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How to start a handyman business in Pennsylvania

Feb 14, 2022 · 6 minutes to read

Pennsylvania handyman businessmen with vehicle

Do you want to start a handyman business in Pennsylvania but you’re not sure where to begin? Starting a small business can be a overwhelming process, and there’s a whole Internet full of often-contradictory information that is bound to make you more confused than when you began.

Luckily, this guide will take you through all you need to know about becoming a handyman in Pennsylvania, from licensing and insurance for handymen to deciding how to structure your business.

Read on to find the information you need so you can lay the foundation to build the best handyman business from Philly to Pittsburgh.

Find out if there is a market for your handyman services

This is probably the most crucial step you can take when you’re beginning to think about starting a handyman business. You may have the skills and the general know-how of getting things done, but if you open in an area that already has established handymen you might be starting on the back foot.

It’s simple supply and demand. Even if there is demand for your services in the area, the fact that there is an oversupply of handymen who already have existing customer relationships means you are not needed.

Conversely, if you move to an area where there is no demand for handymen your handyman service – or your supply – is also not needed.
Your number one priority is to find a regular customer base that need your handyman service.
It might be a good idea to check out what other handymen in your area are up too. While it might give you new ideas and pick up some good habits, it also gives you the opportunity to see if you can exploit a niche in the market.

The good thing about being a handyman is that you are not just selling one thing – you can do a variety of different jobs. Stay vigilant and see what is being demanded but not supplied in your area and fill that space.

Sort out your paperwork early

While you may feel at home fixing greasy pipes or installing cabinets, you will need to get your hands dirty in paperwork to start your handyman business.
Registration – The first thing you will need to do is register your handyman business with the state of Pennsylvania. This will make your business legal to operate in the state.

Business Structure – You will also need to choose the business structure for your new venture. Many electrician businesses will choose to start as a sole proprietor. Sole proprietorships are informal business structures that do not provide personal asset protection. Basically, it allows you to take home 100% of the profits but you will also be 100% personally responsible for any problems you may encounter.

The main alternative is structuring your business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which protects your personal assets in case your business is sued.

Licensing – Pennsylvania does not have a state license to work as a handyman. However, if you do more than $5,000 worth of home improvement work per year, you must register with the Attorney General’s Office. Once registered, you will get a certificate and an official Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor number. The registration number must be included in any advertisements, contracts, estimates and proposals that you use in Pennsylvania.
Some licenses may be required if you wish to undertake certain jobs such as plumbing or electrical work. Some areas and certain types of construction-related jobs may require you to hold specific permits.

Business Account – You will need to open a new business account at your local bank. This will be under your business name and will be for all your invoices and payments so you can keep track of your expenses and profits.

Get handyman insurance in Pennsylvania

Handymen are the “jack of all trades” of the contractor world, using your knowledge and skill to fix just about anything. However, accidents happen, no matter how skilled you may be. You need to be prepared for if they do. Getting the handyman contractor insurance in Pennsylvania is crucial to protecting your small business.

Here’s an example:** You’re working in a client’s home, and accidentally knock over an expensive vase. It shatters on the floor. The customer demands that you pay to replace the item. Could you afford to do this from your own pocket?

Thankfully, there is insurance available to help shield your business finances from expensive claims and lawsuits like this.

General Liability insurance* protects handyman businesses from the risk of third-party injury and property damage claims. This coverage typically pays your legal expenses as well as the cost to remedy the situation, up to the limits of the policy. General Liability policies protect you against both actual and alleged liability claims.

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 insurance in Pennsylvania.

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.

*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.
** The provision of the claims examples are for illustrative purposes only and should not be seen as an indication as to how any potential claim will be assessed or accepted. Cover for a claim will depend on the specific circumstances around the loss and would be subject to the terms and conditions of the policy concerned. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained in this webpage is general only. Coverage for claims on the policy will be determined by the insurer, not BizInsure, and will depend on the specific facts and circumstances involved.

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Workers Compensation Insurance

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Let's find

The coverage you need for your business

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance

Get a quote

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance

Get a quote

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

Get a quote

Workers Compensation Insurance

Workers Compensation Insurance

Get a quote

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