Check to see if you meet the basic requirements set forth by the State of California. You must be 18 years old, and have more than $2,500 worth of operating capital. You must also have 4 years of experience or education in order to get your general contractors license in California.
Decide on what class of license that you'd like to obtain. If you want to become a general contractor, you will need a Class B license.
Complete the Application in full and provide all requested information including credit reports, financial statements, and proof of experience. If you make a mistake on the application, complete a new one as the state of California may not accept applications that have things crossed out, etc. You can obtain an application from the State of California website.
Submit the application. If you are required to take the exam, submit your application with $250 for processing. If you are not required to take the exam, submit your application with $400 - $250 for processing and $150 for your licensing fee.
Wait for the state to approve or deny your application to become a licensed contractor. If they request more information, submit it immediately.
While you are waiting, study for your exam, if you are required to take one. Consider taking an online course, or buying some study guides that will help you to prepare to pass the exam.
Once you are approved, you will receive a notice from the state with an exam time and date. Show up for the exam as scheduled and remember to bring everything that you are told to bring, including identification.
After you have passed the examination, you will need to pay the remainder of your licensing fee. You will also need to purchase a bond in the amount of $12,500 and have valid workers compensation and general liability insurance in order to receive your California general contractors license.
Watch the mail for your license and wallet card. Keep your wallet card with you at all times.