California State License Board (#CSLB) issues 10 tips for working with contractors

In the state of California, it is illegal to accept payment for work on any project over $500 if you are not carrying an active license with the California State Licensing Board (CSLB).  There are some talented flooring and tile installers out there operating without a license, but it is important to understand that the renovators bear the risks of any installation problems when they hire an unlicensed operator.

The state just ran a sting operation to highlight some of the risks of working with unlicensed installers and produced a video outlining some of these risks.  If you are a contractor and would like more information about getting licensed in the State of California, please visit the CSLB “Contractors Guide To Licensing” for more information.

CSLB 10 tips for working with contractors are located here [PDF]:

These tips compliment our article titled How to Choose a Top Installer.

Obtaining a State License in California requires the 4 years of education and experience in the industry and some other qualifications:

  • finger printed and FBI background check
  • bonded for $12,500 (minimum)
  • fees must be paid to Sacramento office located <approx $360/yr plus other fees):
    Contractors State License Board
    9821 Business Park Drive
    Sacramento, CA 95827
    Phone (800) 321-CSLB

It is also very important that your contractor holds a liability insurance policy to cover damages during installation and is up to date on their employee insurance or workers’ compensation coverage.

Note:  every state has slightly different requirements so we will research requirements as launches into new regions.



  1. Update: California State Licensing Board arrested 75 contractors during 6 state-wide sting operations in October 2013. Contractors operating illegally face fines between $1000 and $5000 and jail sentences of up to 6 months. Details are here:

  2. Spot on with this write-up, I honestly think this amazing site needs much more attention.
    I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

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