On September 8, 2015, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed into law Senate Bill 561 (Monning), a bill that simplifies the home improvement salespersons (HIS) registration process to a single registration even if the HIS represents multiple employers. Section 7153 of California’s Business & Professions Code requires anyone who solicits, sells, negotiates, or executes home improvement contracts for a licensed contractor outside of the contractor’s normal place of business to be registered with the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) as an HIS. In addition to the single registration provision, S.B. 561 will: (1) require a contractor to notify the CSLB in writing prior to employing a registered HIS, and when employment ceases; (2) allow the CSLB to accept an electronic application and signature from an HIS applicant, (3) require an HIS to have a current and valid registration with CSLB before making sales calls and transactions on behalf of a contractor, and (4) provide that registrations will be valid for 2 years from the month of issue. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2016.

Subsection (a) of Section 7152 of California’s Business & Professions Code defines “home improvement sales persons” to mean “a person employed by a home improvement contractor licensed under this chapter to solicit, sell, negotiate, or execute contracts for home improvements, for the sale, installation or furnishing of home improvement goods or services, or of swimming pools, spas, or hot tubs.”  Subsection (b) of Section 7152 sets forth the exceptions to the registration requirement, including but not limited to “[a] salesperson whose sales are all made pursuant to negotiations between the parties if the negotiations are initiated by the prospective buyer at or with a general merchandise retail establishment that operates from a fixed location where goods or services are offered for sale.”

Otherwise, it is a misdemeanor for any person to engage in the occupation of an HIS in California without having a registration issued by the CSLB. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 7153. In turn, a home improvement contractor who employs a person to sell home improvement contracts while such person is not registered by the CSLB as a HIS is subject to disciplinary action by the CSLB. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 7154.