Does a handyman need to be licensed
One violation and your business could be fined or shut down. The challenge is that laws may not be clear cut about handyman and contractor licensing requirements , and they can vary significantly from state to state. Here are some of the things you need to know about finding the necessary license and permit requirements before starting your business. Starting a handyman business is an appealing prospect for someone with diverse trade skills. But what constitutes a handyman?SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: California Handyman Law Explained / What you can and can not do
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Why You Should NOT Start a Handyman BusinessContent:
- Home Improvement Tips
- Handyman License in California
- Do I Need a License to Be a Handyman?
- Do I Need a Handyman or Contractor?
- Handyman License Requirements by State: A Comprehensive Guide
- What Is the Difference Between a Maintenance License & a Handyman License?
- Handyman Licenses and Laws – How To Avoid Getting Stung
- Handyman vs Licensed Contractor - Knowing Which You Need
- Handyman License Requirements; How to Become a Licensed Handyman
Home Improvement Tips
Within six months of starting my handyman business, I was stung by the contractors board and ticketed for contracting without a license. But that situation forced me down a path to really understand the laws when it comes to offering handyman services, or really any type of contracting. It all started when I got a call by a guy looking to have a small office painted. When I got there, I immediately realized that this job was out of my league. This job was clearly going to cost more than a grand.
He said thanks, asked a few more questions, and then continued to hand me a ticket with a smug little look on his face. I have your Craigslist ad right here. And just like that my business dreams were crushed. I walked away devastated and confused with a ticket in my hand. I had just started my business so I lacked the confidence I have now.
I thought I was going to have to go back to working a One of my customers just happened to be a high end attorney that had a soft spot for helping the common man. He immediately saw this ticket as unconstitutional and offered to help me out for a very reasonable price. Long story short, we ended up winning the case and I went on to run a very profitable handyman business. Stop waiting and start making money. Download this short PDF where I reveal ten of my most profitable, in-demand services that you can start offering today.
This is just what I would do if I was going to start a handyman business and wanted to avoid any run-ins with the law. However, you will be asked by many customers to perform jobs outside of your legal limits. Even my return customers are always asking me to do plumbing and electrical jobs, but I turn them down.
Not cool. Maintaining peace of mind is a critical part of actually enjoying your business. Like I mentioned above, every state is different. In several states, contracting laws are managed by the city or county instead of the state. In that case you might have to do some digging around. Try searching keywords such as:.
You might find some vague laws during your research. Nobody knows for sure until it goes to court. So, if you want to be ultra clear, I would recommend contacting the contractors board and asking to speak with an actual investigator. The investigators are the guys out there handing out fines.
Ask them to clear up any specific questions you might have to see how they interpret the laws. When I called one in my city, it was clear almost immediately that he only had basic knowledge of the statutes. If this happens to you, consider talking to other established handyman businesses in your area. As you may have already learned from my story, your marketing is often what can get you in trouble so be sure that you are abiding by all of the laws regarding advertising for home repairs.
As I was getting cited in the story above, I took the opportunity to ask the investigator some questions. One thing he told me is the best place to find unlicensed contractors is to look on grocery store bulletin boards and on Craigslist. A few hundred bucks is nothing when you consider the long term success of your business. I remember back when I was first learning the contracting laws in my state, it was extremely discouraging.
But I decided to challenge that assumption and get started anyway. This is only part of the journey — the part where the competition quits and you pull ahead. Keep going, your freedom is worth it. What state do you live in and what are your limitations? Please share in the comments below! There are dozens of services you can start offering right now to start generating a profit. Learn 10 of the most common with this….
I live in Ohio where the laws for unlicensed work are relatively lenient, sometimes surprisingly so. There are some things that handymen still need to be aware of though. Like not taking jobs that are too large. It may tell an inspector that you are doing other jobs that you are technically unqualified to do. If you advertise these jobs even more so. Here the trades that you need a license for are ,electrical,plumbing,HVAC,and carpentry.
None for painting or Tile which works well for me but I try to keep my jobs within a certain size range anyway. I state right away that I am a handyman to my customers even if I do specialize in certain fields which I do. For anyone in Ohio reading this I hope this helps.
Follows Big Ds advice and search your states contractors board for more info. Thanks for all of this awesome content Big D! Or is it only governed by the state? It is not true that Ohio law takes it easy on unlicensed contractors.
First, failing to obtain a license is often a criminal offense in and of itself, which can result in fines at a minimum. Second, when contractors hold themselves out as being able to do work in an area that requires licensing, but no license is ever obtained by that contract, such conduct could constitute theft by deception, which, depending on the amount could be a felony theft offense, and this has been punished and prosecuted before in different areas of Ohio.
Most cities or counties have their own registration and licensing requirements. That would depend on the state you live in and whether or not you provide services other than painting.
Face it, a contractor is going to hire someone at minimum wage to do the job anyway. Thanks for sharing, Richard. This is exactly what I do in California. I carry a state cert for electrical, and a journeyman card in plastering and roofing. Its legal and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
The city will inspect your work anyway so what ever you are doing will have to pass regardless whether its you or a lic contractor and the liability falls on the city or county as their inspectors inspected it.
