How To Get Your California Contractor’s License

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Obtaining a contractor’s license provides you a competitive edge since you may sell yourself as a reliable partner to potential clients. It’s an indication that you’ve received state permission and possess the essential expertise. We’ll walk you through the steps of obtaining your California contractor license.

While you can execute work for jobs paying less than $500 as an unregistered contractor, being licensed is a smart business decision that will allow you to take on big projects and earn your clients’ confidence.


The Path To Your California Contractor’s License

‍So, how do you go about getting your California Contractor’s license? First, you need to research and understand the contractor licenses available in California. The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) of the California Department of Consumer Affairs issues them.

The following are the many types of general contractor licenses:

Class A: General Engineering Contractor—engineering and technical experts, for bigger projects requiring the services of at least two trade specialists.

Class B: General Building Contractor—a general builder who can recruit subcontractors and specialty contractors.

Class C: Specialty Contractors are contractors that specialize in a certain field.

You can pick from 43 distinct Class C subclassifications, each of which corresponds to a different trade. Carpentry professionals, HVAC experts, roofing technicians, electricians, outdoor pool contractors, and other professionals fall into this category. Regardless of the application class, you’ll need to provide at a minimum:

  • ‍You must provide proof that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN)or Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Information about the business’s owners and its legal entity
  • Form for Qualifying Individual Certificate of Work Experience

There’s still some work to be done once you submit your application form to the State of California. You’ll also need to do the following:

  • Fingerprinting is required.
  • Successfully complete the state test
  • You will then need to visit and obtain a surety bond of $15,000.
  • If you’re going to hire individuals, get workers’ compensation insurance or an exemption if you’re not going to hire anyone.
  • Contractors in California must have a certain amount of professional expertise.

You must have at least four years of experience in the area as either a journeyperson, foreperson, or supervisory employee. This can’t be older than ten years. Verification of experience is required.

The contractor applicant on your enrollment request must provide proof of experience. You may be able to claim up to 3 years of experience in the construction business if you have finished training at a recognized institution or an apprenticeship program. You’ll need to add the names of instructors or experts who can verify your education or professional experience.

If you have armed services experience and training, you may be able to earn credit for satisfying this criterion. You’ll need to bring all of your essential documents and transcripts with you. Fill out and submit your application. You can accomplish this either electronically or by writing it to the following address:

California Contractors State License Board

P.O. Box 26000

Sacramento, CA 95826


Don’t Forget The Fees

You’ll have to pay the following fees:

Once you’ve been authorized, you’ll pay a $330 application cost and a $200 licensing charge for a two-year term. In addition, you’ll need to pay a $75 licensing cost for any additional licenses you’re requesting for.

The overall cost of obtaining California contractor certification will be $530 if you apply for one.

Exam Time

You’ll receive a notification to Appear for Examination once your application is complete. You’ll have around three weeks until the exam—enough time to prepare!

It’s now time to pass the California Law and Business Test. Safety training, project contractual arrangements, and budgeting and money are just a few of the subjects discussed.‍

Do you want to apply for a specialized license? This requires you to fill out a questionnaire.

You’ll also need to pass a trading test. This is required for specialist contractor licenses in electrical, roofer, HVAC, and other fields. You may be eligible for an equivalence exemption for the trade test if you have a similar contractor’s certification in Arizona, Louisiana, Nevada, or Utah.

Once you pass the test, The Board will grant your license. Within one week, you will receive your license and card. Then you’re all set to begin working as a qualified contractor.

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