What’s In A Name (Change)?


Rule of Thumb: If the business entity’s name change results in the California Secretary of State issuing a new registration number, a new California contractor’s license will be required ~ a contractor’s license is not transferrable. If a new license is required, you must file an application for original contractor’s license and fulfill any other requirements, including bonding and insurance requirements. The license application approval process can take time, plan ahead and, if prudent, request that the license application approval process be expedited. (It is a misdemeanor for a person to engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor in California without having the requisite contractor’s license.)

Any change to the licensee’s name or address must be reported to the CSLB within 90 days of the change by submitting an Application to Change Business Name or Address signed by an owner, partner, or officer of the corporation. Also keep in mind that any new business name cannot indicate (1) a change in the type of entity, e.g., LLC, LLP, Inc., etc., (2) that the company qualifies for a classification other than the one for which it is currently licensed, or (3) a personnel change. In addition, any corporate name change must first be registered with the Secretary of State’s Office; adding a “DBA” to the existing corporate name does not require any changes with the Secretary of State’s Office, except that the DBA cannot indicate a second corporation.

Additional Source: CSLB, Change Your Business Name or Address; CSLB Forms and Applications