1. How to Start a Handyman Business
2. Pros of Starting a Handyman Business
3. Cons of Starting a Handyman Business
4. Steps
5. FAQs

How to Start a Handyman Business

Interested in learning how to start a handyman business? Typically, a handyman business begins with one individual, or an owner plus hired help, and provides a variety of repair and maintenance services to residential and commercial customers. 

Pros of Starting a Handyman Business

Starting your own handyman business offers several advantages:

  • If you've been working as a handyman for an established company, you most likely already have an inventory of tools and equipment. Already having these items will lower your startup costs
  • Profits generally run high, while overhead expenses remain low. 
  • If your company has a specialty area such as an electrician or plumbing expert, you'll have opportunities to work exclusively for companies such as realtors, high rises, and apartments communities. 
  • You can work with either residential or commercial customers, or you can work with both.
  • If you provide quality service, you have a better opportunity to retain those customers for future projects. 

Cons of Starting a Handyman Business

There are also several non-benefits to consider before starting a business.

  • Working as a handyman requires that you be in good physical condition.
  • Depending on the location of your business, you may find your workload to be more seasonal than on-going.
  • Not everyone can apply and get a license as a handyman. The criteria to get a license vary from state to state, and it can be difficult to meet the requirements. 
  • Don't expect overnight success in terms of having many clients. Building a viable client base takes time. 
  • If you don't have in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in home remodeling, construction, renovation, repair, and maintenance, then a handyman business is not a good career choice. 
  • Before starting out, you must have a variety of work tools and equipment to address the needs of any project you're qualified to work on. 
  • In most states, a series of licenses are required along with liability insurance and your company must be bonded. 
  • You may be required to have a contractors' license depending on your location and the type of handyman service you plan to provide. 


Before starting to operate as a handyman business, there are a few steps that need to be completed.

  1. Create a working business plan to lay out the type of projects your company will work on and whether you plan to work residential customers, commercial customers, or both. For information about starting a small business, visit the website for the U.S. Small Business Administration
  2. Select a name and do a name search on your local government website to determine if it is available. Make sure the name is clear about what the company provides. Once a name is selected, register it with the appropriate agency in your state. 
  3. If you plan to use a trademark, use the government database to make sure it is available. 
  4. Licensing requirements vary from state to state. Some of the qualification guidelines include taking a comprehensive examination that is considered along with your job experience and job training. A processing fee is usually incurred.
  5. Consult your state's official website for information about the types of license or permit you will need to operate a handyman business. 
  6. Whichever vehicle(s) you will be using for business purposes needs to have an adequate amount of liability insurance coverage. 
  7. If or when you hire employees, you must provide worker's compensation insurance. The only exemption to this is if any of the employees are either partners or are joint owners of the business. 
  8. If you plan to rent a vehicle, such as a van or work truck, for business purposes, you must have the approval of the rental agency. 
  9. Purchase a domain name for your company to use as a base for marketing your services. Also, invest in opening a social media account to generate traffic to your website.


Q. How limited am I in terms of providing services as a handyman?

A. Handymen can be more diversified in the services they provide compared to a company specializing in one type of repair. 

Q. Is it okay to ask customers to post a review of my services on a social media site or on my website?

A. Yes. Posting a review on a website or social media page is another form of a word-of-mouth recommendation that can bring in more clients/customers. 

If you need help with starting a handyman business, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.