How To Start a Handyman Business

Table of Contents

How To Start A Handyman Business

(There are links at the bottom of this article showing how to start a handyman business in your area.)

A handyman business is a great small business to start.  As a sole-proprietor, a handyman can achieve a part-time or full-time income, depending on a few factors such as effective marketing, competition, and the economics in your region.  It is also a great business to start with little or no money.

You will need a reliable vehicle, proper tools, and a general knowledge of carpentry, electrical, and plumbing.  You should also be aware of building codes and requirements in your particular area.  You may be required to obtain special licenses or certifications to perform certain types of jobs such as electrical or plumbing.

Besides needing to have the necessary skills to be a handyman, you will need to follow a number of steps in order to legally start and own a handyman business in the United States.  Every state is different in it requirements for people performing home improvement work.  You will need to do your own research for local and regional laws regarding handyman services, necessary licenses and permits, and other home repair requirements.

Being a successful handyman involves being organized, having a good general knowledge of home maintenance, patience, perseverance, people-skills, and a number of other traits.  Many business owners fail, not because they weren’t skilled in working with electrical or plumbing, but because they were not skilled in running a business.

If you want to make money as a handyman and grow a large company, you will need to be a skilled business owner, as the responsibility will be greater.  It is not wrong to dream big, but if you are a new business owner, it is best to start small and work your way up.


There are three basic steps to starting a handyman business from scratch.  First is planning.  Second is registering with proper government institutions.  Lastly, you will need to promote your business through advertising and other means.

1.  Plan Your Handyman Business

Develop a Business plan


Before diving in to any business, you should develop a business plan.  If you want to start a handyman business, you definitely need to start with a business plan!  Tools, equipment and vehicles can cost a lot of money.  Don’t forget about insurance costs, not only for you, but for any employees.  A business plan doesn’t have to be anything complicated, but is something that will help organize your goals and priorities and help you make wise decisions.

Planning properly will help you decide if you are going to specialize in a specific niche such as electrical repairs, or if you will offer a variety of services.

  • Set short and long-term goals – Plan your business before you spend a dime.
  • Decide what services you will offer – Decide the scope of your business.
  • Find a niche – What will be your specialty?  What will set you apart from the competition?
  • Choose a business name – Put some thought into deciding a name for your handyman business.  Check here for name ideas for your handyman business: Handyman Business Name Ideas
  • Decide what you will charge for your services
  • Financing – You may need to get a business loan

Get Organized

As soon as you start your handyman business, you will need some sort of organizational structure so you can keep your customer communications and handyman-related paperwork in order.  You won’t necessarily need a full office when starting out.  An office desk dedicated to your handyman company paperwork would be helpful.


Get a daily planner or use your smartphone to schedule estimates, jobs, and other work-related appointments.  An easy way to lose customers is to arrive late or even forget a scheduled appointment.  A schedule will help you plan your day, week, and month, so you can make best use of your time and your customer’s time.

  • Set up an office
  • E-mail
  • Business phone
  • Estimate forms
  • Bill Forms

Equipment needed when starting a handyman business

You can’t start a business without at least a basic set of tools.  Equipment will probably account for the largest portion of your startup costs.  Starting out, you don’t necessarily need all brand-new tools and equipment.  You will save thousands of dollars in startup costs by purchasing a used vehicle, used ladders, and other misc. tools.

Another tip is to only buy tools as jobs require them.  This will help keep you from going into debt for tools and equipment you may end up never using.  Since you will be doing on-site repairs and maintenance, most of the tools and equipment you will need must be portable, and able to fit into your vehicle.  It is better to wait, and make your equipment purchases as needed, rather than starting with a vehicle full of tools you may never end up using.

2.  Register Your New Handyman Business

Make it legal

Make sure you are following proper protocol in your region.  This means having necessary insurance, following tax codes, getting proper licenses and permits, etc.  This applies even to a part-time handyman business.

Here is a checklist with some steps to starting your handyman business legally:

  • Select your business structure (sole-proprietor, LLC, Corporation, etc.)
  • Register your handyman business name
  • Register your business entity
  • Register as a home improvement contractor with your state (US)
  • Open a business bank account using your business name
  • Taxes- either get an accountant, or do research on filing yourself
  • Handyman Liability InsuranceGET A FREE QUOTE
  • Worker’s Compensation (if you have employees)
  • City Licenses and Permits
  • Other Licenses and Certifications to perform certain types of repairs/installations
  • OSHA

3.  Grow Your New Handyman Businesshow to start a handyman business

In order to grow your handyman business, you will need to work hard, have people skills, and be patient.  You will also need to market your business effectively.  Success and profit won’t come overnight.


Beside employees, dealing with customers can cause a great amount of stress.  Learning how to communicate well with customers can help boost sales and increase word-of-mouth leads.

  • Learn how to sell a handyman job to a potential customer
  • Estimate a job properly
  • Communicate regularly and clearly with the customer
  • Be fair and honest- take responsibility for your mistakes


After you start a handyman business, you need to market it.  You can’t expect to make money as a handyman without any customers.  Some low-cost advertising to get started can include a basic 1 or 2 page website, setting up a free business listing on Google and other online directories, create some business profiles on social media, have business cards made and maybe even invest in a few yard signs.

The links below will help get you start your handyman business legally.  Keep in mind that some states or countries require special certifications and licensing for plumbing and electrical work.  Below, you will find information on choosing and registering a business name, registering your business with your state or country, setting up taxes, and possibly registering as a contractor.

Start Your Own Handyman Business in The United States


New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

How To Start A Handyman Business In The UK