When considering hiring a company or person to work on your home or business, many people look at the cost as the biggest factor, and in today's economy - too often cost is put in front of safety. When hiring a contractor, it is pretty easy to find someone who is willing to do the work "on the side" without permits. Sometimes this is because they cannot get permits since they are not licensed as a contractor in the state. Typically, no permits means no inspection - and without an inspection you will probably lack assurance that the job is up to code and safety standards. Can you imagine the safety risk associated with electrical wiring (panels, outlets, appliances, etc) and physical structures (stairs, decks, etc)?
Hiring a licensed electrician or contractor provides you with peace of mind and probably better work than a weekend warrior or less experienced person could provide. By hiring a licensed contractor, your insurance and even the contractor's insurance can provide coverage if things go wrong. Especially in California, protecting yourself against liability is important.
When looking for a contractor, your search may want to include Union-trained or certified contractors, like Thousand Oaks Electric, who is certified by the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). It is also a good idea to read reviews and testimonials, such as on Yelp, Google, Angie's List, etc. These can be a good indicator about the quality of the services that the person or company provides.
It is easier now for people to do their homework and find quality - but will people be willing to pay for it?