Complaints Against Unlicensed Contractors

In California, it is a misdemeanor to engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor without a contractors license unless the contractor meets the criteria specified in Business and Professions Code sections 7040 to 7054.5.


Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT)

SWIFT is a statewide unlicensed activity program that focuses on underground economy and unlicensed operators. Consumers and legitimate contractors face real threats from these individuals who don't pay taxes, don't have workers' compensation insurance for their employees, or don't pay other costs that legitimate contractors do.

They are part of a $60 - $140 billion annual underground economy that takes money away from healthcare, roads, and schools. SWIFT works throughout the state, conducting sting operations and sweeps. The unit has the authority to visit any job site without evidence, and ask contractors to produce proof of licensure in good standing, citing those who are not properly licensed.

Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) 

CSLB is a primary partner in LETF, created to combat illegal operators in the state's underground economy who are not licensed, insured, or taxed. The team, headed by the Department of Industrial Relations, consists of investigators from the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the Employment Development Department, and CSLB. Other partners include the Board of Equalization, and the Bureau of Automotive Repair. LETF also collaborates with the Department of Insurance, the California Attorney General, local district attorneys, and others in affected communities. LETF ensures that workers’ rights are protected and that hard-working, compliant business owners have an opportunity to thrive in California.

For more information regarding LETF, please refer to the Department of Industrial Relations' website.

CALBO/CSLB Guidelines

CALBO/CSLB Guidelines provide information about how all building department personnel can help identify and resolve problems created by licensed and unlicensed contractors.

Complaint process

  • For information on filing a complaint against an unlicensed contractor, if there is a contractual agreement, please see the consumer section Filing a Construction Complaint of this site.
  • For information on reporting unlicensed activity, please refer to Report Unlicensed Activity within this site for further information.