to pass your exam with a 72% or higher to get licensed. Consider the steps above to learn about how to obtain your general contractor license California.

    This article provides useful, detailed information about California Contractor License Check.

    California contractor license checks ensure that a dubious or unlicensed contractor doesn\’t dupe unsuspecting customers. The necessary checks before hiring a contractor can be done by enquiring about the credentials of a contractor with the Contractors State License Board at 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).

    When seeking the services of a contractor several things have to be strictly followed.

    Customers are advised to remember that some dishonest contractors pose as genuine ones. One should only seek the services of licensed contractors. A thorough assessment has to be made about a contractor\’s credentials before hiring one. Customers should also refrain from hiring the first contractor they find. Customers should ask for the contractor\’s pocket license.

    All contractors are given pocket licenses that illustrate the sort of trade for which they are licensed, and the termination date of the license. Some of the guidelines that need to be strictly adhered to are: only licensed contractors should be hired, and they should be asked to produce the necessary license. One should not make a hasty decision and hire the first contractor whom one finds. The license should be verified with the Contractors State License Board. No more than 10% of the cost of total project should be made as a down payment. The payment should not be made in cash, and steps should be taken to ensure that payments don\’t exceed the cost of the work. Three bids should be obtained, at a minimum, and references should be checked before a contract is finalized in writing. In accordance with the law, all contractors who are engaged in work that totals $500 or more (labor and materials) must be authorized by the CSLB.

    Perform a free San Bernardino County, CA public contractor license search, including contractor license lookups, checks, and boards.

    The San Bernardino County Contractor License Search (California) links below open in a new window and take you to third party websites that provide access to San Bernardino County public records. Editors frequently monitor and verify these resources on a routine basis.

    Help others by sharing new links and reporting broken links.

    San Bernardino County Contractor License Search https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicenseII/CheckLicense.aspx Look up San Bernardino County, California contractor licenses by name, business name, dba, and view information on complaint filings, applications and renewals.

    Find San Bernardino County Contractor Licenses

    San Bernardino County Contractor License Searches allow the public to look up Contractor Licenses in San Bernardino County, California. Contractor Licenses include information about a professional tradesperson’s skills and areas of expertise, as well as legal protections. Professional Licenses are maintained by California Secretary of State which also sets the requirements to receive a Contractor’s License.

    Learn about Contractor Licenses, Including:

    • Where to look up Contractor Licenses online
    • How to verify a contractor’s license
    • How to apply for a San Bernardino County Contractor License
    • What are the San Bernardino County Contractor License requirements
    • How to check if a contractor is licensed and insured

    There are several essential steps to obtain your general contractor license California. In California, larger home construction, remodeling, and repair projects are required by law to be done by a licensed contractor professional. The Contractor State License Board (CSLB) regulates contractor examinations and provides administrative assistance to CA customers and contractors. Additionally, the CLSB also oversees criminal and civil actions against unlicensed contractors. As a handy Californian entrepreneur, contracting work can be a lucrative way earn income. However, you need to follow the proper protocols to get your license. Read on to learn about how to obtain your general contractor license California.

    Meet California’s Qualifications

    When applying for your general contractor license, you must first meet California’s qualifications. For starters, you must be 18 years or older and have a valid social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification (ITIN) to become a contractor. In California, you also need to prove that you have had at least four years of experience in the contracting industry. For example, if you went to technical school for a year to become an electrician, this could count towards your experience. You could also have been a journeyman, foreman, employee, or owner-builder. Notably, if you are starting a business after the military, serving time is also accepted as valid experience. Be sure to list if you are a veteran and submit appropriate verification documents on your license application. Before you can apply for your general contractor’s license, you need to meet California’s qualifications.

    Decide On Your License Classification

    Once you know you qualify for application, you need to decide on your license classification. To take a case in point, there are three different major CA contractor classifications. For instance, Class A general engineering contractors typically work with fixed structures that require engineering knowledge and skill. On the other hand, general building contractors fall under Class B. These can work on existing buildings or structures being built that require at least two building traded or drafts during the construction phase. Class C specialty contractors are experts in a particular skill or trade. There are over 40 different separate licenses for a Class C contractor. Ultimately, you need to think about what type of work you are most interested in as well as where demand lies to decide on your license classification accordingly.

    Apply For Your Exam

    After you have chosen your license classification, you can apply for your exam. Currently, you can fill out your examination application form online, as a PDF, or order a blank form by mail. Regardless of which option you choose, there is a $330 application fee. All options involve a printing solution and mailing the form to the CLSB. On the application, you will need to provide a business name and address as well as personal information, such as your date of birth and SSN. Be sure to read the application carefully, as there are certain terms you must follow depending on your business structure. Moreover, you will also need to provide certification of your work experience and answer specified yes/no questions. It is essential to apply for your exam to become a licensed general contractor in California.

    Get Fingerprints & A Criminal Background Check

    You also need to get fingerprints and a criminal background check to go with your application. Once you have completed or “posted” your exam application, the CLSB will send each individual on the application directions for submitting fingerprints. It is imperative that you complete the application information section and take three copies of the completed form to a Live Scan station. You will submit one copy to the live scan station operator, keep one for your records, and send the other to the CLSB within 90 days of your exam application completion date. There will be an approximate $50 fee for fingerprinting services. You can usually find these finger printing sites at local police departments. It is crucial to get fingerprints and a criminal background check to qualify for your general contractor’s license in California.

    Pass Exam

    Finally, to obtain your CA general contractor license, you need to pass your exam or qualify for exemption. Fortunately, you can access study resources on the CLSB website to help you prepare for your test. The state contractor exam contains 100 questions that you must answer within 2.5 hours. You also need to get at least a 72% to pass the test. If you are a new applicant, you first need to complete an open-book test on dealing with asbestos. While it does not certify you to handle it, it demonstrates that you understand the dangers it creates. Once you take your exam, you should check your application status to see when you can get your license issues. It is essential to pass this test to become grow your independent contractor business in California.

    There are several important steps obtain your general contractor license California. First, you need to meet California’s qualifications. Next, decide on your license classification. Then, you need to apply for your exam and submit your application fee. In addition, get fingerprints and a criminal background check to get approved by the CLSB. Finally, it is essential to pass your exam with a 72% or higher to get licensed. Consider the steps above to learn about how to obtain your general contractor license California.

