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Do you need a license in Ohio to become a handyman?

Feb 14, 2022 · 4 minutes to read

Handyman repairs a window

So, you’ve decided you want to start your own handyman business in the state of Ohio, but you’re not sure if you need to get licensed. From job security, decent hourly rates to being your own boss, being a handyman has a lot to offer. You know how good it’ll be to run your own small business or an independent contractor, but you feel unprepared with some of the requirements that’ll get you there.

Not to worry! This Ohio handyman guide will help you bust through the barriers and put you on your way to starting your own business. It’ll give you the base you need to become a handyman in Ohio, whether it be in Toledo or Cincinnati.

License requirements*

Do you need a license to be a handyman in Ohio? The answer is it depends. While Ohio doesn’t have a state-level handyman license, there are some types of handyman work that you will need a license to perform.

Without a specialty contractor or general contractor license, handymen in some cities in Ohio are often limited to only do work on basic projects such as painting or minor prepares. Some regulations also limit unlicensed handymen from charging more than $1000 per job and ban working on commercial properties.

So for these reasons, it’s recommended to get licensed if you are planning on doing more than the odd job.

Special contractor licensing is often needed to perform certain jobs such as HVAC, refrigeration, hydronic, or plumbing work. Contractor specialty license applicants must:

  • Be a US citizen or a legal alien
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have at least five years of experience as a tradesperson in one or more contractor specialty areas.
  • Complete an FBI background check.
  • Pass an examination in one or more of the specialty areas.
  • Have liability insurance.
  • Submit a notarized application packet.

A Commercial Contractor license is another type of license that handyman in Ohio often possess. Fortunately, they’ve made it simple for construction industry contractors to get licensed in Ohio. The state has standardized licensing for most trades, with most handyman jobs only requiring this type of license.

The criteria needed to obtain this license is like many special contractor licensing. You will also need to carry a minimum of $500,000 in contractor liability coverage, which will be discussed in the next section. Ohio specialty contractors must pay a fee of $25 per license while general contractors will need to contact local licensing boards.

Where are my licenses valid?

Ohio has several sister states that share similar licensing requirements allowing handymen to operate outside of the Buckeye state. These reciprocity agreements are for handyman professionals who own a current specialty contractor license. While it’s important to check if you qualify, generally, licensed handymen can conduct work in:

  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

If you need to change your name or address on your license or request a duplicate card, contact your local licensing board.

Get handyman insurance in Ohio

As someone who is a “jack of all trades”, you take pride in your ability to bring broken things back to life. But while you may dedicate yourself to doing high-quality work, sometimes accidents happen and you need to be prepared for when they do. Getting handyman contractor insurance in Ohio is crucial to protecting your small business.

Handyman insurance would help protect your business finances from costly claims and lawsuits. As previously mentioned, to meet the requirements for the Commercial Contractor license your handyman business legally has to carry a minimum of $500,000 in contractor liability coverage in Ohio.

General Liability insurance** shields your business against claims of third-party injury and property damage. These policies typically cover your legal expenses, as well as expenses related to fixing the situation, up to the policy limits. These protections apply to both actual and alleged claims made against you.

General Liability coverage is available through BizInsure. With just a few clicks or a single phone call, you can get multiple competitive quotes from leading insurers for your handyman contractor insurance in Ohio.

Select your preferred policy and get coverage instantly, so the only thing you need to worry about is adding a bit of spark to your client’s day.

* This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Always check with your local licensing board when getting or renewing your handyman license to ensure you are meeting their current licensing requirements.
**As with any insurance, the cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.

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