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History and Background

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) was established in 1929 as the Contractors License Bureau under the Department of Professional and Vocational Standards. Today, CSLB is part of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

CSLB’s 15-member Board appoints the executive officer, or Registrar of Contractors, and directs administrative policy for the agency's operations. Per Business & Professions Code 7002 the Board includes 10 public members (including one labor representative, one local building official, and one representative of a statewide senior citizen organization), and five contractors. Appointments are made by the governor and the state legislature. Board officer terms listed below are for the July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 fiscal year..

CSLB licenses and regulates contractors in 44 classifications that constitute the construction industry. There are approximately 300,000 licensed contractors in the state. CSLB also registers home improvement salespersons.

Top 25 License "Active" Classifications
Classification 
Description 
1/1/2016 
1/1/2015 
1/1/2014 
1/1/2013 
1/1/2008 
1/31/1998 
General Building 
102,090
102,284 
103,259 
105,654 
118,081 
95,473 
C-10  Electrical 
24,732
24,577 
24,639 
25,035 
25,588 
20,191 
C-33  Painting and Decorating 
15,692
15,492 
15,613 
15,872 
18,185 
15,626 
C-36  Plumbing 
15,087
14,926 
14,947 
15,038 
15,194 
12,622 
General Engineering 
14,781
14,880 
15,035 
15,413 
16,270 
14,011 
C-20  Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning 
11,423
11,373 
11,371 
11,439 
11,292 
9,084 
C-27  Landscaping 
11,320
11,121 
11,096 
11,120 
11,810 
8,778 
C-15  Flooring and Floor Covering 
7,208 
7,154 
7,208 
7,240 
8,288 
6,917 
C-54  Ceramic and Mosaic Tile 
6,298 
6,178 
6,173 
6,243 
6,876 
4,504 
C-8  Concrete 
5,990 
6,002 
6,018 
6,149 
7,225 
5,808 
C-7  Low Voltage Systems 
4,965 
4,886 
4,854 
4,903 
5,279 
3,384 
C-6  Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry 
4,780 
4,707 
4,715 
4,805 
5,124 
3,772 
C-39  Roofing 
4,381 
4,419 
4,509 
4,636 
5,264 
6,118 
C-9  Drywall 
3,109 
3,097 
3,186 
3,250 
3,651 
3,295 
C-17  Glazing 
2,794 
2,761 
2,683 
2,735 
2,873 
2,177 
C-29  Masonry 
2,585 
2,608 
2,629 
2,733 
3,331 
3,220 
C-12  Earthwork and Paving 
2,345 
2,367 
2,382 
2,423 
2,994 
2,569 
C-53  Swimming Pool 
2.367 
2,314 
2,267 
2,310 
2,474 
1,215 
C-61/D-49  Tree Service 
2,419 
2,313 
2,241 
2,164 
1,773 
995 
C-16  Fire Protection 
2,128 
2,134 
2,143 
2,159 
2,057 
1,981 
C-61/D-28  Doors, Gates and Activating Devices 
2,070 
2,021 
2,016 
1,997 
1,910 
1,297 
C-38  Refrigeration 
1,967 
1,985 
1,981 
2,035 
2,064 
1,991 
C-35  Lathing and Plastering 
1,850 
1,856 
1,870 
1,950 
2,297 
2,063 
C-61/D-35  Pool and Spa Maintenance 
1,701 
1,679 
1,618 
1,626 
1,400 
969 
C-43  Sheet Metal 
1,545
1,584 
1,593 
1,646 
1,830 
1,811 
               
 
Overall Total "Active" License Classifications  
287,394
286,017 
287,167 
292,095 
315,227 
257,251 
 
Overall Total "Inactive" License Classifications  
75,745
78,403 
80,857 
83,670 
76,117 
83.353 
 
Overall Total License Classifications  
363,139
364,420 
368,024 
375,765 
391,344 
340,604 
Total Entity Counts
Business Type 
1/1/2015 
1/1/2014 
1/1/2013 
1/1/2012 
1/1/2008 
1/31/1998 
Corporations 
72,460 
71,104 
76,058 
76,861 
72,383 
40,374 
Limited Liability Companies (LLC) 
770 
431 
182 
n/a*
n/a*
n/a*
Partnerships 
6,904 
7,179 
9,047 
9,556 
11,878 
14,164 
Sole Ownerships 
142,159 
144,504 
209,141 
215,099 
229,328 
216,341 
Joint Ventures 
531 
568 
637 
629 
482 
830 
Total 
222,824 
223,786 
295,065 
302,145 
314,071 
271,709 

* CSLB began issuing LLC licenses in January 2012

Home Improvement Salesperson (HIS) Registrations
 
1/1/2015 
1/1/2014 
1/1/2013 
1/1/2012 
1/1/2008 
1/31/1998 
Home Improvement Salespersons 
11,170 
9,124 
8,954 
8,710 
7,198 
4,665 


The Registrar oversees approximately 400 employees who work at the headquarters office in Sacramento and field offices throughout the state. (Office Locations)

CSLB's headquarters office receives and processes applications for new licenses, additional classifications, changes of license records, and license renewals. Headquarters staff reviews and maintains records of disciplinary actions initiated by the regional offices and provides other support services. This office also provides information about the status of a license as well as the verified certificates of licensure used in court or other actions. Headquarters directs the activities of the field offices and initiates all disciplinary actions resulting from their investigations. Field office staff investigates consumer complaints against licensed and unlicensed contractors. In fiscal year 2011-12, CSLB obtained more than $36 million in ordered restitution for consumers.

CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) focuses on the underground economy and on unlicensed contractors. This unit conducts proactive stings and sweeps to help curtail illegal contracting by and cites those who are not licensed.

CSLB holds regularly scheduled public meetings throughout the state. These meetings provide the public an opportunity to testify on agenda items and other issues.

 
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