Monthly Archives: December 2022

The Quickest Way To Get Your California Contractor’s License

A California contractor license is necessary to do any construction work in California that costs more than $500. In reality, almost every construction job in the state requires you to have a contractor’s license.

Here’s our guide to getting your CSLB contractor license as soon as possible.

California Contractor’s License 3-step Guide
Getting your CSLB license takes 3 steps.

  1. Apply for a license
  2. Pass the CSLB examination
  3. Pay your fees & submit paperwork

It’s that easy. Below you can find everything you need to get your license as soon as possible!

What kind of license do I need?
In California, you need a contractor license to do any work that costs more than $500. 

The easiest kind of contractor’s license is a Class “B” Contractor’s License. This license allows you to do general contracting work. 

There are also licenses for specialty contracting work called a Class “C” Contractor’s License. These are for jobs like plumbing or electrical.

In order to be licensed, you need to have 4 years’ journey-level experience and to pass the CSLB examination. 

Who is responsible for giving out licenses?
The Contractors State Licensing Board, or CSLB, is the agency responsible for giving out contractor licenses.

In order to be a general contractor in California, you have to go through the process the CSLB has created.

The most important thing the CSLB does is the CSLB exam. This 2-part exam verifies a contractor’s skills and ensures safe, quality construction work in California.

Where can I get my license?
In order to pass the CSLB examination and become a licensed contractor, you need to take the examination. This examination is only available in person and cannot be taken online. 

It can also be taken at home or at your place of work, but you need special permission from the CSLB for this, which can add time to getting your license.

In order to submit your application, you need to send your application to the CSLB headquarters at the following address:

CSLB Headquarters
Contractors State License Board
P.O. Box 26000
Sacramento, CA 95826-0026

You can take the CSLB examination in the following cities: Berkeley, Fresno, Norwalk, Oxnard, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, and San Jose.

How long does it take to get my contractor’s license?
You can take the CSLB examination at any time, but you need to schedule your examination in advance.

Once you take your test, it takes roughly 1 month for you to receive your results (as of December 2022).

From start to finish, the whole process from application to receiving your license currently takes about 4-6 weeks.  

How do I start my contracting business in California?
The quickest way to get started is to schedule a time to take the CSLB examination. 

To do so, go to the CSLB website – – and submit an application for your CSLB contractor license.

You’ll receive your examination information, then it’s up to you to pass the test and get your license. 

Passing the CSLB examination the first time is the quickest and cheapest way to get your CSLB license. Every time you fail the exam, it costs $100 to re-take the exam – not to mention the money lost from waiting to take it again.

Let CSLS help you pass the exam the first time with our CSLB examination courses. We can teach you everything you need to get your contractor’s license as quickly as possible – so you can start your contracting business today!

How Much Does It Cost To Be a Certified Contractor in California?

In order to get your contractor license in California, you need to be 18 years old, have 4 years experience of journey-level work, you need to pass the CSLB exams and you have to pay all the associated fees to the CSLB.

While the process to become a California general contractor is simple, there are fees you have to pay in order to legally perform contracting work in California.

Here’s everything you’ll need to pay for to become a contractor certified by the CSLB.

CSLB Exam Fees
The first fees you face when applying for your CSLB license are for the CSLB exam.

It is $450 to take the test to get your CSLB license. This is called the Original Application fee and you have to pay it to become a CSLB certified contractor. 

This fee only applies to one exam and each exam applies to one specific classification, so if you do specialist work that requires a specialist license, you will need to pay this fee twice.

For example, if you are an HVAC specialist contractor, you will have to pay for both the general exam and the HVAC exam in order to do HVAC work in California.

If you fail, you have to pay a $100 Re-Examination fee for every time you want to re-take the exam (in addition to the time it takes to schedule and review your examination). If you fail the exam, the costs add up quickly.

License Fees
Once you pass the exam, there are a number of additional fees you will have to pay to receive your license and start working as a general contractor.

The first one is an Initial License Fee, which is $200 if you are the Sole Owner of your business. If you are a partner in a business, you will have to pay $350 for your CSLB license.

You will also have to pay $32 for the Fingerprinting Fee (a background check) and the FBI Processing Fee of $17. 

Contractor’s Bonds
The final hurdle for getting your CSLB contractor license is to supply a proof of a Contractor’s Bond to the CSLB. 

Contractor’s Bonds are like insurance – you pay a fee in order to be covered financially in the case of a disaster or similar scenario.

In order to be a CSLB-certified California Contractor, you must give the CSLB proof that you have contractor’s bonds worth $25,000. 

Contractor’s bonds will cost you $60 to $600. How much your bonds cost will depend on your credit score.

How much does it cost in total to become a contractor?
In total, it will cost you somewhere in the range of $700 to $1500 to get your Class “B” License and become a California general contractor.

Specialist contractors like electricians, plumbers and masons require a Class “C” license – which requires you to do the entire process all over, making it doubly expensive. Expect to pay $1200 to $2000 for a Class “C” License.

Those costs can rise, too – it costs $100 every time you fail the CSLB test. Save time and money with CSLS’s contractor license courses. Our expert guidance will make sure you pass the test the first time, so you can start making more money right away.