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Becoming a Home Improvement Contract Salesperson

Home improvement salespersons play a very important role in home improvement projects. They are responsible for making sure that a home improvement contract meets legal requirements. A home improvement salesperson must be employed by a licensed contractor and may not work as an independent broker. If you’re interested in registering as a home improvement salesperson with the California State License Board (CSLB), here is a general breakdown of the process, along with resources to help you along the way.

Home Improvement Salesperson and Who Must Register

A home improvement salesperson is a person who is registered to solicit, sell, negotiate or execute contracts for home improvements, for the sale, installation, or furnishing of home improvement goods or services, or of swimming pools, spas, or hot tubs on behalf of a licensed contractor, regardless of the dollar amount of the contract. If the person performs these duties outside of the contractor’s normal place of business, they must be registered with the CSLB as a home improvement salesperson.

Some individuals are exempt from registration requirements including:

  • Official personnel listed in the CSLB's records for the contractor's license, including the qualifying individuals; general partners; officers of a corporation; managers, members, and officers of a limited liability company; and responsible managing employees;
  • Salespersons whose sales are all made pursuant to negotiations between the parties if the negotiations are initiated by the prospective buyer at or with a general merchandise retail establishment that operates from a fixed location where the goods or services are offered for sale;
  • A person who contacts the prospective buyer for the exclusive purpose of scheduling appointments for a registered home improvement salesperson;
  • A bona fide service repairperson who is in the employ of a licensed contractor and whose repair or service call is limited to the service, repair, or emergency repair initially requested by the buyer of the service;

Application and Registration Requirements

To apply for Home Improvement Salesperson registration, you must be at least 18 years of age. You do not need any experience and there is no residency or educational requirements to obtain registration. Applicants must provide their personal Social Security Number or individual taxpayer identification number.

Application steps can be found on the CSLB website at https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Contractors/Applicants/Home_Improvement_Registration. Once the application is completed and submitted to the CSLB with the required non-refundable, non-transferrable application fee, a letter of acknowledgment with the application receipt number will be mailed. Applicants can check the status of their application once they receive the application receipt number. You may not begin working as a home improvement salesperson until the CSLB issues your home improvement salesperson registration number.

After the application is received by the CSLB, each individual listed on the application will be sent a Live Scan/Fingerprint packet. Some fees, including a $32 DOJ fingerprint processing fee and a $17 FBI fingerprint processing fee, as well as the Live Scan "rolling" fee, will be required. The rolling fees vary because each Live Scan location sets its own fee. Check out the list of Live Scan locations for more information on the rolling fee.

While a criminal background will be conducted, it is important to note that an applicant with a criminal conviction is not automatically denied registration. Each application is reviewed individually based on the applicable section of the law. The CSLB considers factors such as the nature and severity of the crime, the amount of time that has passed since the conviction, and any evidence of rehabilitation submitted by the applicant. For more information on the criminal background process, visit https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Contractors/Applicants/Home_Improvement_Registration/Get_Fingerprinted_-_Live_Scan.aspx.

Additional Information for Home Improvement Salespersons

Did you know that a home improvement salesperson can work for a number of licensed contractors? The home improvement salesperson doesn’t have to register separately with the CSLB for each employing contractor. The contractor is required to fill out a form notifying the CSLB prior to hiring a registered home improvement salesperson. They must also notify the CSLB in writing within 90 days after the salesperson is no longer employed.

Renewal for home improvement salesperson registration is every two years from the last day of the month in which the registration was issued. To renew, complete the renewal application the CSLB mails to your address of record. Make sure the CSLB always has your most current address on file to prevent any delays or unnecessary registration issues. It is your responsibility to notify the CSLB in writing within 90 days of a change of address.

Home improvement salespersons make sure the contract meets legal standards. A guide to home improvement contracts is available from the CSLB. Salespersons want to make sure the contract includes the following:

  • Contractor’s license number and the home improvement salesperson (HIS) number
  • Description of the work to be performed
  • Approximate start and finish dates
  • Fixed contract price and payment schedule
  • Notice of Right to Cancel
  • CSLB Registrar’s address notice

In addition to checking the contract, home improvement salespersons make sure all payments made toward the contract are fully accounted for and forwarded to the contractor.  Keep in mind any progress payments requested must be based on completion of work to the customer’s satisfaction and cannot exceed the value of the work performed.

Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) offers a variety of services and maintains a database of licensed contractors in California. If you’re a registered home improvement salesperson looking for a licensed contractor, visit us at www.checkbca.org. Follow BCA on Facebook and share this information with others.

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.