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 more than 44 different classifications. This ranges from general contractors to swimming pool contractors, landscapers, painters, electricians, plumbers, and many more.
- Must be 18 years old
- Applicants are required to provide their U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
- To qualify you must have had, within the ten (10) years immediately before the filing of the application, at least four (4) full years of experience at a journey-level, or as a foreman, supervisor, employee, or contractor in the classification for which he or she is applying.
IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR YOUR CALIFORNIA CONTRACTOR’S LICENSE, YOU MUST MEET THE STATE’S REQUIREMENTS FOR ACCEPTABLE SUPPORTING EXPERIENCE DOCUMENTATION
Sole Owner Application Fees:
- Application Fees Single classification………. $450
- Initial license fee (sole owner) …………………$200
Total fees required (sole owner) ……………$650
Non-Sole Owner Application Fees:
- Application Fees Single classification………..$450
- Initial license fee (non-sole owner) ………… $350
Total fees required (non-sole owner) ……..$800
*The initial license fees can be paid after the successful completion of your exam.
*All CSLB Fees are subject to change
Yes, the CSLB started issuing licenses to LLCs on 1/1/2013.
*LLCs do have additional bonding requirements
Yes. It is your responsibility to file a contractor’s bond or cash deposit with the
Registrar in the amount of $15,000. In addition, you must submit a separate Bond of Qualifying Individual or cash deposit in the amount of $12,500 for the Responsible Managing Employee (RME) or the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO). However, the CSLB may grant an exemption from the requirement to file a Bond of Qualifying Individual if the RMO certifies that he or she owns 10 percent or more of the voting stock or equity of the corporation for which he or she is to serve as the qualifying individual.
If you have an (LLC), a separate $100,000 surety bond is required (in addition to the $12,500 contractor bond) for the benefit of any employee or worker damaged by the LLC’s failure to pay wages, interest on wages, or fringe benefits, as well as other contributions.
All LLC licenses are required to have liability insurance in the amount that is not less than $1 million dollars or more than $5 million dollars. The amount is determined based on the number of personnel of record on the license.
*CSLB bonding requirements are subject to change
All contractors are required to present proof of workers’ compensation insurance coverage as a condition of licensure, or to maintain an active license or to activate an inactive license, unless they are exempt from this requirement. Contractors who do not have employees working for them (except C-39 Roofing licensees) are exempt from the requirement for workers’ compensation insurance, but they are required to file a certification of this exemption with the Registrar. If the license is qualified by an RME, an exemption certificate cannot be submitted because the RME is an employee.
*All Roofing (C-39) contractors must carry worker’s compensation regardless of whether they have employees.
*CSLB Workers Comp requirements are subject to change
* Fees increased effective 01/01/2022 – $230 application fee.
You can find more information about each individual classification by clicking here.
You may receive credit for technical training, apprenticeship training, or education instead of a portion of the required four years of practical experience. You will still be required to have at least one year of practical experience. You must provide written documentation of any training or education claimed in place of experience and credit will depend on the courses and/or degree you have attained. Acceptable documentation includes copies of apprenticeship certificates and sealed college transcripts. Please call for additional information and how this would apply to your particular past educational experience.
There are two parts to the exam:
- Law and Business: 3.5-hour computerized exam, multiple-choice
- Trade Portion: 3.5-hour computerized exam, multiple-choice related to your specific trade