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Do I Need to Display My Contractors License Number?

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More and more customers are looking for contractors to complete their home improvements or start new projects. If you’re a contractor, help your customers by displaying your license number on all of your documents, ads, and commercial vehicles. This is a requirement for California contractors and not doing so can lead to disciplinary action and fines. Here are some helpful reminders to help you comply with advertising laws.

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Include CSLB License Numbers on All Ads

Contractors advertise through a variety of methods:  newspaper ads, brochures, online promos, radio and TV ads, fliers, directories, etc. California contractors must make sure that all forms of advertising include their CSLB license number. This also includes:

  • Business cards;
  • Contract proposals;
  • Online marketing posts and internet ads;
  • Websites and social media pages;
  • Lettering on trucks and commercial vehicles;
  • Signs and billboards;
  • Electronic transmissions;
  • Clothing or giveaway items that include the company name or logo.

Stay in Your Class

Only advertise for work within your license classification. It’s illegal to advertise or perform construction work outside of your licensed trade. For example, painting contractors cannot advertise drywall jobs unless they hold a C-9 drywall contractor license classification.

Advertising on Commercial Vehicles

Plumbing, sign, and well drilling contractors must display their business name, permanent address, and license number on each side of every commercial vehicle in letters at least 1½ inches high. All other contractors must display their business name and contractor license number on each commercial vehicle in a clearly visible location in a print type of at least 72-point font or letters at least ¾ of an inch high and wide.

Asbestos Removal Contractors

Ads for asbestos removal must include the license number, the name you are certified and registered under, and the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Health and Safety (DOSH/Cal-OSHA) certification and registration numbers for anyone doing asbestos work.

Leave Out Bonding from Ads

The law prohibits contractors from advertising or presenting to the public that they are bonded. Such statements can lead a consumer to believe that there is a higher level of protection than might actually be the case.

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Truthful Advertising & the Cost of Deception

All businesses should advertise truthfully. Avoid making false, misleading, or deceptive advertising claims that can mislead or harm customers. Violating advertising claims can result in civil penalties that range from $100 to $5,000.

Connecting with Customers

Not only will advertising your license number help your business remain compliant, it helps your business too. Potential clients can check the contractor’s qualifications and background to ensure they are choosing a competent professional.

Did you know Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) offers a contractor match service? Through BCA’s Contractor Link program, we can connect interested consumers with qualified California contractors. To get started, fill out a contractor quote request form on our website.

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About Business Consumer Alliance Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.