In my last post I mentioned not having a contractor’s license. One comment cautioned against performing installations without one. So I thought I should take the time to clarify that point.

The work around for me was simply to never do any onsite work outside of maybe going back to the job site to make small adjustments or do minor touch-ups. Contractor laws vary from state to state but here in California the law prohibits you from doing any work with a value over $300 without being licensed. In the beginning, I separated the installation and often times offered the installation as a free service. But that did not work because the law binds any onsite work to the contract.

Ultimately, I quit doing installations altogether. Either the general contractor took responsibility for the installation or I worked out a separate arrangement with a one of several subcontractors with whom I developed working relationships. They contracted directly with the clients and I provided any necessary oversight.

Not doing installations might have cost me a job or two but I simply did not want to end up being a contractor and being bound by laws that made it almost impossible for me to work out my own payment arrangements. By staying out of the contracting business, I was able to finance my jobs with the customer’s money instead of my own.



  • Rob Bois says:

    I suspect that by avoiding installations, you were also able to avoid liability insurance as well. From what I’ve been able to gather, if you just sell standalone furniture, it is not considered a fixture, and it not subject to the same kind of liability as something that is installed in a business or home. I’m sure this also varies state to state, but any insights there?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Terms of Use.