Handyman License Requirements in Texas

May 1, 2023 · 5 minutes to read

A Plumber fixes a sink piple

Texas is experiencing a population boom, with thousands of people moving to the Lone Star state every month. Growth like this could create opportunities for skilled tradesmen looking to help busy homeowners, landlords, and renters maintain their properties. Now might be an excellent time to start your own handyman business.

You might be asking yourself, “Do I need a handyman license in Texas?” While many other states require handypeople to have a state-issued handyman license or a general contractor license, Texas does not. However, there may be other licenses you do need to provide your skills to your fellow Texans.

Do I need a handyman license in Texas?

There is no state-issued handyman license in Texas. If you only provide basic handyman services and perform minor repairs, you may need a local license to work in some cities. Examples of basic handyperson jobs include:

  • Cleaning gutters
  • Unclogging pipes
  • Installing a washing machine
  • Patching holes in drywall
  • Hanging shelves or photo frames
  • Minor carpentry repairs
  • Paint touch ups

You may be required to get a contractor license in Texas to complete some speciality work as a handyperson. General contractor license requirements apply for certain types of electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work.

Regardless of the services you plan to provide, all businesses in Texas must have a business license to operate legally in the state. This includes handymen and handywomen who are sole proprietors, as well as contractors with small handyman companies.

What Texas contractor licenses can I get?

The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) issues state-level general contractor licenses for electricians, plumbers, and HVAC contractors. There are different licensing requirements for each specialty.

As a handyperson, you may be required to have these licenses to work on larger, more complex projects. They could be a great way to expand your services and gain new clients, so long as you have the skills necessary and are properly licensed.

Electrician Licenses

You must have an electrician license to install, maintain and expand electrical systems in Texas. This requirement applies to both residential and commercial work.

There are currently 11 electrician licenses available, from apprentices to master electricians. To apply for any of these licenses, you will need to meet minimum work experience or on-the-job training requirements and pass the electricians exam.

Plumber Licenses

There are four types of plumber licenses available in Texas: Tradesman Plumber-Limited, Journeyman, Master, and Plumbing Inspector.

Application requirements are set by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. You will need a minimum amount of plumbing experience, to complete an approved training program, and pass an exam to become a licensed plumber.

HVAC Licenses

You must have an HVAC contractor license to work on heating and cooling systems in Texas. There are two classes of license available: Class A (allows you to work on any size unit) and Class B (limits you to cooling units under 25 tons and heating units under 1.5 million BTUs/hour).

To apply for either license, you must have a minimum of two years’ experience or relevant education and pass an exam.

Local General Contractor Licenses

Though there is no handyman license issues by the state of Texas, you may need a local general contractor license or permit to work in certain cities. Local general contractor license requirements vary from city to city, so it’s wise to check what you need before starting work.

For example, tradespeople in Austin must register as a general contractor with the city. You may also need to apply for project-based permits to complete certain types of projects. In San Antonio, city licenses are issued based on the type of trade work you do, and you will need to pass a background check and provide proof of insurance to apply.

Do handymen need business insurance in Texas?

You may need General Liability insurance to get a contractor license or permit in the state of Texas. This form of coverage might also be a requirement to lease commercial space, to work with certain clients, or to bid on government contracts.

While Workers’ Compensation insurance is not mandatory in Texas, you will need a policy to accept government contracts. This requirement could apply to a handyman hired to maintain a government agency’s offices or state university facilities, for example.

Putting Texas Handymen to Work

As you can see, the question “Do I need a handyman license in Texas?” is not always an easy one to answer! The licenses and permits you may need will depend on the types of services you provide and where you are working. Contacting your local licensing authority or small business office may be a wise step to take before starting your handyman business.

Ready to protect your handyman business? Compare insurance for handymen today with BizInsure!

* 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 contractor license to ensure you are meeting their current licensing requirements.
As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this guide is general only and should not be relied upon as advice. The number of quotes provided varies between products, occupations and other underwriting factors determined by the insurers.
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