Pursuing a career as a handyman in Louisiana can be a lucrative business. However, before you begin working, you need to know what work you can perform within the constraints of what an unlicensed handyman can do in the state. If you feel the limitations are too constrictive, you can apply for the appropriate licensing to open up a larger body of available work. This in-depth guide examines the license and registration requirements, links to helpful resources and applications, and information on education opportunities to get you started.
This article is not legal advice. You should consult your local regulations and a qualified attorney for legal advice.
Do You Need a License to be a Handyman in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, a handyman only needs a license to perform projects with costs exceeding $7,500, including the cost of labor.
The most common definition of a handyman is someone who has a variety of home improvement skills and can take on small repairs and maintenance in a residence. In Louisiana, they are limited to minor jobs, such as deck staining, power washing, painting, small appliance repairs, and furniture assembly. Work a handyman is not qualified to do includes:
- Structural builds or repairs
- Electrical work
- Plumbing work
- HVAC installation, maintenance, or repair
Most handymen are self-employed. However, some work for a construction company or are hired by a residential or commercial property owner to complete small repairs and maintenance.
Is There a Specific Handyman License in Louisiana?
If you plan to perform handyman work that exceeds the $7,500 threshold for labor and material costs, you must seek licensure from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.
Louisiana Handyman License Requirements
You only need to apply for a handyman license if you plan to work on a project that costs more than $7,500 to complete. Any residential work beyond that threshold requires a general contractor license from the state licensing board.
Requirements for Creating a Handyman Business
You do not need a license to become a handyman. However, if you plan to start a handyman business, you must follow a few steps, even if your business will only handle projects valued below the $7,500 threshold.
Follow these simple steps to create a handyman business:
- Choose the correct business structure, such as LLC, sole-proprietorship, partnership, or corporation
- Register your business with the Louisiana Secretary of State
- Create a business bank account
- Get the suggested insurance requirement listed below
Additionally, check the local building codes and permit requirements before you begin working at a new location. These vary at the county and municipality levels.
There is no state-mandated insurance requirement for an unlicensed handyman in Louisiana. However, general liability insurance is recommended to cover you in the event that someone suffers an injury during the project or as a result of your work. This also covers property damage.
Licensed handymen may include residential, mold, or home improvement contractors, and each one requires general liability insurance at the following minimums:
- Residential contractors: $100,000
- Mold contractors: $50,000
- Home improvement contractors: $100,000
Handymen and contractors that employ others also need workers’ compensation insurance and must submit proof of insurance to the licensing board. If you have a company vehicle, you should also consider commercial auto insurance.
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Louisiana Handyman Licensing and Registration Fees
Any home improvement project valued between $7,500 and $75,000, excluding work involving swimming pool installation or repair, requires registration with the LSLBC. The application is only available online, and the non-refundable fee is $75 (these fees are subject to change). Before applying, you should read the online application instructions and ensure that you have all the required documentation.
Handyman Training and Certification Programs
There are no formal training or education programs for handymen. However, some handymen chose to become licensed home inspectors, which requires 90 hours of training from any of the following schools approved by the Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors:
- American Home Inspectors Training Institute, (800) 441-9411
- American Inspection Academy, (225) 257-5507
- ATI – Home Inspector Training, (855) 735-2021
- Inspection Certification Associates, (888) 374-4096
- National Institute of Building Inspectors, (732) 733-2021
- Professional Home Inspection Institute, (800) 983-6322
All of these programs allow completion of all 90 hours online
Specific certifications or memberships, such as obtaining a home inspector certificate or joining The Association of Certified Handyman Professionals, can lend credibility to your business. It is also essential to understand fundamental business principles, which you can gain through an online training program.
Handyman License Louisiana FAQ
1. What Happens If I Do Not Have the Right License?
Performing work on a residence in excess of $7,500 without a contractor license in Louisiana may result in a misdemeanor charge with applicable fees, typically around $500. The licensing board will also impose a fine of 10% of the contract value.
2. How Long Is My Louisiana Handyman License Valid?
There is no licensing requirement for a handyman, but a contractor license should be renewed annually.
3. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
For further questions, contact the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. You can call (225) 765-2301 or visit the website to fill out a contact form.