It is important to know and understand the licensing requirements and laws in your city and state. The last thing you want is to get in trouble for illegally running a handyman business in your city. Every city and state is going to vary on the requirements and laws of running a handyman business. Chances are there won’t be any laws specific to running a “handyman” business so you will need to do a little research on your own and try to interpret what is legal for your area.
Many states have requirements for performing specific repairs in a home and often don’t allow any business to do those repairs unless they are licensed in that area. Also, there are often dollar amounts that you cannot do work above unless you are licensed. For example, in California, any work performed in a home over $500 needs to be done by a licensed contractor. Any handyman in California must only do work under $500 (materials and labor) unless they carry a valid contractors license.
This actually works out fine for a handyman business though. As long as you stick to just handling small home repairs you can make a lot of money without ever having to get a contractors license. If you later choose to do higher priced jobs then you can get licensed at that time.
In addition to a contractors license, a business license is also required. This isn’t trade specific; every business needs one. Where I live, a business license is required in the city where you plan do to business. The requirements are probably very similar to your area.
The Gray Area
Handyman business’s often fall into a gray area when dealing with licenses and laws. If you are doing smaller jobs as a handyman you may be able to run your business without any type of contractors licensing. It’s tough to find any clear documentation on running a handyman business because most laws point out specific trades (ie. Plumber, Electrician, etc.).
Do The Research
You will probably be able to find all the information you need to run a legitimate handyman business in your area by just doing a few google searches. Search for things like “Handyman laws in California” (substitute the state for your own) or search for “contractor laws” in your state. You may not find exact information but it will give you a good idea of what is legal in your area. Also search for “business license City” by substituting City for your city.
It is important to do the research to find out what the laws and licensing requirements are for your area. The last thing you want is to get a fine for doing business illegally in your town. Don’t let this part of starting your handyman business scare you. Typically, once you get this kind of thing in place you really don’t have to think about it much.