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Getting a general contractor`s license in California is a rigorous and complex process that requires potential contractors to jump through several hoops. The Contractor State License Board (CSLB) is the governing body that regulates and issues licenses to contractors in the state. In order to obtain a license, an applicant must meet specific requirements and follow specific procedures outlined by the CSLB.

Education and Experience Requirements

The first step in obtaining a general contractor`s license in California is meeting the education and experience requirements. An applicant must have at least four years of experience in the field of construction, with a minimum of two of those years being in a supervisory role. Additionally, the applicant must complete 32 hours of coursework in business law, accounting, and contracting.

Application and Examination Process

After meeting the education and experience requirements, the next step is to apply for and take the licensing examination. The application includes a fee of $330 and a fingerprinting background check. Once the application is approved, the applicant will be notified and given a date to take the examination.

There are two parts to the examination: the law and business section, and the trade section. The law and business section tests the applicant`s knowledge of California state law and regulations related to contracting and is comprised of 115 multiple-choice questions. The trade section tests the applicant`s knowledge of their specific area of construction and is comprised of 100 multiple-choice questions.

Bond and Insurance Requirements

Before a license is issued, the applicant must obtain a contractor`s bond in the amount of $15,000. The bond serves as a guarantee that the contractor will follow all state laws and regulations. In addition to the bond, the applicant will need to obtain liability insurance, workers` compensation insurance, and property damage insurance.

Final Steps

Once an applicant has passed the licensing examination and met the bond and insurance requirements, they must submit a final application to the CSLB. The final application includes a fee of $200 and a certification of work experience form that must be completed by the applicant`s employers. Once the application is approved and the fee is paid, the license will be issued.

In conclusion, obtaining a general contractor`s license in California requires several steps, including meeting education and experience requirements, passing a licensing examination, obtaining a contractor`s bond and insurance, and submitting a final application. It`s important to ensure that all requirements are met and all procedures are followed to obtain a license and operate as a legitimate and qualified general contractor in California.