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Heavy equipment used to demolish a building

How to Get Your C21 Building Moving and Demolition License in California

Are you ready to bring the house down—legally, of course? Securing a C21 Building Moving and Demolition Contractor License in California is your gateway to joining the ranks of those who reshape skylines by first strategically dismantling them. Whether it involves tearing down outdated structures to pave the way for sleek new developments, or carefully clearing sites with historical significance, a demolition contractor plays an integral role in California's ever-changing architectural landscape. In this guide, we'll navigate through the debris, detailing the steps, requirements, and tips to ensure your journey to becoming a licensed demolition expert in California is as smooth as a controlled implosion. Let's set the stage for your explosive new career!

How do I get my California Demolition Contractor License?

Obtaining a California C21 Building Moving and Demolition Contractor License involves several key steps, from meeting specific requirements to passing examinations, and understanding the scope and responsibilities that come with the license. Below, we'll outline the process, costs, and considerations you need to be aware of:

1.Meet the Basic Requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have a valid Social Security Number or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).
  • You need at least four years of journey-level experience in the past ten years in demolition work. This experience must be verified by a qualified and responsible individual who has firsthand knowledge of your experience.

2.Filing Your Application:

Complete and submit an application to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), including any required documentation and fees. This process can be overwhelming, so consider enlisting the help of a service like Contractors Intelligence School.

3.Pass the Examinations:

After your application is accepted, schedule and pass two exams: the Law and Business exam and the C21 Demolition Trade exam, both of which feature multiple-choice questions relevant to trade and business management practices.

4.Within 90-days of passing the required examinations:

  • Pay the initial license fee.
  • Complete livescan fingerprinting.
  • Obtain a Contractor’s Bond and any additional bonding (if applicable).
  • Obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance (if applicable).
  • Obtain General Liability Insurance (if applicable).
  • Complete the Asbestos Open Book Examination.

5.Issuance of License:

Once all the above steps are successfully completed, you will receive your C21 Building Moving and Demolition Contractor License pocket card and wall certificate.

What are the costs associated with obtaining a C21 contractor license?

The costs associated with obtaining a contractor's license typically include:

  • Business entity registration (if applicable). The fee for this registration can vary depending on the county or city. It's advisable to inquire about the specific dollar amount from the agency where you are registering your business.
  • CSLB fees. $450 for the Application for Original Contractor's License, and $200 for the Initial License Fee for sole ownership companies ($350 for non-sole-ownership companies).
  • School fees. Contractors Intelligence charges between $295 and $495 for their most popular courses. Prices may differ with other schools.
  • Bonding. All contractors seeking to become license must post a contractors bond in the amount of $25,000. On average, this bond costs $250 per year. Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are also required to carry additional bonding, known as the LLC/worker bond, which is estimated to cost $2,000 per year.
  • Insurance. Your business may require two types of insurance: general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. General liability insurance is mandatory for LLCs applying for a contractor's license, while it's not required for the CSLB to issue a contractor's license number otherwise. Conversely, a C21 contractor's license cannot be granted until the company secures workers' compensation insurance or applies for an examination waiver if applicable. To understand the costs associated with these insurances, consulting with a licensed insurance agent is advisable.
  • Livescan fingerprinting. When completing your livescan fingerprints, you will pay an estimated $75. This fee typically includes the Department of Justice (DOJ) fee, FBI fee, and the livescan location rolling fee.
Licensed C21 contractor demolishing old tile floor

Working as a Demolition Contractor in California

Building moving and demolition contractors have several key responsibilities when working on projects. They start by evaluating buildings to determine whether they can be safely moved or need to be demolished. This involves planning how the work will be carried out while adhering to safety and environmental regulations, and obtaining all necessary permits.

Preparing the site is an essential step. This means clearing the area, setting up safety measures, and disconnecting any utilities to make sure the site is safe. For building moves, the structure needs extra support to handle being lifted and transported. This might involve using hydraulic jacks and other tools to place the building on wheeled platforms. If a building is being demolished, the methods can vary, including tearing it down manually, using heavy machinery, or even controlled explosions, depending on the situation.

After the building is moved or demolished, cleaning up the site is crucial. This involves removing debris and making sure the area is left in good condition. Throughout the project, maintaining safety is a top priority. Contractors must oversee all activities to ensure everything is done safely and that both workers and the building are secure. This role requires a strong mix of technical understanding, careful planning, and adherence to laws and regulations.

Getting Started

Take action, clear a path toward your future and become a licensed demolition contractor here in California. Contact one of our agents today at 800-425-7570.

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