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Who Must be a Licensed Contractor?

All businesses or individuals who construct or alter any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure in California must be licensed by the California Contractors State License Board if the total cost (labor and materials) of one or more contracts on the project is $500 or more. Contractors must be licensed before submitting bids.


What are the contractor’s license classifications?

The CSLB issues a license to contract in a particular trade or field of the construction profession. Each separate trade is recognized as a “classification.” You may add as many classifications to your license for which you qualify. The CSLB issues licenses for the following classifications:


Class A—General Engineering Contractor

The principal business is in connection with fixed works requiring specialized engineering knowledge and skill.


Class B—General Building Contractor

The principal business is in connection with any structure built, being built, or to be built, requiring in its construction the use of at least two unrelated building trades or crafts; however, framing or carpentry projects may be performed without limitation. In some instances, a general building contractor may take a contract for projects involving one trade only if the general contractor holds the appropriate specialty license or subcontracts with an appropriately licensed specialty contractor to perform the work.


Class C—Specialty Contractor

There are the 41 separate “C” classifications for contractors whose construction work requires special skills and whose principal contracting business involves the use of specialized building trades or crafts. Manufacturers are considered to be contractors if engaged in on-site construction, alteration, repair, or installation.



For more information, contact: 

Contractors State License Board

P.O. Box 26000

Sacramento, CA 95826-0026

800.321.CSLB (2752) •