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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>We are a water/mold restoration company in California. We do light demo work, set containment, and run and monitor equipment. We do not modify anything structural and we do not do any construction to rebuild the home. I have been told by everyone in the industry that a contractor's license is not required. Is that the case, or is one required?

We are a water/mold restoration company in California. We do light demo work, set containment, and run and monitor equipment. We do not modify anything structural and we do not do any construction to rebuild the home. I have been told by everyone in the industry that a contractor's license is not required. Is that the case, or is one required?

CaliforniaMechanics Lien

I would like to lien properties when we are having trouble getting paid for the work we do, but I obviously don't want to lien a property if we are required to have a license for what we do. I've been told we don't need a contractor's license for what we do in CA, but then I saw an old posting stating that a restoration company in Northern CA got fined for not having a license. Our work consists of light demolition to surface-level materials (drywall, base/trim, cabinets, flooring, countertops, etc.), disconnecting appliances and plumbing (ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators, toilets, sinks, washer/dryer, etc.), and other services like putting up plastic containment, running and monitoring drying equipment, etc. What we don't do is any work to rebuild the property, we do not re-connect appliances or plumbing, and we don't do any demo on anything structural (studs in walls, shear wall, roofs, etc.). Is a contractor's license required to do what we do in California?

1 reply

Jan 7, 2019
That's a great question. First, it's worth mentioning California's "minor work" exception. In California, if a project's cost does not exceed $500, no licensure is required. Note, though, that this refers to the price of the overall project - and just because a claimant's portion of the work does not exceed $500 doesn't mean the whole project is less than $500. Further, California is home to an eye-popping number of licensing regulations. Performing work that falls under the description of one of the license requirements could result in penalty. To name a few, any party performing work on insulation (C-2), cabinetry (C-6), drywall (C-9), flooring (C-15), painting and decorating (C-33), or lathing and plastering (C-35) may need to be licensed in order to perform that specific work - even in a situation where the contractor's overall role does not neatly fit into a specific license classification. The California Contractors State License Board has a helpful resource that breaks down every license type, and you can find it here: Description of Classifications. Further, this resource may also help: California Contractors License and the CLSB: Understanding the Rules
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