I think the Contractors Unions have something to do with this price setting and of course the fees collected to get a license to say install a wood fence…. I do have to say, finding out specific information is impossible. If I wanted to be a teacher, or a lawyer, I can find step by step of what I need to do and what paperwork I would need….. Good luck. It seems that the only way to find out if we are doing wrong, is when we have a citation in our hands. Luckily for me, I have not had a run in, but to be honest, this article has given me some paranoia lol.
Yes, it seems there are bigger problems for the government than worrying about handyman peace of mind. The best you can do on your own is fight for your rights if you do get ticketed.
It worked for me and now I can advertise any trade service I can legally do! Dan- Can you be more specific with what violation you were actually cited for and what the fine was?
Thank you! Great Info BTW. And talk to a qualified legal professional. Texas here. Do not advertise plumbing. Anything else is fine. I got turned in by a plumbing company for advertising lite plumbing in an advertisement that had run for 3 years. I changed my website and ad wording then sent a groveling reply letter with my liability and commercial van insurance attached and they ended up giving me a warning and dropped the case. Did you find any specific sites with guidelines.
Can I replace a ceiling fan but not run wires? Can I replace a shower head, but not sweat copper? Can I clean a dishwasher seal but not replace it? The electric work you can legally do consist of sweeping up bits of wire ways off of the floor. Just found the site.
This site has been tremendously helpful and encouraging. Thanks for the help and guidance with your website Dan. Im from Cleveland and have been thinking about venturing from nursing home maintenance director to a handyman.
Couple of questions. One, do you feel that in your field there is enough money to support a family, and two, what if a customer cant pay with cash or check. Do you accept CC payments? If so, how do you get into that? There is definitely enough money in this business to support a family, but of course your results will depend on you among other factors.
Handyman License in California
Though their abilities may sometimes overlap, knowing the difference between a handyman and a licensed contractor is important for anyone looking to do work on his or her home. When it comes time to hire one of these professionals, it is always best if you know which one is right for the job. If you hire the wrong professional, you could end up paying more than necessary or put your project at risk. Are you ready to begin your home remodeling project?
I was happy with the pricing they gave me for each project. Though Jennings was able to find someone to meet all his needs, there are some projects a handyman may not be licensed to do. Specialized trades, such as a plumbing or electrical work, require licensing, so check with your local licensing agency to see if the handyman is properly licensed, should your project require one. If not, you could be liable financially if damages occur. Or, if you try to sell the home, you could end up paying more to fix the issue so it meets local code requirements.
Do I Need a License to Be a Handyman?
No, there is no handyman license in the state of California. That includes labor and materials. I did, however, see that asbestos removal is something you will want to stay away from unless you are registered to provide that service. This all might seem like a deal breaker if you are thinking of starting a business, but California is actually a relatively handyman friendly state. That leaves a LOT of services you can provide, and would allow for a surprisingly profitable business. You could fix fences, doors, drywall, hang TVs, repair appliances, install ceiling fans, repair toilets, and hundreds of other services. In many states even small electrical or plumbing repairs like changing an outlet or fixing a toilet are off limits.
Do I Need a Handyman or Contractor?
A handyman performs repair services for residential customers for pay. The requirements for a handyman vary from state to state, with some requiring a handyman license and others requiring a business license only. States also limit the type of work the professional handyman can perform for a customer. Plumbing, electrical work and major construction are usually off limits for the professional handyman.
A homeowner or small business owner in need of minor property repairs might prefer calling a handyman or maintenance contractor rather than a carpenter or other tradesman who might charge higher rates. Hiring a professional who holds either a maintenance license or handyman license can help ensure the job gets done right. Although the two terms may seem interchangeable, there are some differences between a maintenance license and a handyman license. A handyman license is a license issued by the state, and it allows an individual to legally perform handyman services such as general building and repair work.
Handyman License Requirements by State: A Comprehensive Guide
A handyman is skilled at a wide range of general maintenance and home repair jobs. Individual states generally do not issue specific handyman licenses; however a handyman may be considered a contractor when the work is worth a certain amount of money or is part of larger jobs worth specific amounts. In these cases, a handyman may require a contractor license to perform the work or be subject to handyman license requirements.
Schedule Appointment. Today, however, each state has its own set of laws regarding the training and license acquisition for an individual or company looking to be in the handyman business. By definition, a handyman is a versatile laborer who is skilled in a variety of repair, maintenance, and construction tasks. The basic handyman skills required to become a professional contractor include but are not limited to:. In addition to these skills, the absolute minimum requirement for a handyman is to have adequate experience, knowledge of industry approved building techniques, and a close familiarity with state and local building and permit regulations.
What Is the Difference Between a Maintenance License & a Handyman License?
Handyman Licenses and Laws – How To Avoid Getting Stung
Handyman vs Licensed Contractor - Knowing Which You Need
Handyman License Requirements; How to Become a Licensed Handyman