    A person in California needs to have a license from the “California State Licensing Board” (CSLB) to work on a project with labor and materials totaling at or above $500 for a contract(s). Projects include altering or construction or offering to do so for one of these:

    • Excavation
    • Railroad
    • Road
    • Building
    • Parking structure
    • Highway
    • Any other structures

    In order to be eligible for a contractor license, you must meet the following qualifications:

    • Age of 18+
    • Have or obtain an authentic Social Security number
    • Have experience and prove such plus the necessary skills for managing the tasks for a construction business or have representation by an individual that qualifies.

    An individual outside the state of California can apply if they meet the other necessary qualifications. Many states developed “reciprocity agreements” with the state of California, which makes an out-of-state licensure much more straightforward.

    (5) Steps for Getting a California Contractor License

    If you’re a potential contractor eager to perform work in California, it’s mandatory to obtain a license from the “California State Licensing Board” to proceed.

    Related posts:

    There are a few simple qualifications that need to be met, basically proving sufficient age and citizenship. Still, the most important is having adequate experience and skills or falling under the guidance of someone who does.

    Anyone planning a move to California but hoping to apply prior for security purposes can as long as you satisfy the qualifications. Steps to follow in applying:

    1) Learn the Class You Fall Under For Your License. Classes are:

    A) General Engineering

    B) General Building

    C) Specialty with over 41 varied licenses

    Research these before applying to have a complete understanding of each. It’s essential to select a suitable class so that your license is valid.

    2) Sign-up For The Contractor’s Exam Using These Steps:

    A) Apply for the “Original Contractor’s License”

    B) Fill in a “Certification of Work Experience Form.” The number for the document is 13A-11. It will prove your expertise.

    C) If it applies, fill in a “Project List” document # 13A-6A, with which you need to attach a (nonrefundable) $330 processing charge addressed to:

    “(CSLB) Headquarters

    Contractors State

    License Board

    Post Office Box 26000

    Sacramento, CA 95826-0026”

    All the forms need to be up-to-date, or the CSLB will not accept them. Nothing else should come with the requested information and the charge. You might be able to waive the exam if you satisfy the basic guidelines.

    From this point, you will need to wait until you receive your acknowledgment letter from the CSLB, which will give you two vital pieces of information, including a PIN consisting of 4 digits and a number associated with your application fee. These will provide you with access to your licensing application status.

    • Denials: If due to missing information, you can complete the data and resubmit.
    • Approvals: You will receive a packet for “Live Scan Fingerprinting” plus an examination notice.

    3) Take the Exam and Finish the Packet for Fingerprint Scanning

    You will find with the exam-specific elements like specific trade, business, and written law. The test takes approximately 4 hours with multiple-choice questions.

    4) For those who achieve approved status, there will be a request for submission of final documents including:

    A) Workers Comp Confirmation

    B) Charge For California Contractor Bond in the amount of $15,000 C) A fee for licensing in the amount of $200

    5) Purchase the Bond for Your Contractor License for California

    The bond needs securing from a licensed bond provider for $15,000. The amount you pay typically falls at approximately 1 to 15% of that total or between $150 to $2250.

    Final Thought

    When you complete all the steps in the licensing process successfully, you will be issued a license followed by a certificate to put on the wall of your business and a card to carry with you.

    A California contractor’s license is valid for two years, after which you will need to renew, which might prove to be a little less expensive than applying for an original for the bond. Click here for tips on California Contractor License Bonding.

    You’re now ready to market yourself as an authentic licensed contractor to perform projects of altering or constructing structures as outlined in the CSLB guidelines.

    • Tags
    • California Contractor Bond
    • California State Licensing Board

    If you have a remark or more information on this post please share with us in the comments section below

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    As my father used to say… how long is a piece of string?

    The processing times at the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) vary greatly. It depends on the type of application, document, or form you’re submitting. Review my CSLB Backlog post regarding processing stats as of September 2020.

    Different applications are processed by different units within the CSLB, and they each have their own backlogs.

    When I joined the CSLB many, many years ago, the backlog was six months for an exam application to be processed. Today it averages around three weeks, but that’s just for the application to be reviewed by a license application technician. What are some other factors that could effect your application?

    1. Is the application formatted correctly?
    2. Are you applying for a B-Gen or A-Eng license?
    3. Is your experience that of an employee of a licensed contractor or self-employed?
    4. Are you submitting owner/builder experience?

    Let’s say that your application hits all the CSLB marks for excellence and they approve your application and schedule you for the exams. Great! You’ll only have to wait about another three weeks for that test date to arrive.

    While you are waiting for that test date, you’ll receive an envelope from the CSLB that contains forms you will take to a Live Scan office to get your fingerprints processed. Check, one more thing off the list! But wait… the FBI and DOJ that process those prints have their own backlogs and they can take anywhere between two and six weeks to return their reports to the CSLB.

    Backing up a bit, what if your application doesn’t get a passing grade and the exams aren’t scheduled right away? Well, then you’re looking at additional weeks of back and forth with the technician, waiting on a correction letter to be delivered in the mail, mailing your corrections back and then waiting on the technician to process those corrections. If those corrections aren’t accepted, rinse and repeat.

    There are tricks to speed the process up a bit, depending on your specific situation. I’d be happy to help you find out. Send me an email and we can discuss it. So, how long does it take to get a contractors license in California? How much time do you have?

    License Instruction Schools is Offering
    $100 OFF Your Contractors License Course
    Offer Expires 5/31/22
    $495.00

    How do I get a contractor’s license?

    Choose a topic from the menu to learn how to qualify, what the fees are, how long it will take and how to prepare for your contractors exam.

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    License Instruction Schools is Offering
    FOR ONE WEEK ONLY
    $100 OFF Your Contractors License Course
    Limited Time Offer
    $495.00

    How do I get a contractor’s license?

    Choose a topic from the menu to learn how to qualify, what the fees are, how long it will take and how to prepare for your contractors exam.

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    Who We Are…

    License Instruction Schools is the largest contractors license school in America. Established in 1982, we prepare literally thousands of people every year to take the exam.

    Over 200,000 students have enrolled in our school to prepare for the California contractor’s test. Classes are offered throughout California and we guarantee you’ll pass the first time. We also offer online options as well.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    There are 44 classifications of licenses available. We offer classes for all of them. Some of the most common classifications include: General Building, Electrical, Plumbing, Roofing, Drywall, Painting, Plastering, Landscaping, HVAC, and the list goes on. See our Classifications page for a complete list.

