Do Home Improvement Salespeople Need a Contractor’s License in California? A Complete Guide


Looking to start selling home improvement contracts? You’re gonna need a CSLB license for that.

In this article, we’ll take a look at CSLB licenses for home improvement salespeople (or HIS): what they are, who needs them, and how you can get one right now.

What Is A Home Improvement Salesperson (HIS)?

So what is a home improvement salesperson or HIS? Well, quite simply, it’s a person who sells home improvement services on behalf of a contractor or contracting business.

According to the CSLB, a home improvement salesperson is a “professional who solicits, sells, negotiates, or executes home improvement contracts for a licensed contractor.” This includes any home improvement or remodeling job – even those that are under $500 in value!

Really, any task or job that requires the construction contractor to have a B-2 Remodeling Contractor’s license is a service that a HIS can sell. Whether a homeowner is looking to, say, install a new bathtub or build a patio, the HIS is their pathway to finding someone to do the job. While home improvement salespeople can’t do any builds themselves, they do 99% of the work when it comes to booking jobs for home improvement contractors.

Many HIS are in-house employees of contractors, and many work freelance with different contractors. There’s no right way to operate – freelancers may bring in even more commission by expanding their client base, but they also expose themselves to long periods of financial insecurity.

So now that you know what an HIS is, let’s dig into the license!

HIS License Registration Requirements And Regulations

If you’re looking to become an HIS quickly – and start selling home improvement services in your neck of the woods – you’re in luck! Working as an HIS can be extremely lucrative in the incredibly wealthy state of California and getting started is remarkably easy – especially compared to other contractor-related professions. All you need to do is get your CSLB HIS license.

Every person who sells home improvement services – no matter when, where, how or why – must be registered with the CSLB and have a valid CSLB HIS license. There are no exceptions to this – unlike contracting jobs under $500 – so, too do home improvement salespeople.

The good news is getting your HIS license is extremely easy, especially by CSLB standards. You only need two things to get your CSLB HIS license, so you can start working with contractors to book them jobs (and collect your sweet, sweet commission). These are:

  1. Be at least 18 years old
  2. Submit an application to the CSLB for your license

That’s it! You only need to be a legal adult for you to get your HIS license and start knocking on doors.

Do I Need A Contractor’s License To Be A Home Improvement Salesperson?

No, you do not need a contractor’s license to sell home improvement services in California. As we’ve discussed – you only need a CSLB Home Improvement Salesperson’s license to be an HIS in California.

While many B-2 Home Improvement contractor’s license holders may want to get their HIS license in order to book their jobs directly, the reverse is rarely true – most home improvement salespeople do not acquire a contractor’s license.

Exceptions to the Rule

Although all people who sell home improvement services technically need a CSLB HIS license, there are some exceptions, as always with the CSLB.

Anyone who falls under the following situations is exempt from needing a CSLB license:

  1. An officer of record of a licensed corporation, or a manager, member, or officer of record of a licensed limited liability company
  2. A general partner listed on the license record of a partnership
  3. A qualifying person, as defined in BPC section 7025
  4. A salesperson whose sales are all made after negotiations between the parties if the negotiations are initiated by the prospective buyer at or with a general merchandise retail establishment that operates from a fixed location where goods or services are offered for sale
  5. A person who contacts the prospective buyer for the exclusive purpose of scheduling appointments for a registered home improvement salesperson.
  6. A bona fide service repairperson who is employed by a licensed contractor and whose repair or service call is limited to the service, repair, or emergency repair initially requested by the buyer of the service

4 Steps To Getting Your HIS License

The registration process for a home improvement salesperson has been streamlined thanks to the CSLB’s online interactive forms. The whole process takes place online now and it can all be done in a matter of minutes, provided you have the right information.

Here’s 4 Steps to getting your HIS license:

Step 1: Gather all the information and details you need to apply. This includes your driver’s license to prove your age and identity, and

Step 2: Apply for your HIS registration. Fill this out right – the CSLB rejects over HALF of HIS applications, adding weeks or months to the time it takes to get your license.

Step 3: Fingerprint/Live Scan/Background Check. If you have anything on your criminal record, it will come up here. You may be disqualified from a CSLB HIS license – it really is up to the CSLB.

Step 4: Receive your license! You did it! Now you can start selling home improvement services in California!

Learn more about the process of getting your HIS license on the CSLB website.

The Key Differences Between a HIS License and a Contractor’s License

Home improvement salespeople and contractors have a mutually beneficial relationship, but the differences in expertise, safety compliance, and general skillset between the two could not be bigger.

The HIS license is the easiest CSLB license to get, for the following reasons:

  • No experience requirement (4 years journeyman experience for contractors)
  • No insurance or bond requirement
  • No CSLB exam
  • Cheaper fees
  • Less severe penalties for non-compliant work


If you’re an HIS in California and you don’t have your HIS license – well, what are you waiting for?

The CSLB has made being a licensed HIS easier than passing your driver’s test, and the turnaround time for you to receive your license is even quicker and easier.

Quit wasting time and get your HIS license now!

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About CSLS

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit and tuned for more informative posts.