CSLB Web Release www.CSLB.ca.gov shares the latest news regarding the legal necessity for Contractors to operate with a California Contractors License. Here at Contractors State License Services our mantra is to share the news and events that effect our prospective students and students. Just this month alone we continue to see more and more news of targets on illegal operators. In this case the CSLB stings another ten for violating California contracting laws. These news bites further illustrate the need for a valid Contractors License.
CSLB Takes the Cake for Sting Targeting Illegal Operators
Ten headed to court for violations of California contracting laws
SACRAMENTO – Members of the Contractors State License Board (CSLB)’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) received a torte and a hearty thank you from a licensed contractor for a sting operation conducted in Monterey last week. One of the ten arrested suspects said he worked for the grateful licensee, which was not the case. The sting operation, on September 30, 2010, was conducted with assistance from the Monterey Police Department and Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.
During the operation, SWIFT investigators posed as homeowners who were looking for a contractor to do fencing work on their home. Those who bid more than $500 were arrested and issued an issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) in court for contracting without a license. California law requires all home improvement jobs valued at greater than $500 for labor and materials be undertaken by a state-licensed contractor. Those without licenses may advertise their services and work on jobs valued at less than $500, but their ads must state that they are not licensed. Licensees are required to put their license number in all ads. Some of those who will be going to court will also face charges of soliciting an excessive down payment. State law prohibits asking for down payments greater than $1,000 or ten percent of the contract price, whichever is less. There is an exception for about two dozen contractors who purchase special consumer protection bonds that are noted on CSLB’s website.
“Many consumers don’t realize the risks they take when they let an unlicensed operator into their home,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “Those who are violating the state’s license laws are also not complying with important consumer protection requirements, such as purchasing workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.”
State law requires licensed contractors to carry workers’ compensation coverage for all employees. That ensures the homeowner isn’t stuck with medical bills if a worker is injured on their property.
Top ten reasons we hear for getting a Contractors License:
1. To legally operate in California
2. To protect yourself
3. To gain respect from your colleagues and prospective customers
4. To be competitive
5. To be self employed
6. To gain prestige as a professional and avoid the negative connotation that follow unlicensed contractors
7. To enter into larger contracts & advertise without being worried
8. To avoid being arrested and fined by the State
9. To network with other licensed contractors for more business
10. To be able to legally collect for work performed
View A CSLB Sting Operation Video here!