    In order to qualify for the license you must have four years of experience in your trade and complete an application. See our State Requirements page for more information. As part of our service we have an Applications Department that can help you every step of the way. Once you complete the application we review it before it goes to the State to minimize the chance that it will be sent back for corrections.

    Have Questions?

    Feel free to email us. We are ready to get you prepared to obtain your California State Contractors License.

    We guarantee you will pass the California state contractor’s exam on the first attempt or the tuition will be refunded.

    School Tuition

    Let’s Get Started!

    Upon enrollment, your Manual and a choice of Audio CD’s or our SmartPhone/Tablet App (available for Apple or Android) will be shipped to you so you can begin preparing while you wait for your state exam date. Once you receive your package you can call and activate your App.

    If you are already licensed and are adding a classification to an EXISTING license, simply click “Add Classification” to begin the process.

    After you’ve dialed in on a shortlist of contractors—whose work you admire and budget you can live with—it’s time to start checking their references. Here’s how to research them so you can mitigate risk before making the choice.

    All contractors can provide references that list their favorite clients, friends and family. But you need to dig deeper than a few emails and phone calls if you want insight into their true character and reputation.

    Do Their Biggest Fans Love them?

    Ask your potential contractor for three references from the past five years. They will always provide their three favorite clients. Call them and ask simple yet informative questions:

    • Were you satisfied with their work?
    • How much did your project run over budget?
    • Was the contractor and their subcontractors (subs) professional and courteous?
    • Would you use them again?

    It is almost guaranteed that this initial list will only contain satisfied customers. It is helpful, but doesn’t provide the full picture.

    Free Apple Subscriptions

    Spend nothing, get ‘Ted Lasso’
    Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Fitness+, and Apple News are all free for new subscribers for up to six months.

    Are Recent Clients Happy?

    Ask your potential contractor for references from their last five projects. This list may or may not include names from their original reference list. Call the project owners on this list if they were not on the first list and ask them the same series of questions.

    If these new references don’t check out, then it’s possible your contractors performance has recently diminished (or that their work is more spotty).

    There are many reasons why a contractor’s work could suffer from job to job. A one-off issue is understandable, but a trend of recent dissatisfied clients is a red flag.

    What Do Suppliers Say?

    Request three references from long-time material suppliers. Your potential contractor’s financial solvency is important. If your contractor doesn’t pay their bills, you can get stuck with a lien on your property or have to pay the bill yourself.

    Ask the supplier questions that will provide fiscal clues to how the contractor does business. How long have you sold them material? Do they pay their bills promptly? Would you hire them to work on your home?

    Listen more than ask when talking to the suppliers and take cues on how they really feel about the contractor.

    Are They Licensed and Insured?

    Checking a valid contractor’s license and insurance may seem like a formality, but don’t let expired documents slide. You can check this any time through your state’s contractor licensing board. Using a licensed contractor will protect you in the event of a dispute. Most licensing boards also require a contractor to provide up-to-date insurance documents.

    Ask your contractor for a copy of their general liability policy. You can also request to be listed as “additionally insured” on their policy.

    Expect minimal pushback from reputable contractors. The good ones have nothing to hide, and are transparent about why some jobs didn’t work out as they expected. Good contractors also don’t bash other contractors or previous clients. They let all of their good work speak for itself and don’t waste time pulling down others or sharing grudges.

    frequently asked questions

    What is an RME or RMO?

    A Responsible Managing Employee (RME) or Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) is an individual who proved their experience to the Board for the sake of the company they are qualifying. As qualified individuals, they do not own the licenses they are qualifying. It is possible for the owners, partners or officers to replace them without interrupting the license status. Note the title of officer for RMOs. They can only qualify corporations or LLCs with ownership going anywhere from 0% to 100%. RMEs on the other hand can qualify all types of entities but are listed employees who require payroll and the company has to file a workers compensation policy on the license.

    Aiding and Abetting? Can I loan / rent my license? Do I need to change my business name? Can I give my license to the company that hired me?

    If you don’t change your license to match the entity you are working under and continue to use the same license number, this is aiding and abetting and is subject to citation by the Contractors Board. (B&P Code §7114) A lot of contractors think that once you have registered your corporation or LLC with the Secretary of State with a name that matches your sole ownership, you can then continue using the same license. Or perhaps a contractor who has a sole ownership license starts working for an unlicensed corporation, LLC or partnership and gives away his license number to the company to use without filing the necessary application. This is illegal! Reduce your liability and make sure you abide by the law. Pleading ignorance with the Board does not waive the disciplinary actions they would take.

    What are the requirements to get a license?

    Before you can take the test, you need to show four (4) years of work experience within the last ten, or five (5) years under specific circumstances for a waiver, and you need to show documentation proof of it. It’s not enough to have other people in the industry sign your work experience certificates. After proving your work experience, then you either pass the test or get the exams waived. The CSLB will then mail you fingerprint forms and ask you to post a Contractor’s Bond, Bond of Qualifying Individual if needed, and a Workers Compensation policy or exemption.

    Do I need to get fingerprinted? I already have a license.

    The Contractors Board only started fingerprinting in 2005. Depending on when you got licensed, you may not have been required to get fingerprinted at the time. If so, you will be required to get one on a new application. Note that when you let a license expire, the DOJ will sometimes tell the Contractors Board to delete fingerprints so you may still be required to get one in the future. Renewals do not require fingerprinting.

    I had a license before. Can I get it back?

    The Contractors Board allows you to pay a delinquent fee to renew your license if it expired within five (5) years. After that, you will be required to submit a full application and take the Law and Trade tests again.

    I kept my license inactive. Is that ok?

    Yes! As long as it’s actually inactive and not expired. A lot of contractors get confused between the two. If you keep renewing your license every four years and have been paying your state fees, this means you’ve kept your license inactive. If you’ve completely let it go, most likely the license is expired. An inactive license can then be reactivated at any time after submitting the right fee and reactivation form. You don’t need a Contractor’s Bond on an inactive license, but will need to get a new one when you reactivate it.

    Is it a good idea to be a corporation?

    Many of our clients start out as a sole ownership. As your business grows, it’s a good idea to incorporate to protect your personal assets. You can choose to keep your existing license number and transfer it to the corporation entity, or issue a new one for the corporation and keep the original license personally. Either option depends on your circumstances. Give us a call so we can discuss which way’s the right one for you.

    I lost my contractors license pocket card! How do I get another one?

    Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as ordering one online or over the phone. You have to submit a signed order form along with a check for $25 per copy – you can order as many as you want – and mail that to the Board. Contact us for a free order form!

