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How much do you know about contractor advertising requirements? – II

As we discussed in our previous post, California contractors looking to capitalize on the demand for repair and renovation projections brought about by the strong residential real estate market need to be aware that they are subject to strict advertising requirements.

Indeed, state law dictates that all licensed contractors must include license numbers in all construction contracts, subcontracts and calls for bid, and certain forms of advertising (business cards, vehicle lettering, signs, billboard, etc.). We’ll continue breaking down this important topic in today’s post.

What are the requirements concerning business vehicles?

In general, the California Business and Professions Code dictates that all licensed contractors must display both the name of their business and their contractor license number on all of their commercially registered vehicles. Furthermore, this information has to be displayed in a clearly visible location, and in font that is a minimum of three-fourth inch tall and wide.

Plumbers, sign and well-drilling contractors are subject to different posting requirements in that they not only must display the business name and contractor license number, but also the permanent business address. In addition, the font has to be 1.5 inches tall.

What should contractors know about false advertising?

Section 7161 of the B&P Code dictates that it is a misdemeanor to use deceptive, misleading or false advertising to induce clients to enter into home or other improvement contracts if the public might be injured or misled as a result.

It’s similarly illegal to include deceptive, misleading or false assertions/representations in ads for home or other improvements if there is no intention of actually honoring them.

What about bonding?

It may come as a surprise for contractors to learn that the B&P Code forbids them from advertising the fact that they are bonded in any advertisement, solicitation or “other presentments to the public.”

This prohibition stems from an effort to prevent the public from believing that the bonding procedure somehow provides a higher level of protection, as this is often not the case.

We’ll conclude this discussion in a future post …

Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can guide you through the process if you are a contractor with questions about advertising or starting your own outfit.