April 17, 2012
Plaintiff's certificate of limited partnership with the California Secretary of State was in the name of "Montgomery-Sansome, LP". Its contractor's license was in the name of Mongomery Sansome LTD. A fictitious business name statement named Mongomery Sansome LTD, L.P. and incorrectly stated that it was a general partnership. The contract entered into with defendant to perform certain repairs named plaintiff as Mongomery Sansome LTD, LP. The trial court granted a summary judgment in favor of defendant, holding that plaintiff could not recover because the entity that signed the contract was not licensed. The appellate court reversed, holding that there is a triable issue of fact regarding whether there is actually only a single entity. Plaintiff did not violate the licensing law if the entity that entered into the contract is actually the same as the entity that signed the contract. The court distinguished cases holding that the licensing law is violated where a corporation or partnership enters into a contract and the principal is licensed, but not the entity.
Cal.App. 1st Dist. (A130694) 3/28/12