    Can I get a Contractors License if I have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?

    Yes, it is usually possible, but the Contractors Board will consider how severe and how recent the charges were when making a decision. Although the Board no longer requires applicants to disclose their criminal history on the initial application as of 07/01/2020, the Board still requires fingerprinting and will still ask for additional information on any incidents they find significant and it must be explained properly. We have been successful at obtaining Contractors Licenses for clients with significant felony convictions and long prison sentences. In one case, we were able to smooth things over with the Contractors Board for a client who was arrested during the application process.

    Can I file my contractors license renewal online?

    You can file your renewal payment online, but only sole ownership entities without a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) are able to completely file the form online and have their renewal processed immediately. All other entities still have to mail in the renewal paper form with the required signatures along with the payment receipt and go through regular processing times.

    Do I need to disclose my prior charges?

    The Board changed their application forms on 07/01/2020 so you no longer need to disclose if you’ve ever had any misdemeanors or felonies BUT fingerprinting is still required . If the Board sees any prior charges they want more information on, they will request for additional info from you near the end of the application process. Usually, they just want to know the context/background story of the charge since they’ll receive your RAP sheet back from the DOJ and FBI. For example, if they see a charge for assault, they would want to know if it was a bar fight or something more.

    Contents
    Need help onboarding international talent?

    Aspiring entrepreneurs around the world recognize California as a startup and business hub where innovation and ideas flourish. It’s no wonder California is also a fertile ground for independent contractors. According to a study of the UC Berkeley Labor Center, “the rate of independent contracting as the worker’s main job was 8.5% of the workforce in California in 2016, higher than for the U.S. as a whole”.

    If you are considering joining them, here are the basics of setting up as a California independent contractor.

    Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action.

    Sole Proprietor vs Independent Contractor

    If you want to offer services to clients as an independent contractor, you will essentially be self-employed. It’s a good idea to start a business entity to minimize your tax bills by deducting business expenses. That’s where sole proprietors come in. Sole proprietorships are one-person businesses that are easy to start and run. We’ll be taking you through the process of setting one up in California.

    Business Registration in California – Assembly Bill 5

    In September 2019, Governor Newsom of California signed Assembly Bill (AB) 5 into law. The new law addresses workers’ “employment status” when they claim to be independent contractors and not employees. AB5, which requires a three-part test to determine whether a worker is allowed to be an independent contractor, took effect in January 2020.

    AB5 requires the ABC test application to determine whether California workers are employees or independent contractors for purposes of the Labor Code, the Unemployment Insurance Code, and the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) wage orders.

    Ensure compliance with our localized contracts

    Generate contracts in seconds. We’ll ensure that you’re compliant with local labor laws, no matter where you live.

    What is the ABC Test?

    This test aims to distinguish employees from independent contractors.

    Under the ABC test, for a worker to be considered an independent contractor and not an employee, the hiring entity must satisfy all three of these conditions:

    • The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact;
    • The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
    • The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

    The ABC test is very similar to the 20-Factor Test, which we’ve covered in a previous article.

    Other legal tests

    California uses several legal tests to determine whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor. Some of them are:

    • The ABC test
    • The “manner and means” test, which is used as a fallback under California wage and hour laws where the ABC test does not apply
    • The “control” test used by the IRS for federal tax purposes

    Make sure to read up on all of these before registering your business.

    If you’re not looking to become an independent contractor, but hire one – learn how you can do it compliantly in the US .

    Sole proprietorship in California: Definition

    So what does it mean to be a sole proprietor in California? Here are some essential facts you should know.

    As a sole proprietor in California, you are self-employed: you run your own business as an individual. Your income as the business owner falls under the individual income tax return with Form 540. As the owner of the sole proprietorship, you are personally liable for all debts of the business. You can establish a sole proprietorship without registering with the California Secretary of State.

    Registering a sole proprietorship in California

    Choosing a business name

    You can use any name that isn’t the same or too similar to another registered business and is not misleading to the public. We recommend running a search in the following government databases to ensure your desired business name is available:

    • California Secretary of State: Search both corporations and limited liability company categories
    • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Click on the TESS link under Tools
    • The county recorder’s office where you plan to do business

    Once you pick the business name, you need to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the county recorder.

    Licensing and permitting

    You may need to obtain various licenses and permits, depending on your business activities. California provides a comprehensive database of every license and permit that may be required. You can access this information on the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development CalGold website. Type in your county and city to get a list of the required permits and licenses for your business, and information about required filings and laws you may be subject to, such as minimum wage laws and inspections.

    Employer identification number

    The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is mainly for sole proprietors who want to have employees. Those without employees are not required to have an EIN – they can use their Social Security number to report taxes. Nevertheless, you may want to obtain one for your business. Some banks require an EIN to open a bank account, and it can reduce the risk of identity theft.

    Obtaining General liability insurance

    Because sole proprietors are personally liable for all business debts and obligations, think about a business liability insurance policy. It is useful to get one since it may be the only form of financial protection against unforeseen events.

    Taxes

    When it comes to reporting and paying taxes, it is crucial to know that your sole proprietorship operates as an individual for tax purposes. The steps you need to take are:

    • Report your business income and expenses on the Profit or Loss from Business (IRS Form 1040 Schedule C).
    • Nonresident individuals with income or loss inside and outside California use Schedule R to determine your California source income
    • Pay your estimated taxes on the Estimated Tax for Individuals (Form 540-ES).
    • Get all the information available on estimated payments.

    There you go – you are now ready for the adventure of registering a sole proprietorship in California and offering your services to clients!

    If you want to work with clients around the world. consider using Deel!

    Deel has a team of experts that stay on top of compliance requirements for 160+ countries. Each country has its regulations regarding labor law, contractor status, and documents, and Deel implements them on the platform. When clients create contracts, they can request the contractor to submit compliance documentation as per their country’s regulations. Find out all the benefits of using Deel by scheduling a demo.

    To get licensed in California, electricians are required to take an exam that covers such subjects as circuits, conductors, grounding, lighting and safety. Whether you live in San Diego or Los Angeles or San Francisco or another city or county, the resources below will help you get started on the path to receive your electrician’s license.

    Need of a License

    Electrical Contractor: Anyone performing construction work in California that totals $500 dollars or more in labor and materials must be licensed by Contractors State Licensing Board. Licenses may be issued to either firms or individuals, firms must designate an owner, partner, officer or a responsible managing employee who has the required qualifications to take the written examination. Applicants must present evidence of technical knowledge, experience, integrity, and financial responsibility, and pass a written examination.

