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In September of 2014, California Bill SB 1159 was signed into law. This law prohibits, except as specified, any entity within the CA Department of Consumer Affairs from denying licensure to an applicant based on his/her immigration status. This means that, no later than January 1st, 2016, the entity that governs California contractor state licenses (the Contractors State License Board, …
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Our California EPA RRP refresher class isn’t just popular, but it’s also important – most contractors, property managers, and renovators are required to have this certification by law to avoid health risks associated with lead poisoning. It’s a course that can change careers and literally save lives.

If you work in the construction industry, you probably knew that already. What you might not have known or realized, however, is that you are legally required to come and take a refresher class at least once every five years. Not only will doing so keep you on the right side of federal regulations, but it will also reinforce valuable information that can keep you, your team, and your customers healthy in the future.
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If you subscribe to our blog or newsletter, you’ve undoubtedly seen lots of different reasons to become a licensed California contractor, look forward to being a business owner, and get your business off to a great start with our programs.
What you may not have noticed, though, is that there is a benefit to learning with us that’s incredibly powerful but often overlooked: At CSLS, you’re surrounded by other people who are serious about reaching their career goals, too.
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Passing your California licensed contractors exam may certify you to work legally, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your business will be successful… particularly in those crucial early days when you’re just getting started.
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Decades of experience helping construction professionals to achieve their dreams and become licensed contractors has taught us that there are thousands upon thousands of men and women who would take the next step in their careers – and earn their licenses – if it weren’t for the testing process. Some people are simply too afraid of the standardized examination to …
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As a licensed contractor, most of your actual work will be done with your hands. When it comes to your success as a business owner, though, you might be surprised to find out just how much your mindset matters.

To be more specific, the best contractors have the ability to think clearly and calmly, regardless of what might be going on around them. To see why that might be so important, here are a few instances in which a calm sense of mind is especially critical to the job:

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Deciding to become a licensed contractor in California is one of the most significant decisions you can make in your life and career. In fact, you may not realize just how important it was until you look back later.

If you’re a construction professional who’s ready to take the next step and move forward, you may not even realize just how many great things are yet to come. To give you a sense of what your new life and career might be like, here are five great moments you’ll enjoy as a self-employed contractor:
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  Did you know? You No Longer Need to have a US Social Security number Get Your California Contractors License. In September of 2014, California Bill SB 1159 was passed into law. This bill prohibits, except as specified, any entity within the CA Department of Consumer Affairs (including the CSLB), from denying licensure to an applicant based on his immigration …
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One thing new contractors often want to know is whether they should charge deposits on construction projects. Should you ask your customers for money up front before you start working?

The short answer is probably “yes,” especially on big or complicated jobs. That’s because a customer deposit can help you smooth out your cash flow (which is always a concern to self-employed contractors) and protect you in the event your customer can’t pay or the job gets canceled halfway through.

The bigger the construction project is, the more thought you need to put into your deposit amount. Typically, you’ll want to ask for at least a little bit of money upfront with a signed agreement. The amount you charge to begin should include amounts for:
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For a lot of our students, studying to become a licensed construction contractor in California isn’t just about choosing the right school, but also finding a good study partner. After all, learning material is almost always easier with a friend, and it’s a good idea to have someone else around who can quiz you and reinforce key topics.

For that reason, we encourage our students to find others to work with. Here are five tips for finding (and working with) a study partner as you move toward your dream of becoming a licensed contractor:
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As a self-employed contractor, getting reviews from satisfied customers is an important part of marketing your business. That’s because people don’t believe what you say in your brochures and on your website as much as they believe one another.

In other words, if they want to know whether you’re really good at what you do, they’re going to read the reviews.

In fact, what customers say about you on Yelp or Angie’s List can go a long way toward determining whether you’ll be successful in your business or not. With that in mind, it makes sense to do everything you can to encourage them to leave positive feedback. Here are a few tips you can follow to get them started:
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Was your New Year’s resolution for 2015 to become a licensed contractor?

If so, you certainly aren’t alone – thousands of your peers are also dreaming about starting their own businesses, being able to control their own schedules, deciding which jobs to accept or decline, and of course earning more money as a licensed professional.

