Friday, December 8, 2023

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Books & Classes for your Contractor's License

California Contractor License Qualifier

Each license requires a qualifier who directly supervises and controls the construction operations conducted under the license. This person must be at least 18 years old and have four years of at least journey-level work experience in the last 10 years in the classification (specific trade) being applied for. The qualifier will need to take and pass the required exam(s) before CSLB can issue a license.
If you don’t meet these minimum qualifications, apply for a California Contractor License once you do. In the meantime, to work legally you must either choose someone else who meets the requirements to act as the qualifier or work for a licensed contractor until you meet the requirements
For more information review A Guide to Becoming a California Licensed Contractor.

Qualifier Information

If The Qualifier Needs To Take One Or Both Licensing Exams

  • You may apply for only one classification at a time. After CSLB issues your license, you may apply for any additional classifications.
  • Submit the application, the non-refundable application processing fee of $330, and all required application documents (do not submit any bonds or the initial license fee with your application) to:
    Contractors State License Board
    P.O. Box 26000
    Sacramento, CA 95826
  • After the qualifier passes the exam(s), CSLB will send information about how to submit the $200 initial license fee and other required documents (bonds, proof of workers’ compensation insurance, etc.) before we can issue a license. Please submit all of the required documents together to avoid delays. CS

If The Qualifier Does Not Need To Take An Exam

  • You may submit an original application for more than one classification at a time if you meet the statutory requirements for a waiver.
  • Submit an application and the application fees. (You may submit the $330 application processing fee and $200 initial license fee, in addition to $75 for each additional classification at this time) to:
    Contractors State License Board
    P.O. Box 26000
    Sacramento, CA 95826

The following items are required before CSLB can issue an active license

  • A contractor bond, or equivalent, in the business name of the applicant. Also, if appropriate, a bond of qualifying individual or exemption statement for each responsible managing officer or responsible managing employee (the bond of qualifying individual must be in the names of the qualifying individuals and the business). Learn more about bonds at (search: bonds).
  • Proof of workers’ compensation insurance or exemption (if you have no employees, you must submit an exemption certificate). Learn more about workers’ compensation at (search: workers’ compensation).
  • If the license is qualified by a responsible managing employee, the qualifier is considered an employee, and workers’ compensation insurance is required. An exemption certificate should not be submitted.
  • All C-39 Roofing contractors must carry workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of whether or not they have employees

Who is the qualifier?

A “qualifier” is the person listed in CSLB records who meets the experience and exam requirements for the license. A qualifier is required for every classification on each license CSLB issues.

What is the qualifier required to do?

The qualifier for a license must take and pass all required exams, as well as undergo a criminal background check. After the license is issued, the qualifier is responsible for exercising direct supervision and control of the employer’s (or principal’s) construction operations.

Who can be a qualifier?

  • Sole ownership license: Either the owner or a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) may serve as a qualifier.
  • Partnership license: Either one of the general partners (who shall be designated the qualifying partner) or an RME may serve as the qualifier.
  • Corporate license: Either one of the current officers listed in CSLB records for the license (who shall be designated the responsible managing officer, or RMO) or an RME may serve as the qualifier.
  • Limited liability company license: A responsible managing member, responsible managing manager, RMO, or RME may serve as the qualifier

If the qualifier is an RME, they must be a bona fide employee of the firm and may not be the qualifier on any other active CSLB license. The RME must be permanently employed by the firm and actively engaged in the operation of the contracting business at least 32 hours per week or 80 percent of the total business operating hours per week, whichever is less.

Can the same person serve as the qualifier for more than one active license?

Yes. But only if one of the following conditions exists:

  • There is common ownership of at least 20 percent of the equity of each firm for which they act as the qualifier; or
  • The additional firm is a subsidiary of, or a joint venture with, the first firm (the parent company must have a CSLB license); or
  • In the case of partnerships, corporations, or LLCs the majority of partners, officers, or members/managers are the same for each firm.

Even if one of the above conditions exists, a person may act as the qualifier for no more than three firms in any one-year period.

Will a criminal conviction prevent someone from obtaining a contractor license or serving as a qualifier?

Not necessarily. CSLB may deny a license if the criminal conviction is substantially related to the duties, functions, and qualifications of a contractor. However, even under such circumstances, CSLB may issue a license if the individual has demonstrated sufficient rehabilitation.


# Tayla 2023-05-06 20:57
Thanks for finally writing about >What do I need to know about the California Contractor License
# Claudia Soto 2023-05-08 10:15
Hello Tayla,
Thank you so much for your comment. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 866-986-7978 if you have any questions or concerns!
# D Soto 2023-07-08 01:22
Can an active local union member be a qualifier without penalty from his union?
# Sharilyn Baez 2023-07-12 16:33
Good Afternoon D,
Generally, no, but to make sure you want to check your union's bylaws or consult with your union's leadership to confirm.
# Braeden 2023-10-09 00:27
I currently work for a resort and have been working with pools for 3 years so I don’t meet the experience requirements on my own. I am looking to start my own pool business on the side. But would like to obtain a license first.

However my boss has held multiple licenses in the past and has supervised me for two years. Would he be able to be the qualified individual for my company’s license?
# Sofía M. 2023-11-20 15:33
Hello Braeden,

As you mentioned, even though you have valuable experience working with pools, you still need to meet the individual experience requirements for a California Contractor License. In this case, it is promising that your boss has been a holder of multiple licenses and overseen your work. In California, having a qualified individual with the necessary experience to act as a qualifier for your company's license is a common practice.

Given their past licensure and supervisory role over you, your boss could serve as the qualified individual for your pool business's license. However, ensuring that your boss meets the specific experience criteria outlined by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) in California is essential. Reviewing the CSLB guidelines and consulting with them directly to confirm eligibility and ensure a smooth application process for your pool business license is recommended.

Below, we will share with you an official link with the Board's contact information details:
# Aida 2023-10-11 13:25
Hi: How do I know if my contractor is working under a different person as a qualifier?
# Natalia Espinosa 2023-10-13 14:03
Hello Aida,
We are a construction school and bookstore; we offer the books and classes to prepare you for your Contractor License. We recommend that you contact the DBPR to confirm that information. Down below, I will provide you with a link to their contact information.

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