In my 30 years of experience in the contracting field, these are the top ten questions that
new contractors have regarding the industry and the licensing process.
|1. IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR NEW CONTRACTORS?|
It’s the law that any construction project priced over $500 total labor and materials requires that the contractor be licensed in the trade or occupation of the work. To qualify for a license, a contractor must be able to verify at least four years journey-level experience in the craft, pass a comprehensive trade and license law examination, and meet operating capital, bonding, and workers’ comp. requirements.
|A licensed contractor must be 18 years of age or older and have the experience and skills necessary to manage daily activities of a construction business, including field supervision, or be represented by a qualifying individual with the necessary experience and skills.|
|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 if the total cost (labor and materials) of one or more contracts on the project is $500 or more. Contractors must be licensed before submitting bids.|
|At least four years of journey-level experience is required to qualify for the exam. Credit is given for experience as a journeyman, foreman, supervising employee, contractor, or owner-builder.|
|There are NO education requirements to qualify for a contractor’s license. You may receive credit for technical training, apprenticeship training, or education instead of a portion of the required four years of practical experience. At least one year must be practical experience.|
|Yes, the qualifying individual for a contractor’s license is required to pass written law and trade examinations, unless he or she meets the requirements for a waiver. An examination notice will be sent at least three weeks prior to the examination date.|
|All applicants other than those applying for a joint venture license, must have more than $2,500 worth of operating capital. Also, a contractor’s bond or cash deposit in the amount of $12,500 is required. The CSLB does not issue bonds.|
|All contractors who have employees are required to present proof of workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Contractors who do not have employees working for them will be required to file a certificate of exemption.|
|In addition to the financial requirements that must be met, it costs $250 for an original application fee (non refundable) and $150 for the initial license fee for one classification. The license must be renewed every two years. Currently, the renewal fee is $300.|
|Obtain an Application for Original Contractor’s License from any office of the Contractors State License Board. To order or download an application form, visit our Web site, www.cslb.ca.gov. You can also call the CSLB’s 24-hour automated public information line, (800) 321-CSLB (2752); |
or write to us at CSLB, P.O. Box 26000, Sacramento, CA 95826 to request an application.
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