ACT Contractors Forms... From The Paper Side of Contracting.

California Contractors forms must not show "bonded" and/or "insured"!

Posted by Bill Baird on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 @ 16:09 PM

California contractors forms cannot have insured or bonded on them.       I received a bid for a new roof on my house last week here in California.  At the top of his roofing bid form and at the bottom of the advertisement from him that I responded to, this very large roofing contractor proudly displayed "bonded and insured".

Behold... two common mistakes have just been made that we find regularly from California Contractors who purchase our contractors forms. 


California Contractors Law (section 7027.4 of the CA B&P) prohibits including any reference to the contractor being "bonded" in any advertisement, or on any company "paperwork" that could reasonable be considered "advertising", if the bond being refered to is the standard license bond that all California Licensed Contractors must have. Simply stated, unless you have a "special" bond other that the license bond, you are not allowed to mention that you are bonded!

Contractor bid forms or estimate forms, proposals, bid proposals, door hangers, letterheads and most of the other paperwork CA contractors use between themselves and their customers might well be considered an "advertisement" in many cases so it is best to leave the word "bonded" off these as well.

A CSLB disciplinary bond is not a "special" bond!

If you are required to carry a bond, in addition to the standard license bond, as a result of a CSLB disciplinary action against you, the same section of CA Contractors Law also prohibits you from advertising this bond! You have to wonder why any contractor would WANT to tell people about their disciplinary bond, you know the one they got from doing something WRONG, but apparently some do.


A few years ago, California added to the law, (section 7027.4) that has been in place for years, making the word "bonded" a no-no in advertising. These "new" laws state a CA licensed contractor can no longer advertise that they are "insured" unless they state what type of insurance it is! 

So, any reference to "insured" in your company ads and forms must, for example, be stated as "commercial general liability insurance" or "worker's compensation insurance" or better yet "We carry Commercial General Liability and Worker's Compensation Insurance for your protection!"

Silly mistakes like this can get you into trouble with CSLB and if included on your California contractors forms, can interfere with your legal rights as a contractor!


Questions or Comments?  Don't be shy! Comment below.

Topics: california contractor law, CSLB laws, roofing contractor forms

Painting Contracts & Accepting Credit Cards go together hand in hand.

Posted by Bill Baird on Tue, Sep 15, 2009 @ 00:09 AM

Accepting credit cards in your painting contractor business is just one more way to separate your business from the other guys. Accepting credit cards in your construction business will improve your bottom line!Credit Card acceptance will bring in customers that you would never see otherwise! Just showing those Visa-MasterCard symbols on your painting bid forms and on your advertising like door hangers will make a huge difference to your bottom line. This is fact, not conjecture.

Studies show, for example, that a person going through yellow page ads looking for a plumber or other construction professional, will always prefer those with Visa-MasterCard symbols over those that have none. And this includes people looking that DO NOT EVEN HAVE a credit card to use!

Being a credit card merchant gives you a professional image and adds stability and credibility to your painting contractor business like nothing else! Credit cards are so commonly used that people are distrustful of companies that do NOT accept them.  To the customer, it is not WHY the company does not CHOOSE to accept credit cards, it is what is WRONG with the company that CANNOT ACCEPT credit cards. 

Skeptical? Try it. Credit card merchant accounts are easier than ever to get. Worried about the percentage credit card companies take out? Consider it a cost of doing business and forget about it. Think of all the jobs you might have left behind by NOT offering your customers the option of paying by credit card. The 2-3% or so these companies charge will be more than offset by the extra work you will get.

Consider these benefits credit card acceptance brings to the painting contractor:

  • No more, or at least, fewer trips to the bank. Everything is done automatically.
  • Most people find it easier to pay for anything when using a credit card, after all its not money, its plastic! Even if you are not the low bid, the convenience to the customer of credit cards can give you the job!
  • Customers can pay OVER THE PHONE for progress payments.
  • The "check's in the mail" is never an issue.
  • Never have to deal with "bounced" checks.
  • Customers appreciate benefits to them like credit card incentives, air miles, "extras", or rebates.
  • Customers can "extend" their budget and have more done by you because of the credit card.
  • Customers can have work done without having the "cash" and you will be doing it because you offer credit cards.
  • Commercial customers can pay quicker with credit cards. They do not have to submit paperwork to the "powers that be" to get a check cut for you.

Let your customers extend their construction budget by using plastic money.You should accept credit cards in your construction business because that is the way people like to pay!

Make it easier for your customers to pay, not more difficult. The fact is, you'll NEVER know just how much work you've been missing until you start accepting credit cards in your construction business!

Do you have experiences, questions or ideas concerning using credit cards as a marketing tool for contractors? Please comment below!

Topics: painting contractor, construction marketing, credit card

Contractors Forms All have to Work Together!

Posted by Bill Baird on Wed, Sep 9, 2009 @ 00:09 AM

Contractor Forms must work together. 

Every contractor form that your construction company uses must work with one another. A common mistake is failing to provide for the forms you wish to use, in the construction contract or the home improvement contract. You can't pull a construction form "out of thin air" and expect that the recipient is bound to comply or agree to it's content.

  • For example, if you want to use a change order, the agreement between the parties must have a properly written provision in it providing for any changes. Without this, the other party to the construction agreement can refuse the change order outright!
  • If a general contractor wishes to use construction management forms like a subcontractors Notice to Perform or a subcontractors Back Charge Notice, there better be a provision in the subcontract between the general and his subs that binds the sub to the terms in these forms!  If not, the sub can simply ignore the form and say it's not part of their subcontract!

It is ALWAYS important to KNOW exactly WHY any provision is included in any construction contract, home improvement contract or subcontract agreement. Not just the legal WHY and the WHY from case law, but also the WHY from experience in the construction trade!

There are so many "home grown" construction forms floating around the internet that were created from information "borrowed" from other forms by people who add things just "because they sound good."

Beware of any construction form created by or sold by someone who cannot answer the question WHY!

How do YOUR contractors forms work together?  Educate us! Here's your chance, don't be shy. Comment below.

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