Licensing Mistakes That Can Continue to Haunt You

Red x next to Incorrect

What can contractors do to stay vigilant and avoid these scary outcomes?

November 28, 2022
Alexa Stephenson & Rick Seely - Kahana Feld

Today there are nearly 290,000 contractors licensed in California. This number continues to grow as California law requires businesses or individuals who alter any road or structure to be licensed contractors if the total cost of the project is $500 or more (including labor and materials). Complaints about improper and defective work performed by contractors are constantly filed with the California Contractors State License Board (“CSLB”) and any violations by those contractors could result in a license suspension. A contractor whose license is suspended by the CSLB or otherwise becomes unlicensed jeopardizes a contractor’s livelihood, compromises current insurance policies, and curtails an ability to obtain future insurance coverage. Moreover, being unlicensed could force a contractor to disgorge all money received on a project per California Business & Professions Code § 7031. What can contractors do to stay vigilant and avoid these scary outcomes? Stay tuned for a few suggestions.

1. Stay Qualified
Contractors must make sure the correct person and/or entity is holding the contractor’s license. Contractors can obtain licenses as a sole owner, partnership, corporation, joint venture, or limited liability company. For any form of the business entity, one individual must act as qualifier to meet the CLSB license requirements. This qualifying individual must have the knowledge, experience, and skills to manage the daily activities of a construction business (including field supervision) or be represented by someone else with at least four years of experience within the past ten years as an unsupervised journeyperson, foreperson, supervising employee, or contractor in the trade being applied for.

Reprinted courtesy of Alexa Stephenson, Kahana Feld and Rick Seely, Kahana Feld
Ms. Stephenson may be contacted at astephenson@kahanafeld.com
Mr. Seely may be contacted at rseely@kahanafeld.com



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