Getting California contractor licensing sounds simple enough. However, a quick look at the process will tell you it’s more complicated than it first appears. For starters, there are four separate contractor licenses in the state of California — and that’s not to mention the dozens of classifications that fall under each license type.
Fortunately, The Licensing Company LLC is here to simplify the information for you. Below, we have outlined each license type so our friends in the Golden State can determine which is best for the work they plan to do.
1. Class “A” (General Engineering Contractor)
Class “A” is the best license for anyone who wants to perform these kinds of projects:
- Land leveling
- Concrete or cement work
Essentially, any large-scale or industrial type project is covered under this category. So, if you plan to build overpasses or construct power plants, you will need a Class “A” license.
2. Class “B” (General Building Contractor)
A Class “B” license gives you free rein to build any kind of structure that is meant to house people, animals, or movable property. This makes it great for home builders, commercial constructors, garage builders, and so on. It also covers a range of basic construction projects.
3. Class “B-2” (Residential Remodeling Contractor)
If you plan to remodel homes rather than build them from the ground up, a Class “B-2” license should be a great fit. This license will allow you to work with drywall, insulation, finish carpentry, tiling, siding, roofing materials, and more.
However, you will not be able to perform any work that makes structural alterations. As such, altering a load-bearing wall, installing a plumbing or electric system, and replacing an HVAC system will all be outside of your wheelhouse.
4. Class “C” (Specialty Contractor)
There are more than 40 specializations that fall under a Class “C” license. They include everything from landscaping to masonry, plumbing, and electrical. You can opt for one, two, or all forty-two if you have the time to meet all the California contractor licensing requirements.
You’ve Selected a License Type, Now What?
Once you have a good idea of which license class works for you, it’s time to move forward to the next step. Fortunately, the basic requirements for licensing remain the same across all four classes. To apply for a license, you must:
- Be older than eighteen
- Have the needed skills and experience to perform construction work
- Have four years of verifiable experience within the field of construction you plan to apply for
- Qualify for a minimum $15,000 bond
If you meet these qualifications, applying for a license is the next step. The License Company LLC will help you secure the federal, state, or local licensing you have in mind. Of course, you will also need to pay several hundred dollars in fees. From there, you will be able to perform as much work as you are able to perform until it is time to renew your license. Active California contractor licensing expires every two years.