Capitol Connection Q&A for Contractors

By Shauna Krause, President, Capitol Services, Inc.

The prevailing wind is hot and not for an HVAC contractor hoping to grow new work in NV. Reciprocal isn’t the same as equivalent, yet there is an expert course to level the difference. The solution is a little more straight-forward to another contractor and, no pun intended, a final answer on bankruptcy…

Q: I’ve had a “C-20” (HVAC) license in California and one of my clients who has locations in Nevada wants me to do some work for them over there. He was telling me the licenses are reciprocal so I shouldn’t have to take any exams. I thought I would check with you first to make sure that’s accurate before I dive in. Can you tell me if getting licensed over there is as easy as he makes it sound?

A:  There is a limited reciprocal agreement between CA and NV. The classification system in Nevada is not equivalent to California’s and therefore the licenses are not automatically recognized as reciprocal. California’s “C-20” license for example is equivalent to Nevada’s “C-21B” license, which is a sub-category of their full “C-21” license. There is no reciprocity for the sub-category classifications. In order to qualify for a waiver of the “C-21” Trade exam in Nevada, you would have had to have passed both the CA “C-20” and the “C-4” (Boilers) exams, and held those licenses actively for the previous four years. So to answer your question, no, obtaining a license in Nevada is not as easy as you were told. We can help with the process though so give me a call if you decide to move forward!

Q: Can I have two Sole Proprietorship licenses, each with different business names? I have multiple classifications and I want to start promoting and advertising for specific trades and have the business name line up with that particular trade.

A: Yes you can! You are on the right track as most of the time I get licensees wanting to operate with multiple business names under the same license number, which is not permitted. As long as you do as you described, and obtain separate licenses with the separate business names, you are good to go!

Q: I had a contractor’s license for my corporation which expired a couple of years ago. I filed for personal bankruptcy last year. I would like to get my license back, but have it just as a personal/Sole Owner license. Will the bankruptcy affect my ability to get licensed again?

A: A bankruptcy, in and of itself, does not prevent you from being able to get licensed. There is a question on the new license application asking whether you have failed to resolve any outstanding final liabilities, which includes taxes, penalties, interest, and any fees assessed by the CSLB, the DIR, EDD, FTB, and BOE. If you have to answer ‘yes’ to this question, the CSLB requires that you provide an explanation and indicate a payment plan or whatever the case may be, but as long as you can answer ‘no’, you should be fine with moving forward.

While knowledge is power, knowing where to go for the answers is half the battle. Get expert assistance immediately when you call 866-443-0657, email, or write us at Capitol Services, Inc., 3609 Bradshaw Rd, Ste H, #343, Sacramento, CA 95827. Search past columns at