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License and Insurance Requirements for Handymen in West Virginia

Jun 16, 2023 · 6 minutes to read

West Virginia is a state with a low population in comparison to other states. You might not expect to find many job opportunities there. This is not true for handymen, partly because of its proximity to more populated areas.

Washington D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria include parts of West Virginia. The area is also ranked 10th in the nation for metropolitan areas that have the highest level of employment among general maintenance and repair workers. The Weirton-Steubenville region of West Virginia and Ohio is also ranked sixth in the United States for the concentration of jobs in this field.

West Virginia also makes it simple to enter the handyman profession, as there are no requirements for a WV handyman license. You may be wondering what kind of work a handyman can legally do in West Virginia. The answer is that you don’t need to have a license until you are working on projects valued at more than $5,000.

This guide will provide you with information about West Virginia’s contractor licensing requirements and the requirements for handymen.

Do West Virginia handyman licenses require a permit?

The state of West Virginia does not require a handyman’s license. West Virginia requires a contractor’s license for handyman work that exceeds $5,000 on residential properties or $25,000 on commercial properties, including materials and labor.

The cost of most small jobs, such as minor repairs or maintenance, is not high enough to warrant a contractor’s license. If you are planning to do larger projects that cost more than these amounts, a license from the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board is required.

What types of projects can a handyman do without a license?

A West Virginia handyman without a license may work on residential projects valued at $5,000 or less, or commercial projects valued at $25,000 or under.

Remember that these figures are for the total cost of a project, and not what you pay to each subcontractor. You will probably work on minor projects, such as repairs and maintenance, rather than major renovations if you are a West Virginia handyman who is not licensed.

How to obtain a West Virginia handyman’s license

While a West Virginia handyman license is not required, you may need to obtain a contractor’s license depending on the value of the project you are working on.

You must meet the West Virginia contractor licensing requirements.

1. Verify your license classification

Contact the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board by email at [email protected]. Include your scope to determine which contractor license category best suits your needs, and which exams you need to take.

2. Schedule your exams

To schedule your exams, contact the testing provider ProV. Contractors are required to take both the West Virginia law and business exam, as well as the trade exam. To pass the exam, you must achieve a score of 70% or more.

3. Register your business

Your business must be registered with the West Virginia Secretary of State. You must also obtain a tax registration number for your business from the West Virginia State Tax Department.

4. Proof of Insurance

You must have workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance if you employ people. Send a copy of the certificate for workers’ compensation insurance as well as the latest quarterly report that shows you have paid into unemployment.

5. Fill out the form

Once you have completed all previous steps, fill out your application and submit it. Include the $90 application fee in the form of a money order or check.

The following types of businesses are exempt from bond requirements:

  • Residential properties only
  • No employees in West Virginia
  • Employed in West Virginia for at least 1 year
  • Have been doing business in another state for at least 5 years
  • Is a company subsidiary that has been operating for at least five years
  • Have assets of at least $100,000

How long does it usually take to obtain a contractor’s license?

It is up to each agency how long they take to register. You can submit your application after completing the registration process with the Secretary of State, State Tax Department, and Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment, if necessary. It takes about 24 hours for a completed application to be processed and mailed.

West Virginia contractor license renewal requirements

West Virginia contractor’s licenses expire after 12 months. The expiration date is noted on the license. A renewal notice will be mailed to you approximately 45 days before expiration. Renewals can be done online or by mail, but a $90 fee is required.

Contractor license reciprocity

West Virginia has reciprocity agreements in place with the following states regarding certain types of contractor licensing:

Alabama: HVAC class

North Carolina: Electrical classification

Ohio: Electrical or HVAC Installer, Manufactured House Installer, or Plumbing classification

Tennessee: General Building, Electrical, HVAC, Multifamily, Plumbing, Sprinklers, and Fire Protection, or Residential classification

You must apply to a reciprocity agreement if you hold a contractor’s license in any of these states to receive approval from the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board.

What type of insurance is required for a West Virginia handyman?

You need to have the right insurance for your West Virginia business, whether you are a licensed contractor or handyman. These professionals are advised to get the following types of coverage.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance is a safety net that protects your business in the event of workplace accidents. The insurance helps pay for medical care, lost wages, and other benefits if you or your employee is injured on the job.

Workers’ compensation insurance is required for all employers in West Virginia. Both licensed and unlicensed contractors are subject to this requirement. Before receiving a contractor’s license, you must provide proof of workers’ compensation coverage.

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance protects against accidents that can happen at work. This insurance helps cover the costs of damage to another’s property, or injuries to people other than yourself or your employees.

Insurance for Tools and Equipment

You probably have several tools that you use to do maintenance and repairs. Tools & Equipment Insurance helps pay for replacements or repairs if your equipment is damaged or stolen.

Commercial Auto insurance

Commercial auto insurance is likely to be needed by handymen who drive between job sites. This insurance will cover the costs of towing, repairs, and medical expenses if you have an accident with your work vehicle.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance protects the brick-and-mortar properties you rent or lease for your work, as well as any inventory or equipment that is stored there. It can cover repair and replacement costs if damage or theft occurs.

West Virginia Handymen can benefit from BizInsure

With BizInsure, it’s easy to get handyman coverage at affordable rates. We offer customized insurance packages that help professionals protect their businesses, comply with state licensing requirements, and adhere to local laws.

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