CA Bus & Prof Code Section 7028.15


It is a misdemeanor for any person to submit a bid to a public agency in order to engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor within this state without having a license therefor, except in any of the following cases:


The person is particularly exempted from this chapter.


The bid is submitted on a state project governed by Section 10164 of the Public Contract Code or on any local agency project governed by Section 20103.5 of the Public Contract Code.


If a person has been previously convicted of the offense described in this section, the court shall impose a fine of 20 percent of the price of the contract under which the unlicensed person performed contracting work, or four thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500), whichever is greater, or imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 10 days nor more than six months, or both. In the event the person performing the contracting work has agreed to furnish materials and labor on an hourly basis, “the price of the contract” for the purposes of this subdivision means the aggregate sum of the cost of materials and labor furnished and the cost of completing the work to be performed.


This section shall not apply to a joint venture license, as required by Section 7029.1. However, at the time of making a bid as a joint venture, each person submitting the bid shall be subject to this section with respect to his or her individual licensure.


This section shall not affect the right or ability of a licensed architect, land surveyor, or registered professional engineer to form joint ventures with licensed contractors to render services within the scope of their respective practices.


Unless one of the foregoing exceptions applies, a bid submitted to a public agency by a contractor who is not licensed in accordance with this chapter shall be considered nonresponsive and shall be rejected by the public agency. Unless one of the foregoing exceptions applies, a local public agency shall, before awarding a contract or issuing a purchase order, verify that the contractor was properly licensed when the contractor submitted the bid. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, unless one of the foregoing exceptions applies, the registrar may issue a citation to any public officer or employee of a public entity who knowingly awards a contract or issues a purchase order to a contractor who is not licensed pursuant to this chapter. The amount of civil penalties, appeal, and finality of such citations shall be subject to Sections 7028.7 to 7028.13, inclusive. Any contract awarded to, or any purchase order issued to, a contractor who is not licensed pursuant to this chapter is void.


Any compliance or noncompliance with subdivision (e) of this section, as added by Chapter 863 of the Statutes of 1989, shall not invalidate any contract or bid awarded by a public agency during which time that subdivision was in effect.


A public employee or officer shall not be subject to a citation pursuant to this section if the public employee, officer, or employing agency made an inquiry to the board for the purposes of verifying the license status of any person or contractor and the board failed to respond to the inquiry within three business days. For purposes of this section, a telephone response by the board shall be deemed sufficient.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 7028.15’s source at ca​.gov