How to obtain a handyman license

Updated July 05, 2018

Getting a license for becoming a handyman shows your potential clients that you are serious about your job. When competing with those who are not licensed it's an easy choice for your client. Many states require handymen to get licensed. Even if your state doesn't require a handyman license it would be in your best interest to obtain one. If you are a contractor working in any construction-related field, you need to become a licensed contractor to do work as a handyman.

Determine the type of license you need. Review the state boards of contractors. Your license will depend on your experience and areas of expertise. Most states do require that you obtain a general contractor license to preform work or advertise as a handyman. However, some require different types of handyman licensing that you may not be aware of. See which license you need.

Sign up for the test through your state's board of licensing. You will need to pass a test in order to obtain your contractor's license. The test will include the topics of law and business. Contact your state's general contractor licensing board and sign up for to take the handyman license test. Schedule the test date in the next couple of weeks so you have time to prepare and study for it.

Prepare for the contractor license test. Sign up for a seminar that will help prepare you for the test. Contact The National Contractor License Service. They can set you up with a seminar in your area. Ask your state's licensing board for recommendations for code books and any other study materials that will help you with the test. Study every day for at least an hour until the date of your test; study more if you do not attend a contractor school.

Gather your business materials and bring them with you on your testing date. Get the application for testing so you know what materials you will need to have in order to pass the test. Usually it is required that you show your business license, your income and expenses, and your experience. Make sure you read the application instructions thoroughly and provide all information necessary.


Contact the National Contractor License Service with any questions or concerns about obtaining a general contracting license or the requirements for a contractor license in a specific state.


Make sure you qualify for the license by reading the application completely.

Things You'll Need

  • State & local requirements for licensing contractors
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About the Author

Nicole LaMarco is a copywriter and content marketing strategist with more than 15 years of experience. See her website at