Do You Need a Handyman License?

Family Handyman Business Redtape

To simply be a family handyman, you do not need a handyman license. You may need permits for specific jobs, but you won't need a license to do the work yourself.

The two tools I mention below work for family handyman individuals as well, you simply need to ignore the parts about business permits and licenses.

Now, if you are looking to earn income by starting a handyman business, you will most likely require a business license to offer your services legally.

Generally, businesses licenses are handled at the municipal level, but the internet is a big place, so always be sure to check with local authorities to make sure you're getting what you should be!

Obtaining a license can be as simple as going down to the local government office and slapping money on the counter, or could be involved as taking a few seminars and writing a test...before you slap money on the counter.

In the U.S., there are state licensing boards where you can gather information like:

  • What type of handyman license you need
  • What courses are required and where they are offered
  • Whether a passing grade on a test is required before obtaining a license
  • The cost of obtaining a license

Here is a decent tool to find potential handyman licenses and permits in the U.S. that you would require to do handyman work.

I simply entered the city and state location, and then entered Construction Contractor in the business type field. The resulting output gives a Google-like listing of possible required permits and licenses, but you need to do a little more digging for any detail.

In Canada, A service called BizPal is available where you answer a few questions about your proposed business, and the site provides you with a list of probable licenses and permits you'll require to operate legally. BizPal provides you with tools to use for starting your small business.

Simply find your province and home town (or nearest home town available) and click on that link. You are then asked a series of questions, and the output lists the exact permits you may need to do the job.

The cool thing about Canada's tool is that, say Ontario's BizPal section isn't working, you can still go to British Columbia's page and enter info for Ontario. You get great detail with this tool, including the actual form you need to fill out, and a Cost URL, which tells you how much money a permit or license will cost you.

Thanks for the handyman license tips. Take me back home.