You may need a New Jersey handyman license if you perform home repair work for a fee. The state Division of Consumer Affairs regulates this profession and has established license requirements depending on the size of your projects and the types of payment you accept. In this guide, learn how to get a handyman license in New Jersey and find out if your work requires this designation.
Disclaimer: 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 New Jersey?
According to the state Department of Banking and Insurance, you only need a license to work as a handyman if you enter finance contracts with your clients for home repairs under the New Jersey Home Repair Financing Act. You do not need a license if you only take credit card and/or cash installment payments with terms of 90 days or less.
All handymen in New Jersey must register their businesses with the Division of Consumer Affairs. Home improvement contractor registration covers relevant types of home repair work, such as renovations, painting, and other cosmetic alterations, remodeling projects, installation of new appliances and systems, construction, restoration, modernization, and demolition. Engaging in plumbing or electrical work requires a separate license in New Jersey.
Is There a Specific Handyman License in New Jersey?
New Jersey does not have a specific handyman license. Instead, you must register as a home improvement contractor to do this type of work in the Garden State.
New Jersey Handyman License Requirements
To register as a home improvement contractor with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, you must complete an application and pay a fee of $90 by check or money order. The state requires a disclosure form with your application with a complete accounting of past criminal convictions and probation violations.
New Jersey requires registered home improvement contractors to carry at least $500,000 in general commercial liability insurance. If you have employees, you must also provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance to register and license your business.
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New Jersey Handyman Licensing and Registration Fees
New Jersey charges a $90 fee for home improvement contractor registration. If you need a license, which means you will finance large projects for your clients, you must also pay the $300 licensing fee.
New Jersey does not require a background check for your home improvement contractor license. However, you must disclose all past criminal history and sign this statement in the presence of a notary.
Handyman Training and Certification Programs
New Jersey does not offer education programs for basic home repairs. However, you can pursue training to make the most of your career. 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.
New Jersey Handyman License Application
You only need to apply for a state home repair contractor license if your business will finance a project for a client for longer than 90 days. The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance manages this process.
The application requires documentation of your business address, a certificate of insurance, and proof of registration with the Department of Consumer Affairs. You must also pay a $300 fee.
Handyman License New Jersey FAQ
These are the most common questions contractors have about getting a New Jersey handyman license.
1. What Happens If I Do Not Have the Right License?
You may receive civil penalties such as fines if you operate as a contractor without the right type of license in New Jersey.
2. How Long Is My New Jersey Handyman License Valid?
You must renew your handyman registration with the Department of Consumer Affairs every year. Home improvement contractor licenses are good for two years and expire on odd-numbered years. The Department of Banking and Insurance will send renewal instructions by mail no later than April 1 of the year your license expires.
3. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
You can reach the Department of Banking and Insurance with your questions by emailing [email protected] You can also talk directly to someone in contractor licensing by calling 609-292-7272.
While you don’t necessarily need a New Jersey handyman license to perform residential repair work, you do need to register your business with the state. Review this guide to ensure you remain compliant with handyman license requirements in New Jersey.