As a general contractor, there are a number of mistakes you could make that might affect your professional licensing. If you get into trouble with the law and wind up convicted of serious offenses, that might mean you run into issues when you go to renew your license or that you find yourself summoned for a disciplinary hearing.
If you fail to maintain your insurance, that might also have an impact on your licensing, as could multiple on-the-job accidents that leave people hurt. Still, you could do everything right and still wind up in a position where your license might be vulnerable. All it takes is one angry client to potentially endanger your career.
The CSLB allows the community to file formal complaints
The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is part of the Department of Consumer Affairs. It is the organization that oversees the licensing of contractors in California and has historically always permitted individuals and businesses to bring complaints against those with licenses in the state.
However, the rise of the internet has made it easier than ever before for a dissatisfied or possibly manipulative client to bring a complaint against you, possibly with no real legal or contractual grounds for doing so.
You need to be ready to defend your license and your career
People can file a formal complaint for all kinds of reasons. Employees or those who have worked with you (or competed against you) might allege failure to pay wages or unsafe work practices. Clients could claim you didn’t complete a project, violated the terms of your contract or didn’t comply with the necessary building codes.
Such allegations could hurt your reputation or impact your license. Once someone makes a complaint, the CSLB will investigate and may then hold a hearing. Going in front of the CSLB could be an experience with long-term consequences for your professional hopes.
You have the right to defend yourself when your license is at risk, just like you have the right to defend yourself against criminal charges. Having an attorney there to advocate on your behalf can increase your chances of succeeding at a hearing. An attorney can remain calm in a situation that might leave you very emotional. They will also know more about your rights and the laws that govern the licensing process, which could help you secure a better outcome.