California’s statutes are contained in 29 separate codes. The first alphabetically is the Business and Professions Code. All 29 Codes have general provisions applicable to reading and interpreting that Code’s sections. The following are selected general provisions of the Business and Professions Code:
Section 1 – This act is known as the Business and Professions Code.
Section 2 – The provisions of this Code, in so far as they are substantially the same as existing statutory provisions relating to the same subject matter, are to be construed as restatements and continuations, and not as new enactments.
Section 8 – Unless the context otherwise requires, the general provisions set forth govern the construction of this Code.
Section 9 – Division, part, chapter, article and section headings contained in this Code do not govern, limit, modify, or in any manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of this Code.
Section 10 – Whenever, by the provisions of this Code, a power is granted to a public officer or a duty imposed upon such an officer, the power may be exercised or duty performed by a deputy of the officer or by a person authorized pursuant to law by the officer, unless it is expressly otherwise provided.
Section 11 – A writing includes any form of recorded message capable of comprehension by ordinary visual means. Whenever any notice, report, statement, or record is required by this Code, it must be made in writing in the English language unless it is otherwise expressly provided.
Section 12 – Whenever any reference is made to any portion of this Code or of any other law of this State, that reference applies to all amendments and additions now or later made.
Section 12.5 – Whenever in any provision of this Code authority is granted to issue a citation for a violation of any provision of this Code, that authority also includes the authority to issue a citation for the violation of any regulation adopted pursuant to any provision of this Code.
Section 14 – The present tense includes the past and future tenses; and the future tense includes the present. Each gender includes the other two genders.
Section 14.1 – The Legislature declares its intent that the terms “man” or “men” where appropriate are to be deemed “person” or “persons” and any references to the terms “man” or “men” in sections of this Code be changed to “person” or “persons” when the Code sections are being amended for any purpose. This act is declaratory and not amendatory of existing law.
Section 14.2 – The term “spouse” includes “registered domestic partner,” as required by Section 297.5 of the Family Code.
Section 15 – The term “section” means a section of this Code unless some other statute is specifically mentioned. The term “subdivision” means a subdivision of the section in which that term occurs, unless some other section is expressly mentioned.
Section 16 – The singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.
Section 19 – The term “shall” is mandatory and the term “may” is permissive.
Section 20 – The term “oath” includes affirmation.
Section 21 – The term “State” means the State of California, unless applied to the different parts of the United States. In the latter case, it includes the District of Columbia and the territories.
Section 22 – The term “board,” as used in any provision of this Code, refers to the board in which the administration of the provision is vested, and unless otherwise expressly provided, includes the terms “bureau,” “commission,” “committee,” “department,” “division,” “examining committee,” “program,” and “agency.”
Section 23 – The term “Department,” unless otherwise defined, refers to the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Section 23.5 – The term “Director,” unless otherwise defined, refers to the Director of Consumer Affairs.
Section 23.7 – The term “license” means license, certificate, registration, or other means to engage in a business or profession regulated by this Code.
Section 23.8 – The term “licensee” means any person authorized by a license, certificate, registration, or other means to engage in a business or profession regulated by this Code.
Section 24 – If any provision of this Code to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of the Code, or the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances, is not be affected thereby.
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