    Electricians: Certification is now required of all electricians (except electrical contractors working under their license (C-10). Electricians must successfully complete an apprenticeship program approved by the California Apprenticeship Council, the BAT or a state Apprenticeship Council authorized by the Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship Training. Certification is required every three (3) years.

    Who Grants a License: Licenses in California are issued by the Contractors’ State Licensing Board and the Department of Industrial Relations.

    Qualifications to get a License

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    Electrical Contractor C-10:

    • Board approval before sitting for an exam; 4 years experience to qualify to take the exam. Experience must be at the journeyman, foreman or supervisor, contractor, or as an owner-builder.
    • working capital of at least $2,500. In addition, all applicants must also file a bond with the Registrar in the amount of $10,000
    • All electricians who make connections of greater than amps who work for C-10 Contractors
    • Successful completion of an approved apprenticeship program in the classification for which certification is sought; or
    • On-the-job experience, as follows:

    General Electrician
    8000 hours of work for an electrical contractor installing, constructing or maintaining electrical systems covered by the National Electrical Code.

    Residential Electrician
    4800 hours of work for an electrical contractor installing, constructing or maintaining electrical systems covered by the National Electrical Code.

    Voice Data Video Technician
    4000 hours of work for an electrical contractor installing, constructing or maintaining any system that falls within the scope of the National Electrical Code, Articles 725, (non-composite cables only), 800 (non-hybrid cables only) 810 and 820.

    Fire/Life Technician
    4000 hours of work for an electrical contractor involving the installation, construction or maintenance of systems as covered in Article 760 of the National Electrical Code.

    Nonresidential Lighting Technician
    2000 hours (4 years journeyman experience) of work installing, repairing and maintaining nonresidential lighting while employed by a contractor engaged in the business of nonresidential lighting maintenance and retrofit installations.

    How to Apply for the License

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    You must file an application to obtain a electrical contractor’s license.

    You must file an application to work as a journeyman electrician.

    Test Content

    Electrical Contractor C-10

    The Electrical (C-10) Examination is divided into five major sections:

    Planning and Estimating

    • Existing system evaluation
    • Plan and specification interpretation
    • Electrical calculations
    • Code requirements
    • Material selection
    • Photovoltaic project planning
    • System layout
    • Clearance and accessibility requirements
    • Raceway and panel installation
    • Wire and equipment installation
    • Grounding and bonding
    • Photovoltaic rough wiring

    Finish Wiring and Trim

    • Finish device placement and installation
    • Motor and equipment installation
    • Wire and equipment labeling
    • Trims and sealants
    • Photovoltaic finish wiring

    Startup, Troubleshooting and Maintenance

    • System energizing and testing
    • Common electrical problems
    • Location, repair, and replacement of inoperable electrical wires/components
    • Selection and use of electrical testing equipment
    • Photovoltaic system performance
    • Lockout/tagout procedures
    • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • Tools/equipment
    • Hazardous materials and job site environments
    • Safety
    • Determination of Electrical System Requirements
    • Installation
    • Maintenance and Repair

    There are two parts to the examination process. All qualifying individuals must pass the standard Law and Business examination; in addition, individuals must pass a second test covering the specific trade or certification are for which they are applying.

    Passing Grade: 70%

    Fees: There are fees to obtain a license.

    Who administers the test

    Electrical Contractor C-10: California Contractors State License Board by calling 1-800-321-2752

    Journeyman Electrician: After you have registered with the Electrician Certification Unit, you may schedule your exam: PSI 800-733-9267.

    License Renewal Requirements:

    Electrical Contractor C-10: Biennial; active licenses expire every two years. No CE requirements.

    Journeyman Electrician: Triennial; must have worked at least 2,000 hours.

    Applicable Regulations: All electrical installations in places of employment under the jurisdiction of the Department of Industrial Relations are subject to inspection by DIS. In practice, enforcement of building regulations is done primarily by local inspectors, with DIS providing all statewide safety inspection and consultation on safety matters in places of employment.

    Applicable Code: NEC 2017

    Contact

    Division of Apprentice Standards
    Department of Industrial Relations
    2424 Arden Way, Suite 160
    Sacramento, CA 95825
    (916) 263-2877
    (916) 263-0981 fax
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Department of Industrial Relations
    Contractors License Board
    PO Box 26000
    Sacramento, CA 95826
    (916) 255-3985
    (916) 366-0130 fax

    To prepare for your electrician exam, use the following two practice exams by Ray Holder (Master Electrician and Certified Electrical Trade Instructor) which have 300 questions with fully explained answers:

    Getting your General B “General Contractors” License may be easier than you think.

    The only pre-requisite–in other words, the only thing you have to have–is four years of experience doing General B type of work. (General B work is ‘rough carpentry’–I’ll past a more informative definition below, but most-likely, if you’re on this page, you know what a general b contractor does).

    If you have a bachelor’s degree, then the state only requires two years of experience in the trade.

    Okay, so you have the 4 years. What’s next?

    In order to get the license, you have to send off an application to the state of California. On the application, you have to have someone sign off for you–usually you’ll want this person to be your employer, former employer, supervisor, or business associate. The state will receive your application and then give you a test date because you must pass two tests with the state in order to receive your license.

    The contracting school in Temecula really changed my life. Today I own my own business. I would highly recommend this school for anyone trying to get their contractor license in the state of California!! – Douglas Palmer (GeneralB Licensed Contractor)

    In case you’re getting bored of all this reading, watch this video. Or scroll past the video and keep reading 🙂

    All right, more on the tests. You must pass these tests administered by the state:

    One test is on construction law.
    The second test will focus on the trade (in your case, the General B).

    Now, technically speaking, you don’t have to attend a contractor school like ours. You can simply take the tests without going to any classes, but it is highly recommended that you go to classes because otherwise you may have difficulty passing the tests.

    The trade test will probably be the easier of the two because you already have experience in construction, but the law test may prove more difficult (and is usually the one that contractors struggle with) because it’s written by lawyers and includes topics such as contract law, bonds and liens. Even taxes. Yeah, it’s tough stuff.

    That’s where we come in.
    Our program will provide with the classes and all the materials you’ll need to be able to pass both the tests.

    If you want to attend our classes in-person and go through our program that way, see our locations and times.

    If you don’t live anywhere near our classes, you can always take them online. With our online program, you still get everything you need to pass those tests, sans the in-person classes. But you will be able to access pre-recorded classes online.

