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.

Types of Work

Those starting a handyman business should determine the type of work a handyman is allowed to perform in his home state. A handyman business may encompass a wide range of services from changing light bulbs to floor installation and painting. Some states limit the type of work the handyman may perform without a contractor’s license. For example, major structural work in a residential home may be off limits to handymen in the state. In Florida, for example, construction work is limited to registered contractors and certified contractors.

Contractor’s License

To perform some work, the state may require a handyman have a contractor’s license. State contractor’s licenses may require the candidate apply to the state licensing board, pass an examination and complete the required years experience in the field.


A handyman should have a liability insurance policy to protect the homeowner from damage. States may require a business owner operating a handyman service carry a specific amount of liability coverage to work in the state. Contractors with employees may be required to pay for workman’s compensation insurance as well.

Business License

States may require a business license or occupational license to operate a business. States that do not require a handyman license still require a handyman business to register with the state to operate. An occupational license requires the business owner to pay a fee and register the business. In some states, the occupational license is required for all businesses operating in the state.