Category Archives: Contractors in Nevada

Nevada Employers Must Report Work Fatalities Within 8 Hours and Specified Events in 24 Hours: OSHA

Employers will now be required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding about the incident, per a 2015 OSHA release. OSHA states, that “[p]reviously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident.”

OSHA advises that, “Employers have three options for reporting these severe incidents to OSHA. They can call their nearest area office during normal business hours, call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742), or they can report online at www.osha.gov/report_online. For more information and resources, including a new YouTube video, visit OSHA’s webpage on the updated reporting requirements.”

The Nevada Joint Venture License for Contractors Should Be Paired with a Written Joint Venture Agreement

Companies that lack the total expertise to bid on a local or State government contract in California can have the opportunity to bid under certain requests for solicitations and advertisements for bids.  Two or more companies can pair up to bid pursuant to a joint venture agreement, or even a teaming arrangement.

Typically the government customer will ask for a joint venture license prior to award of the contract.  What does a “joint venture license” mean?  This is a specific type of license issued by the Nevada State Contractors Board.  The NSCB answers the question of who must be licensed.  “Licenses may be issued to individuals, general partnerships, limited partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies or joint ventures.”

As of the publication of this article the fee one must include with the application is $300 and then another $600 for the two-year license fee.  Go here for more information at the NSCB.

The license is not the only thing needed to make the “joint venture”.  Responsible companies will enter into a written joint venture agreement, usually drafted by legal counsel.   That agreement will specifically delineate who is responsible for what and how the arrangement will conclude.   Note that applying for the license does not mean you are properly set up as a joint venture as between the parties in the venture.

Be careful to make sure you obtain the license before you submit any bids.  The NSCB states that “It is unlawful for any two or more licensees, whose licenses have been limited by the Board to contracts not exceeding certain monetary sums and each of whom has been issued a license to engage separately in the business or to act separately in the capacity of a contractor within this State, jointly to submit a bid or otherwise act in the capacity of a contractor within this State without first having secured an additional license for acting in the capacity of such a joint venture or combination in accordance with the provisions of this chapter as provided for an individual, copartnership or corporation.”  NRS 624.740.

This should not be taken as specific legal advice.  If you need legal advice specific to your situation or if you need a joint venture agreement drafted, please contact us by any means listed here.

Organizational Assistance for Small Businesses in Northern Nevada

Generally, what you do within your own organization and market forces will determine how well your business performs and generates profits for the owners.  Typically, there are business tips to be found on any street corner, from Main Street, Wall Street or “Easy Street” (which is an actual street in Stateline, Nevada, believe it or not).

Can outside organizations help your business succeed?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  The Old Testament of the Bible advises, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established”.  (Proverbs, chapter 15, verse 22).  Along with consulting with your own family, mentors who know you well, and other individually-retained professionals, you may want to check out some of the offerings by some of the business start-up organizations, both private and publicly-funded.

For Northern/Western Nevada, most of these are based out of Reno, and some Carson City.  Without personal recommendation, we provide a list of some of these outfits:

Nevada’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology  Hosts mixers, seminars, issues awards and assists startups with an interface to angel investors.  Reno and Las Vegas chapters exist.

Nevada’s Procurement Outreach, or “POP” will educate the contracting business through seminars and workshops (sponsored or co-sponsored) and one-on-one discussions of a specific or general nature, will brainstorm for specific targets and mechanics of how the purchases are executed and provide bid information to its’ clients with buying offices and prime contractors.  The place to start to get in the state and federal bidding game.

Small Business Administration HUBZone program HUB means “historically underutilized business”.  Several rural counties in Nevada are HUBZone certified, including Douglas, Lyon, Mineral, Esmeralda, Nye and Lincoln.  Certain federal contracts give preferential treatment to businesses operating out of the HUBZone areas.

For more resources, check out this resource page built by Nevada’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.  If you have any other suggested organizations, please let us know on our contact page.

Cross-Border Contracting–Nevada and California–CSLB Crackdown on 16 Contractors

Building contractors and subcontractors doing business on the border of Nevada and California have twice the burden as contractors operating only within one state.  This is particularly difficult for contractors operating in the South Lake Tahoe and Northwestern Nevada counties like Douglas, Carson City and Washoe.

For our readers’ interest we provide the latest press release from the California Contractors State License Board about their recent incursion into Nevada to prosecute alleged violators.

CSLB Press Release – 05/18/12

Second Annual Cal-Neva Border Blitz Nets 16 Phony Contractors

California, Nevada contractor boards hit underground economy on both sides of state line

SACRAMENTO — The California Contractors State License Board(CSLB) and Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB) conducted their second annual simultaneous enforcement operation on May 16, 2012, sending 11 people to court in El Dorado County, California and five in Douglas County, Nevada, for contracting without a license and related violations of home improvement contracting law. The sting operations were conducted at a single family home in the Tallac Park area of South Lake Tahoe, California while the other was in a vacant business property at a Stateline, Nevada strip mall.

In both operations, investigators from CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) and the Nevada Board posed as property owners who were seeking bids for carpentry, painting, and landscaping. Some of the SWIFT investigators observed the Nevada operation, as did Nevada investigators at the California sting. Suspects who bid more than the legal limit for labor and materials were issued a notice to appear (NTA) in superior court.