    What about bonds?–you may ask.

    Don’t you have to have a bond?

    Other than attending classes and sending off that application in order to take the tests there are a few additional small steps to get your contractors license.

    We have a detailed page about that on our website if you want more info on that.

    Otherwise, you’re good to go.
    Give us a call if you want to set an appointment and sign-up.
    Or enroll for our classes online.
    You can either enroll for the classes at one of our locations, or you can enroll for our online course.

    (800) 659-1207

    Thanks for your time.

    The General Contractor License is one of the most sought-after licenses in the United States and specifically the state of California. That’s because it is one of the most versatile licenses. Anyone licensed with this B trade license can take almost any kind of job out there by hiring a subcontractor or working the project themselves. Unlike a specialty license contractor that must stick to doing work that pertains only to its trade, the general contractor can take projects with multiple trades. This opens the door to all kinds of construction possibilities and a larger pool of opportunities than any other trade. Here is a list of the things a general contractor can do as specified by the state:

    Here’s the definition of the General B Contractor from CSLB themselves (CSLB–the Contractor State License Board, AKA, your future overlords). Now, if you’re confused, CSLB recently split the General B licensed into two license. The new license is called the (B-2) Residential Remodeling Contractor. If that makes no sense to you, call us @ (800) 659-1207.

    Without further ado, here is the def of the General B license:

    Business & Professions Code
    Division 3, Chapter 9. Contractors, Article 4. Classifications

    7057. (a) Except as provided in this section, a general building contractor is a contractor whose principal contracting business is in connection with any structure built, being built, or to be built, for the support, shelter, and enclosure of persons, animals, chattels, or movable property of any kind, requiring in its construction the use of at least two unrelated building trades or crafts, or to do or superintend the whole or any part thereof.

    This does not include anyone who merely furnishes materials or supplies under Section 7045 without fabricating them into, or consuming them in the performance of the work of the general building contractor.

    (b) A general building contractor may take a prime contract or a subcontract for a framing or carpentry project. However, a general building contractor shall not take a prime contract for any project involving trades other than framing or carpentry unless the prime contract requires at least two unrelated building trades or crafts other than framing or carpentry, or unless the general building contractor holds the appropriate license classification or subcontracts with an appropriately licensed specialty contractor to perform the work. A general building contractor shall not take a subcontract involving trades other than framing or carpentry, unless the subcontract requires at least two unrelated trades or crafts other than framing or carpentry, or unless the general building contractor holds the appropriate license classification. The general building contractor may not count framing or carpentry in calculating the two unrelated trades necessary in order for the general building contractor to be able to take a prime contract or subcontract for a project involving other trades.

    (c) No general building contractor shall contract for any project that includes the “C-16” Fire Protection classification as provided for in Section 7026.12 or the “C-57” Well Drilling classification as provided for in Section 13750.5 of the Water Code, unless the general building contractor holds the specialty license, or subcontracts with the appropriately licensed specialty contractor.

    (Amended by Stats. 1997, Chapter 812 (SB 857).)

    According to the California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Division 8, Article 3. Classifications,

    “A communication and low voltage contractor installs, services and maintains all types of communication and low voltage systems which are energy limited and do not exceed 91 volts. These systems include, but are not limited to telephone systems, sound systems, cable television systems, closed-circuit video systems, satellite dish antennas, instrumentation and temperature controls, and low voltage landscape lighting. Low voltage fire alarm systems are specifically not included in this section.”

    The C-7 Contractor’s License is required by installers and technicians etc. who are involved in the process of installing, servicing or maintaining all types of low voltage systems. This license does not allow the licensee to work on low voltage fire alarm systems, fire protection equipment, lock and security equipment and solar equipment.

    How to Get Low Voltage License?

    Low Voltage contractors need a license to practice. For this, they have to follow a certain procedure, pay fees and provide several documents to complete an application and verification process. The licensing requirements vary from state to state. If you need state-specific details, you can check the National Electrical Contractors Association website that lists in detail requirements for each state.

    The following contains requirements for the C7 Low Voltage Contractors License in California.

    California Low Voltage Systems License C-7 Requirements

    You are advised to gather complete information on all relevant matters before beginning. The process itself can be a little complicated, therefore, being sufficiently prepared for it will be of great help. Have a look at the basic criteria you will need to meet and the kind of experience that you might be given credit for:

    • You must be at least 18 years of age or older
    • You must have at least 4 years experience of performing or supervising low voltage work (personal experience is also accepted by the state now)
    • A person with any kind of first-hand knowledge of your experience, such as the homeowner or certain employer, must be able to verify the experience
    • College degree or trade school credits can be counted as up to 3 years of the needed trade experience
    • Obtain the “Application for Original Contractor’s License” from the Contractor’s State Board office or by calling them. You can also download this application from the CSLB website
    • To get the Low Voltage License, you have to pass the Low Voltage Systems Examination along with the Law and Business Exam

    California Low Voltage Systems Contractor Exam C-7 Details

    If you are getting licensed for the first time, you will need to take both the law and trade exams, along with the actual contractor’s exam. The actual contractor’s exam has 100-120 questions, with a time limit of 2-1/2 hours (around 150 minutes). You will require pre-approval from the state to sit for the examination. In addition, bear in mind that you will need at least 70% marks to pass the exam.

    Exam Content

    The content for a C-7 Low Voltage Contractors License Exam includes a number of topics relating to the various aspects of low voltage equipment, their installation, and maintenance and servicing. You will be exposed to topics such as job design and planning, material selections and estimation, wire/cable installation and termination, component installation, testing, troubleshooting, repairing and safety while installing.

    There are several organizations that provide detailed study guides to help applicants prepare for this exam. Even if you are reapplying for a second or third time and have “mastered” the exam content, you’d still be better off preparing for the exam. This is necessary since requirements keep on changing. In addition, low voltage equipment also frequently gets updated.

    Preparing for the Exam

    The first thing you need to do is get your hands on the right kind of study materials. Ideally, you should cover major topics such as basic electrical theory, plan and circuit symbols, electrical materials, low voltage relay circuit, first aid, satellite antenna systems, optic fiber and computer networking processes. You might also want to cover some aspects of the health and safety orders that would be relevant to the low voltage exam and subsequent practice in the field.

