Working as a handyman. Contracting without a license $500 Limit? Is it a Law or Implied? Where?

According to the CSLB in the state of California an Unlicensed Contractor can perform as a Contractor on a job up to $500 without requiring a license. We are looking deeper into this because the law seems to be implied and there are many who can’t find the information, they need to properly understand their limitations. Handyman stings are popping up all over and skilled professionals trying to make an honest living are being prosecuted or forced to become a licensed contractor based on a regulation that seems to be so vague or non-existent. Maybe it exists but it is not easily found.

The facts are at the state level there is a law Code 7031a that states a license is required for any job requiring one. But it doesn’t mention the $500 limit anywhere. It does refer to the CSLB which says no particular job requires a license but implies and posts articles about a $500 rule. No actual laws or codes can be found with a mention of a $500 limit.

This being said, the fact is, there may be a law or code out there, but it is not readily available doing a simple search. Shouldn’t an individual have all the information easily found before being prosecuted for a crime that could have been prevented by simple knowledge?  All it would take is placement of an actual law, regulation or code. If one doesn’t exist, then it should be written and placed.


If you are a handyman caught in a sting then you have plausible defense based on lack of education, you are not a Contractor, you did not enter into a contract. You have the right to work and use your skills to make a living. It is the CSLB’s obligation to educate you and make any regulation searchable by anyone regardless of education. Law must be official and not implied or just simply mentioned in an article or 3rd party post.


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