It is against California law to contract for home improvement or construction jobs valued at $500 or more for labor and materials without a state-issued contractor license. In Nevada, it is illegal to contract for such jobs valued at more than $1,000. California law also requires licensees to place their license number in all forms of advertising. Those who work on jobs valued at less than $500 may advertise their services, but those ads must state that they are not a licensed contractor. Nevada prohibits anyone without a trade license to advertise for services. California and Nevada have a reciprocity agreement, which simplifies the application process for contractors licensed in one state who want to seek a license in the other.

Individuals on probation for theft and burglary were among those who bid on the Lake Tahoe area projects. Michael D. Abbey, who bid on a painting job at the California sting site, was on probation for theft. Eric James Brown, who bid on cabinetry work at the South Lake Tahoe house, was accompanied by Tyson McKenrick. DCA investigators transported McKenrick to jail for a probation violation on a prior burglary conviction.

“These simultaneous sting operations help maximize CSLB’s reciprocity agreement and the cooperation among our two state boards, giving our investigators the opportunity to join forces against those engaged in underground economic activity on both sides of the state line,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “It is important that those contracting for home improvement projects in both states comply with the laws of the state they are working in to protect consumers and law-abiding contractors.”

“The opportunity to join forces with California and combine our efforts to combat unlicensed contracting is a win-win for us all,” added NSCB Executive Officer Margi A. Grein. “We hope these events serve as a strong reminder that contracting without a license is not tolerated in either of our states, and that protecting the public from unscrupulous contractors continues to be our primary role and focus at the Board.”

Law enforcement backup was provided at the California sting site by the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigations.

The following suspects will be arraigned at the El Dorado County Superior Court’s South Lake Tahoe Branch, and will be contacted later about their future court date:

[Suspects’ names have been omitted from this post, although they do appear in the original CSLB release]

CSLB and NSCB urge consumers to follow these tips before signing a contract for home improvement work:

  • Only hire licensed contractors who hold a valid license in the state where the job will be done, and in the classification of the work to be undertaken.
  • Always check the license number on CSLB’s or NCSB’s website to make sure the contractor’s license is in good standing.
  • Don’t pay in cash, and don’t let payments get ahead of the work.
  • Get at least three bids, check references, and get a written contract.
  • Do not sign a contract until you completely understand all its terms.

The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. More information and publications about hiring contractors are available on the CSLB website or by calling 800-321-CSLB (2752). You can also sign up for CSLB email alerts. CSLB licenses and regulates California’s 300,000 contractors, and is regarded as one of the leading consumer protection agencies in the United States. In fiscal year 2010-11, CSLB helped recover nearly $45 million in ordered restitution for consumers.

The Nevada State Contractors Board is committed to protecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare through licensing and regulation of the construction industry. Under Nevada Revised Statutes, a licensee is subject to disciplinary action by the Board for failure to comply with the requirements of the laws or regulations governing contractors. Violations may result in Board action against the contractor’s license. The State Contractors Board has the power to regulate contractors and discipline licensees who violate NRS 624. Disciplinary action may consist of a fine of up to $10,000 per offense, order corrective action, suspension, revocation or other action.

Link to original press release:  Second Annual Cal-Neva Border Blitz Nets 16 Phony Contractors

Contractors wishing to legally do business on both sides of the state line need to learn what the requirements are.  The costs are more than doubled to get appropriate licensing, but this is a cost of doing business in the border areas between two states.

If you have concerns, please contact us to schedule a phone appointment.

Minden contracting without a license  Gardnerville contracting without a license

Transferring California Contractor’s License from Individual Licensee to a Corporation Allowed Only if Licensee Owns 51% or More of Corp

If a 50% owner of a Nevada limited liability company (herein “LLC”) performing construction work in Nevada wants to obtain a California contractor’s license, can she simply take the California exam, get the license and then transfer the license to the LLC?  No, this will not work for two reasons.

First of all, the California State Contractors License Board does not license limited liability companies, foreign or otherwise.  It will only issue licenses to a sole proprietor, a partnership (also called a “copartnership”) or a corporation.  [Business & Professions Code section 7065].

Second, California law provides that no contractor’s license is transferable.  [Business & Professions code section 7075.1, subsection (a)].  By that it means licensees may not freely transfer, sell or assign their licenses to someone else without approval by the California State License Board.  However, under certain specific instances, upon application, the CSLB will reissue or reassign license numbers to certain people or entities.

When it comes to an individual wanting to have her license reissued to a corporation, the CSLB will only do it if the individual contractor licensee controls the corporation, i.e. control is having at least 51% of the ownership of the corporation.  [CSLB rules].  California law provides that the license may be reissued only if 1) the corporation is formed by an individual licensee and 2) the individual licensee maintains ownership directly or indirectly of shares evidencing more than 50 percent of the voting power.  [Business & Professions Code section 7075.1, subsection (c)(4)].  One can only assume that this law is in place to prevent investors from forming a corporation, and, essentially, “buying” a license by issuing only a limited number of shares of the company to an individual contractor licensee.

One solution to this is for the LLC to incorporate as a “C” corporation in their home state and qualify to do business with California’s Secretary of State, or to incorporate in California.  Then they may apply for a corporation contractor’s license with the California Secretary of State, and satisfy the new applicant rules.

An unlikely solution is for one of the owners of the LLC to buy out the other to the extent needed to achieve 51% or more ownership of the newly formed corporation.  The selling LLC owner would not likely do this.

For contractors seeking to do business in California, it is wise to seek legal counsel to help smooth the transition and avoid hassles with the California State License Contractors Board and the California Secretary of State.  Not doing the application correctly and not setting up the business entity in accordance with law can delay the process and cause the contractor to miss valuable bidding opportunities.