You’ve always been good with your hands and have been tackling odd jobs around the house pretty much all your life. Maybe you were the kid who took apart the toaster or VCR just to see how they worked. You want to put those skills to good use and become a handyman, and now you’re wondering how to get a handyman license in Ohio.
Whether you want to tackle “odd jobs,” “side work,” or “maintenance,” you might want to just hang out your shingle and call yourself a handyman. You may be wondering, though, if you need an Ohio handyman license before you can do that. It’s important to understand the legal requirements of operating a handyman business in the state of Ohio.
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 Ohio?
There is no such thing as an Ohio handyman license. In fact, the state doesn’t even have a general contractor’s license. In Ohio, the only tradespeople who need a state license are electrical, hydronic, plumbing, HVAC, and refrigeration contractors.
However, some cities have general contractor licenses, including Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Check with your local jurisdiction to see if they require general contractors to be licensed or if they have handyman licenses.
A handyman in Ohio is generally allowed to do odd jobs, minor repairs, painting, and patching drywall. Anything that would require a permit to be pulled would be under the auspices of a general contractor.
If the work involves plumbing, electrical, HVAC, Hydronics, or refrigeration, you need to have the appropriate license before you can undertake it. A handyman in Ohio is not permitted to do that work without a license.
You may want to consider getting a general contractor license at some point if you live and work in a jurisdiction that requires them. You would be well advised to get a business license and register your business with the Ohio Department of Taxation This will lend credibility and legitimacy to your handyman business.
Is There a Specific Handyman License in Ohio?
There is no handyman license in Ohio. The state does not license general contractors, either. Local jurisdictions such as Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati do have general contractors’ licenses. Other cities and counties may as well. Check with your local government to find out more.
Ohio Handyman License Requirements
There are no requirements for a handyman license, as there is no statewide handyman license. Once the job reaches a level above “odd jobs” or a “honey-do list,” a general contractor should be called in. However, there are certain skills that every handyman should have. You may also want to look at what type of work a handyman can legally do.
General contractor licenses may be issued by various cities and counties in Ohio. Talk to your local building department or County Engineer for more information.
We can’t confirm any insurance requirements for a handyman to meet since handyman licenses are few and far between in Ohio. However, it’s a good idea, if you’re going to work as a handyman, to carry basic liability insurance. That way you’re covered if anyone is injured or any property is damaged. If you plan to hire any employees, you’ll also need to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
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Handyman Training and Certification Programs
You may be able to improve your skills by taking courses at your local community college. For example, at Owens Community College, which has campuses near Findlay and Toledo, you can earn an Associate’s degree in Building Maintenance. The skills you learn would come in handy for your handyman business.
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 Ohio FAQ
1. What Happens If I Do Not Have the Right License?
Since the handyman license requirements Ohio has don’t exist, not much will happen if you don’t have the right license. If you live in a jurisdiction where general contractors are licensed, and you overstep from what a handyman can do to what a general contractor does, then you could face civil action and maybe even fines. Your local building department will have more information.
2. How Long Is My Ohio Handyman License Valid?
If you get a handyman license from any local jurisdiction in Ohio, they will be able to tell you how long your license is valid. The same can be said of general contractor licenses, should you decide to go that route.
3. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
For any questions about getting a handyman license in Ohio, contact your local government offices to find out if they offer general contractor or handyman licenses.
Working as a handyman can be a long, rewarding career. Make sure you register your business with the state and set yourself up for success with the Department of Taxation. Even without an Ohio handyman license, there’s no excuse not to hold yourself forth as having a legitimate handyman business.