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California Solar Permitting Guidebook
Guide for Solar Installers Released

The California Energy Commission, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research, and others involved in the solar industry have compiled a free California Solar Permitting Guidebook as a blueprint to more efficiently navigate the solar construction permitting process. This publication aims to help contractors, building owners, and local governments improve permitting for small photovoltaic systems, and promote solar energy use in their communities. The three main sections address California laws and regulations, the process for project approvals, and recommendations for improving permit processes for solar installations.

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Remember Contractor Advertising Laws

Any time you advertise your contracting business, you are required to include your state-issued contractor license number somewhere in the ad or within the document.

Your CSLB number must be included in newspapers, radio, television, and online ads; on business cards, lettering or placards on your commercial vehicle(s), telephone or other print or online directories; promotional materials and yard signs; and in business contracts. It is important to follow California contractor advertising laws (Business and Professions Code sections 7027, 7029.5, and 7030.5, and California Code of Regulations section 861) to avoid fines or disciplinary action by CSLB.

Also, remember:
  • Advertise Within Your Classification
    Licensed contractors are not allowed to advertise for construction work outside of the trade(s) for which they are licensed.
  • Don't Advertise about Bonding
    Contractors are forbidden by law to advertise the fact that they are bonded. It could lead the public to believe there is a higher level of protection than might actually be the case.
  • Avoid False Advertising
    It is a misdemeanor to use false, misleading or deceptive advertisements to sell clients home improvements and other services. It also is illegal to make misleading claims or advertise prices that you do not intend to honor. And remember, you cannot advertise using a company name different than what's on your official CSLB license.
  • Be Aware of Fines or Penalties
    The civil penalty for licensees who violate advertising laws can range from $100 to $5,000, with multiple penalties for multiple violations.
  • Unlicensed Operators Can Advertise
    Unlicensed operators can legally advertise for construction work or improvements if the cost of the work (combined labor and materials) is under $500. However, they must state in the ad that they are "unlicensed." Unlicensed operators face fines or criminal prosecution if they advertise as a contractor in a telephone directory or any other advertising forum.
View CSLB's Advertising Guidelines brochure for more information.    |    | previous    |    next