    California Low Voltage Systems Contractors C-7 Fees

    To apply for a license, a certain amount of money needs to be paid for processing fees and application charges. The State of California has an initial application fee of $330 for new applicants. The fee amount is the same for contractors who are reapplying for licensure. There is an additional fee ($200) for a two-year license card. Following the approval of your application by the Contractors State License Board, you will be notified regarding your test date and further test-related details. In addition to these, further financial requirements need you to have at least $2,500 in working capital (this can be in cash form or equipment that will need to be verified). Along with these requirements, applicants are also required to file a bond with the Registrar in the amount of $15,000.

    Receiving the C-7 Low Voltage Contractor’s License Certificate

    Once you have successfully passed the examination, you will receive a wall certificate and a pocket license, certifying that you are a licensed C-7 contractor.

    Further Contact Details

    If you have any other queries regarding the license, its requirements, exam, fee structure or application process, following is the address to get in touch with the California State Licensing Board.

    California State Licensing Board

    9821 Business Park Drive

    Sacramento, CA, 95826-0026

    You can also get in touch with them on their website:

    Note: All relevant information and guidelines are provided in great detail on the website. You will find Application for Original Contractor License in PDF – this will guide you through the application process.

    Who Needs A California Contractors License & What Kinds
    Are There?

    In California, anyone who contracts to perform work on a project that is valued at $500 or more for labor and materials must hold a current, valid license from the CSLB.

    The CSLB licenses contractors in 45 different classifications. This ranges from general contractors to swimming pool contractors, landscapers, painters, electricians, plumbers and many more.

    Understanding the difference between a general and specialty contractor.

    General building contractors usually oversee projects and coordinate the specific licensed subcontractors for a job. Specialty or subcontractors are usually hired to perform a single job. For example, if you want only roofing or plumbing work, you may want to hire a contractor licensed in that particular specialty.

    A general building contractor may also contract for specialty work, but must hold a specialty license for that work or actually have a specialty contractor do the work. The only exception is if the job requires more than two types of work on a building. Then it is appropriate for a licensed general building contractor to contract for and oversee the entire project. For example, if a kitchen remodeling will involve plumbing, electrical and carpentry work under one contract, one should hire a licensed general building contractor. Under these circumstances, a general building contractor may perform all of the work on a building, or subcontract parts of the job to contractors with specialty licenses.

    Becoming a licensed contractor is a smart move for the career-minded and savvy entrepreneur. It allows you to perform all sorts of contracted services—from residential renovations and landscape work to welding and security installation—safely and within the parameters of state compliance. Obtaining a California state contractor’s license is a relatively straightforward task that requires in-the-field experience, the passage of an exam, obtaining a bond and a few more minor orders of business. F & G Surety Insurance Company is here to help you navigate the licensure process the right way.

    Who Needs a Contractor’s License in California?

    In the state of California, anyone who contracts to perform work on a project valued at $500 or more, including labor and materials, is required to hold a current, valid license from the Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB). Not only can you legally perform all the tasks associated with general building—such as construction, plumbing, electrical, masonry, carpentry and flooring—but you can also do work in many engineering and specialty fields. Professionals such as pool maintenance specialists, roofers, solar power installers and elevator repair specialists may need to obtain this important license.

    However, not everyone who works in these fields needs a license. Some exemptions include employees who are paid wages and do not work independently as their own business, public employees who work on public projects, owner-builders working on their own property, manufacturers and others. Check with the CSLB if your particular work falls into a gray area and you aren’t sure whether you actually need this license or not.

    How to Get a California Contractor License

    The CSLB will only issue licenses to those who are 18 years or older, have a social security number and are able to prove that they have the skills and experience necessary to properly perform the duties allowed with the license.

    1. Gain Field Experience – The licensing board requires anyone who becomes licensed in the state to prove relevant experience. Before you take your licensure exam, the state has to approve a certification of work experience. The certificate requires applicants to prove that they have at least four years of journeyman-level experience or higher in the classification for which they are applying. You may also obtain credits for education in place of field experience.
    2. Know Which Type of License You Need — There are three types of California contractor licenses: Class A (general engineering), Class B (general building) and class C (specialty). Reference this helpful guide from the CSLB to determine your class. Once you know which type of license you need, you can begin the licensure process and start studying for your exam.
    3. Take Your Licensure Exam – Next, you will be required to take an exam that covers your specific trade and the laws surrounding the trade, issued by the CSLB. All qualifying individuals need to pass the Law and Business exam before seeking licensure. This exam consists of multiple choice questions based on information found in the California Contractors License Law & Reference Book, which you can purchase for about $33. Once you pass the test, you can move on to the next step.
    4. Become Bonded — Before the state will issue you a license, you need to have a $15,000 bond in place. The bond is designed to protect the consumer and provides safeguards if any work was not complete or not done properly. Reference the CSLB’s Contractor’s bond requirements for more information. You’ll also need to obtain liability insurance before you can be licensed.
    5. Get Approved — With all of these steps taken care of, you can complete the Application for Original Contractor’s license from the CSLB. There is a non-refundable $150 fee for the original license and then a renewal fee of $300 every two years. If your application is approved by the board, then you’re ready to start performing professional services in your community!

    Partnering with a company like F & G Surety Insurance Company is one of the best and smartest things you can do on your journey to becoming a licensed and bonded contractor in California. We’re more than happy to help you navigate the process! Our team will electronically file your bond with the CSLB for you! If you’re ready to get started, California state contractor’s license is a relatively straightforward task that requires in-the-field experience, the passage of an exam, request a quote today!

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    Need a professional to help you achieve your landscape dreams? Let the California Landscape Contractors Association help you find the ideal landscape contractor!

    Through word-of-mouth referrals or on-line recommendations (such as CLCA’s Find My Contractor search), you probably have a list of potential professionals.

    Here are some questions to consider to help you find the professional that’s best for you:

    Are They Licensed?

    If your project costs more than $500, the contractor must be licensed by the state of California. To verify a license, use the California State License Board’s Instant License Check or call them at (800) 321-2752.

    Contractors must demonstrate a minimum level of competency and financial responsibility to be licensed. All CLCA member-contractors meet this requirement.

    Many of California’s cities and counties require business licenses.

    The Department of Agriculture requires landscape firms applying pesticides in California to have a pest control license.

    Are They Insured?

    Workers’ compensation insurance protects you in case a worker employed by a contractor is injured on your property.

    General liability insurance protects against not-so-natural disasters. These policies typically offer a minimum coverage of $300,000 to $1 million for residential and at least $1 million for commercial work.

    Automobile insurance provides additional protection when a contractor’s vehicle is involved in an accident on your property.

