How to Start a Handyman Business in Illinois

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Owning a handyman business can be lucrative--70 percent of homeowners have reported needing some type of home repair or maintenance that they could not perform themselves. Some items are small and routine: leaky faucets, faulty wiring, persnickety appliances. Bigger problems, such as repairing drywall or replacing doors and floors, are routinely hired out as well, to individuals or small services. If you have the experience and knowledge, starting your own business may be a good choice.

Decide which type of business entity you wish to open under. Illinois allows sole proprietors, a good choice if you will be the only employee answering calls; General and Limited Partnerships; Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP); and Limited Liability Companies (LLC)--all of which offer additional protection from lawsuits, as well as minor tax benefits--and "S" or "C" corporations, which require more work and expense to set up, but offer greater protection and tax benefits.

Choose and register a business name with the clerk's office in the county in which you reside. This is required by the Assumed Name Act" if you are not starting a business using your own name. You can locate your county's website and contact information at the resource in this article.

File the appropriate business-entity application with the state of Illinois, once you have approval on the business name. These forms can be downloaded from the website business.Illinois.gov. Mail the form to the address listed for the appropriate business entity, as all are different.

Register your business with the Illinois Department Of Revenue (IDOR) if you plan to hire employees. The address is:

Illinois Department of Revenue Central Registration Division PO Box 19030 Springfield, Illinois 62794-9030 1-800-732-8866 (in-state calls only) TDD: 1-800-544-5304

Develop a fee schedule that can be given to clients in writing. Research what other handyman services in your area are charging, and whether they charge hourly or by the job.

Purchase business insurance that will cover you and employees in the event of damage to a client's property, injury to employees or clients, vehicles used in the business, or lost or damaged tools.

Advertise your business through websites such as Craigslist; local newspapers; business cards that can be distributed; trade shows; and word of mouth to neighbors, friends and family.

Tips

  • Consult with an attorney or an accountant if you wish to create a business entity for additional tax benefits and liability protection.

    As of March 2010, handyman services and contractors are not required to obtain licensing in Illinois.