Apart from being a compulsory requirement of the law, having a contractor license increases your chances of winning a project bid in California State. Depending on your line of business, your California contractor license will be issued under any of these three business and professional code classifications: A Class, B Class, or C Class.
Classification A: General Engineering Contractor: 7056
You will be classified under this category if your main contracting business is in connection with fixed works that require specialized engineering skill and knowledge. This includes the individuals and businesses in divisions like drainage, irrigation, flood control, water supply, and inland waterways, harbors, docks and wharves. Others are shipyards and ports, dams, reclamations, works, railroads, etc.
Classification B: General Building Contractor: 7057
A general building contractor is someone whose contracting business relates to a structure being built or modified. You will need this classification if the project requires two or more different trades or types of subcontractors. As a general contractor with this California license code, you may also take a subcontract or prime contract for carpentry or framing project.
Classification C: Specialty Contractor: 7058
The California Class C license code is for specialty contractors who are into crafts or trades that do not fall within the scope of a general contractor. Such include those who engage in services and testing of fire extinguishing systems, installation and laying of resilient floor covering, carpets, linoleum, etc. Those who specialized in roofing, plumbing, concrete, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) will also be under this category.
Eligibility for California Contractor License
California contractor licenses are issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board. To become a licensed contractor, you will need to be at least 18 years old, present evidence of $15,000 bond, and be a citizen or legal resident in the United States. Other requirements include fingerprint screening as part of the criminal record background check. Additionally, you must pass the basic license examination or qualify for a waiver.
Getting Additional Classification
Additional classification is allowed if you have an existing license. You can add any of the three above classification to the already existing license, provided you have the skill set for the intended additional category and meet the examination requirements. You may also remove a classification from your license if you feel it is no more needed. Keep in mind that to re-add a removed classification to your license, you will need to reapply for it with a fee.
Other Licensure Application Types
Apart from the above three classes, there are other trades that require certifications. If you perform any of the following along with your specialization, you will need to get them, more like additional classification to your existing license:
- Home Improvement Salesperson (HIS)
- Asbestos Contracting Works
- Hazardous Substance Removal and Remedial Actions Work