    Are They Members of the California Landscape Contractors Association?

    Membership in the association demonstrates a commitment by the landscaper to promote the professionalism and creativity of their company and their industry. With on-going education and professional development, CLCA works to ensure that all members provide their clients with a professional and cost-effective landscape experience.

    Do Their References and Portfolio Inspire Confidence?

    Expect to be provided with a reference list and examples of completed projects. Ask to tour projects similar to yours. Visiting a project in progress can be instructive as well. A “track record” of accomplishments can be demonstrated using:

    • Photos of completed projects
    • Letters of appreciation
    • Examples of community work
    • A biography
    • Articles the contractor has written
    • Awards won

    Do You Feel A Connection With The Contractor?

    Your relationship with your landscape and your landscape professional is more than a business arrangement. Guided by your vision and your budget, your landscape professional will transform your landscape into your dreams.

    A landscape contractor may coordinate many specialties to create your landscape, including:

    • Clearing /grading the land
    • Ensuring that there is proper and adequate drainage
    • Creating decks, patios, masonry walls, rockscapes, water features, paving and other creative effects
    • Installing and managing irrigation systems
    • Crafting interiorscapes and specialty gardens
    • Installing lighting for safety and enjoyment
    • Selecting and planting everything from the most delicate of flowers to massive trees
    • Managing your garden to promote environmental health
    • Auditing water use to eliminate waste

    It’s imperative that you and your landscape contractor are able to communicate clearly to make your dreams a reality.

    Are They Certified?

    CLCA Certified Water Managers must pass a written test and complete a rigorous year-long field performance test that documents their ability to use water wisely.

    Landscape Industry Certified Technicians must pass a rigorous written & “hands-on” examination demonstrating a thorough knowledge of installation, maintenance and irrigation.

    How to check a california licensed contractor

    When you hire a general contractor to work in your home, you must be able to trust him or her to complete the job in full and on time. This means you need to be sure that your contractor has the proper license, insurance, and surety bond to complete the task. Use this guide to help you learn more about contractor licensing and how to check a contractor license to ensure it is legit.

    The Basics of Contractor Licesning & How to Check a Contractor License

    If you automatically assume a contractor is licensed or must be licensed to work, you could be mistaken. Each state has its own set of regulations governing what a general contractor needs to work and how to check a contractor license. While most states do regulate contractors in some ways, some states don’t have any licensing laws, and even individual cities or counties can have their own laws.

    At its most basic definition, a license means the contractor has registered with the agency and holds a minimum amount of bonding or insurance. Some cities, such as New York City, base their laws on a dollar amount. In the case of NYC, anything that costs more than $200 must be done by a city-licensed professional.

    There are also trade-specific licenses and laws that regulate contractors in many areas. In many areas, a general contractor cannot perform certain tasks, such as electrical work, plumbing jobs, or HVAC tasks. If your job requires work of this caliber, you’ll likely need to hire a specialist in addition to your general contractor, so you’ll want to know how to check a contractor license.

    The Breakdown of Contract Licensing Terminology

    As you search for the right general contractor and learn how to check a contractor license, it helps to understand the terminology. Learning the definitions below will help you determine if a contractor has the right qualifications to meet your needs.

    Bonded

    When a contractor is bonded, he or she has a private bond issues by an insurer or licensing municipality. If the contractor fails to complete his or her job to your specifications, you can petition to the bond issuer for reimbursement.

    Insured

    An insured contractor is essential if you want to protect your property during the job. Always ask for proof of insurance, such as a certificate, and then call the provider to check that the policy is up to date and will cover your project.

    Licensed

    A general contractor who works on large projects in your home should have a valid trade license that meets local or state regulations. Contractors who have a license have typically had to take certain classes and pass competency tests plus prove they have an insurance policy.

    Registered

    A registered contractor hasn’t gone through as much training as a licensed contractor but does still pay a fee and must prove he or she is insured. Some registered contractors are required to be bonded as well. Keep in mind that some locales use the terms “licensed” and “registered” interchangeably.

    The Importance of Insurance

    Preferably, your contractor will be bonded and have insurance. At the very least, he or she should have liability and workers’ compensation coverage. Liability insurance protects your property and your family or friends in case the contractor or subcontractors cause damage or injury during their jobs. Workers’ compensation is another essential policy. This policy ensures that workers who are injured on the job have access to compensation for lost wages and medical services. If your contractor doesn’t have coverage for this, you could be on the hook for the expenses, especially if your homeowner’s policy isn’t substantial enough for these types of situations.

    The Importance of Bonding

    Although bonding is not always required, it is still important. A surety bond protects you if your contractor fails to complete the job, doesn’t pay for permits, avoids paying his or her subcontractors, and so on. Without a surety bond, you could be on the hook for any bills a contractor doesn’t pay.

    It helps to know how a surety bond works. When a contractor purchases one, he or she must pay premiums, much like a traditional insurance policy. The premium depends on the amount of the bond as well as the contractor’s history. Should you decide you need compensation from the bond, you’ll need to contact the provider of the bond and show proof that the contractor didn’t finish his or her job according to the agreement. To figure out how to check a contractor license, ensure your contractor is bonded by asking for the certification and bond number before signing a work contract.

    How to Find Properly Licensed Contractors

    When the time comes for you to find a contractor, the Better Business Bureau will help you learn how to check a contractor license. A BBB-Accredited Business must have proof that they are licensed, bonded, and insured. However, don’t just rely on BBB information. Be sure to ask for proof in person as well.

    Billy.com is another great starting point. The website provides information on how to check a contractor license, a list of local contractors’ licenses and insurance, as well as consumer ratings, reviews, and references. This makes it easier for homeowners like yourself to wade through the list without needing to call each one individually.

    Finally, don’t be afraid to ask around the neighborhood. Talk to friends or family members who have had renovations done on their home in recent years, or even ask around on your neighborhood’s Facebook group, if it has one.

    How to Check a Contractor License

    If you aren’t sure how to check a contractor license or where to begin, you have several options. Beyond checking the Better Business Bureau, you can ask for a potential contractor’s trade license number and proof of bonding or other insurance. After you have the necessary information, you can visit your state’s licensing board website to verify the license. Keep in mind that not all information will be online, so you may need to call or even visit the office in person.

    Once you settle on a contractor who meets all the legal requirements to work on your home, ensure you keep copies of his or her paperwork, including the contract, all communication, and proof of payment. This will be helpful in case you run into a problem.