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    Top 10 Contracting Errors

    10 Sign Contractor Errors that Could Land You in Jail

    This is one of CSA’s most popular resource pages. The California Sign Association lawyer, Jeff Aran, receives many inquiries related to sign contracting and contractor law in California. Here are some of the most common (and surprising) errors made.

    Believe it or not, each of the following actions are potentially misdemeanors under California law, which might result in a jail sentence, monetary penalties and/or disciplinary proceedings and license suspension.

    • Contracting (or brokering) without a current license
    • Contracting with a subcontractor who has no license
    • Contracting as a subcontractor with an unlicensed prime or general contractor
    • Taking a contract for installation services from an out-of-state fabricator or contractor who does not hold a California contractor’s license.
    • Contracting without a license for the fabrication and installation of a sign
    • Failing to provide your contractor’s license number on all advertising, marketing materials (including business cards) and contracts
    • Contracting “out of class” – e.g., a D42 licensee may not contract for electric signage work to be performed by a C45
    • Entering into a “sham” contract on behalf of an “owner/builder”
    • Failing to provide worker’s comp insurance when required
    • Contracting with another’s license (even with consent)

    CSA continues to defend the sign industry against rogue contractors and the underground economy.

    Recently, in Westminster, California, CSA learned of $670,000 in redevelopment funds awarded to an auto dealers association for a message center to be fabricated and installed by an unlicensed contractor with a history of “brokering” sign contracts.

    Claiming he was “only” brokering the arrangement and didn’t need a license – despite having been previously censured by the CSLB for the very same conduct – CSA, contacted by local members, alerted the city, the dealer association and the CSLB, to protest this ongoing transgression. CSLB immediately took steps to investigate and subsequently informed CSA that it would be taking prompt enforcement action and issuing citations.

    CSA is also proud to have collaborated on several “stings” with CSLB over the years. Members actively participate on CSLB licensing committees, as well as with other state agencies, such as the Energy Commission, Caltrans and the State Architect, providing technical support and consultation.


    About Jeffrey Aran

    Sign law expert serving the sign industry and its customers for over 25 years, providing legal and consulting services to sign users, installers and manufacturers. Based in Sacramento, Practice Areas include Zoning; Land Use; Real Estate; Constitutional Law; Employment; & Business. Admitted to the Bar in 1989. Law Offices of Jeffrey L. Aran 1-888-SIGNLAW.

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