And yet, only a small number of those construction professionals will actually take the next step, become licensed contractors, and achieve their dreams. Why is that? In our experience, it usually comes down to a few common misconceptions:
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When students first come to CSLS, they’re usually focused on achieving their dream of becoming a licensed contractor in California. Naturally, most of their energy is going toward passing their exams. Once in a while, though, they might also start to think about what life will be like as a self-employed professional… and even feel a little bit nervous about the prospect of going into business on their own.

With that in mind, we’d like to offer you an easy tip for making the transition to life as a licensed contractor: Imagine your new career taking off, and then work backward.

In other words, envision what you’d like your life to be like after you graduate from CSLS, and then start to narrow in on the specifics. Here are a few things you might want to think about:
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Although there are dozens of reasons to become a licensed contractor in California – and improve your income and lifestyle as a result – it’s a dream that a lot of otherwise-qualified construction professionals will never reach. It’s one thing to have the goal and another thing to turn it into a reality.

The biggest mistakes are easy to avoid when you’re watching out for them, though. With that in mind, here are four mistakes that can keep you from becoming a licensed contractor:
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Is There a Good (or Bad) Time to Launch a Contracting Business?

If you know a few self-employed contractors or business owners, you’ve probably heard them talking about different business and economic conditions. That can be confusing, especially if you’re thinking of becoming a licensed contractor yourself.

In fact, knowing that there are ups and downs, you might be asking yourself: Is there a good, or bad, time to launch a contracting business?

Certainly, there are times when conditions are more or less favorable. Seasons and weather, the economy, and even construction laws or tax incentives can all make it easier or harder for contractors to find new business. Yet if there is one thing we have seen among new graduates over the years, it’s that the best time to start is when you’re ready.
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If you’re considering moving forward and becoming a licensed contractor in the state of California, you might be wondering how long the process takes.

That’s a good question, and the answers depend on a few different things:

You have to meet a certain set of requirements to take the California state contractors license exam. You can find specific requirements on our website, but generally speaking you’ll need four years of experience in the construction industry or a lesser amount of experience with a college degree.
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At Contractors State Licensing Schools, we are proud to have so many graduates and industry professionals singing our praises. And yet, we think it’s the fact that so many people who want to become licensed California contractors – more than 125,000 to date – have turned to us that says more than any one individual endorsement can.

So, why do more students choose CSLS than any other California contractor school?

Part of our popularity undoubtedly has to do with our unmatched track record. Not only have we helped a quarter of a million professionals reach their goals, but our schools boast a 99.9% first-time passing rate. Simply put, our graduates do well.

Beyond that, we make the process of becoming a licensed contractor in California as easy and convenient as possible. Here are just a few of the advantages we have that other schools don’t:
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Here at CSLS, we are always writing about the perks of becoming a licensed California contractor and starting your own business. And when potential students come to visit us, we let them know we think every construction professional should earn their certification and at least have the option of branching out on their own.

But maybe we’re overselling the upside too much. To even out the other side of the equation, we want to share a few of the downsides with you, too. Here are three serious problems you’ll likely have to deal with once you become a licensed contractor and start your own company:

1. How to spend the extra money you make…
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Although thousands of construction professionals turn to us every year in the hopes of becoming a licensed California contractor, a growing number are coming to CSLS for another popular course – our licensed building inspector training program.

If you’re reading this now, chances are you’ve at least thought about becoming a licensed California building inspector in the past. Is it the right career path and/or business opportunity for you?

Only you can answer that, of course, but here are a few things you should know:

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As we have noted in the past, even the very best excuses for putting off your education won’t bring you any closer to becoming a licensed contractor and owning your own business. If you really want to take the next step in your life, it’s important to get started and generate some momentum regardless of whatever other distractions might be affecting you.

To see what we mean, here are the four worst reasons to put off earning your California contractor’s license:

1. You think you don’t have the time. A lot of our new students are squeezed for time, but this is still a terrible excuse. Why? Because saying you don’t have the time now implies that you will have the time in the future. For most of us, that’s just not true – you either make it a priority and get started now, or you’ll keep finding excuses down the road when you’re just as busy.
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