By performing small construction-related tasks, handymen keep many American households running smoothly. For example, a handyman might install cabinets one day, pressure wash siding the next, and follow that up by laying tiles the following week.
If you want to work as a handyman in South Carolina, you will be limited to the smallest jobs unless you register as a Residential Specialty Contractor. Without registration, you can only perform jobs with a total value under $200, including labor and supplies.
Even with registration, however, you will still face limitations. For example, a specialty contractor cannot offer electrical, plumbing, HVAC, or structural services. Keep reading to learn more about getting your South Carolina handyman license and launching a rewarding career.
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 South Carolina?
While there is not technically a South Carolina handyman license, you must register as a Residential Specialty Contractor if you will perform construction-related work valued at over $200.
This allows work in three basic construction categories and excludes specific skilled trades like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC services. In addition, handyman license requirements in South Carolina also exclude structural work, so a handyman is also not allowed to serve in the capacity of a builder when a registered Residential Specialty Contractor.
Is There a Specific Handyman License in South Carolina?
South Carolina does not require a handyman license. However, it requires registration with the Residential Builders Commission, a South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation department, as a Residential Specialty Contractor. During registration, you will select three specialties to register for from the following categories:
- Vinyl/Aluminum Siding
- Insulation Installer
- Solar Panel Installers
- Floor Covering
- Drywall Installer
- Stucco Installer
- Painter/Wall Paper
South Carolina Handyman License Requirements
While learning about how to get a handyman license in South Carolina, you may have noticed that the process is straightforward. There are only a few requirements to register as a Residential Specialty Contractor. The state Residential Builders Commission oversees the process.
Remember that you will be limited to the three specialties you select in your registration application. Without obtaining the appropriate contractor license, you cannot perform work outside of these specialties. Visit our resource guide for more information about how to get a general contractor license in South Carolina.
These articles may be helpful if you are still unsure about the differences between what can be done with a handyman license and what requires a contractor license:
- Do You Need a Contractor License to Be a Handyman?
- What Type of Work Can a Handyman Do Legally?
- Does a Handyman Need a License? (What Kind and From Whom)
- Are Handymen Cheaper Than a Contractor? By How Much?
- Can a Handyman Do a Remodel Job? (Bathroom, Kitchen & More)
- Can a Handyman Hire Subcontractors?
If you are registering as a Residential Specialty Contractor to perform handyman services in South Carolina, you may need to obtain a $5,000 surety bond.
According to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, any South Carolina business with more than four employees or an annual payroll over $3,000 must obtain workers’ compensation insurance.
If you operate a vehicle as a regular part of your business, you need a commercial auto policy. Additionally, although it is not part of the handyman license requirements South Carolina, it is a smart financial move to purchase commercial liability insurance to protect your assets. Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
South Carolina Handyman Licensing and Registration Fees
There are minimal fees to maintain a South Carolina handyman license. The cost to register as a Residential Specialty Contractor is $100 every two years. This fee is accurate as of press time but is subject to change. It is a good idea to check with your local licensing board about any other fees you may be responsible for.
Handyman Training and Certification Programs
There are no education requirements to get a South Carolina handyman license. However, you may benefit from taking industry-specific classes which can help you stay on top of trends and current best practices. A few examples include:
- Small business management
- Construction technology
- Concrete or masonry
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.
South Carolina Handyman License Application
If you want to register as a Residential Specialty Contractor, you must submit the appropriate application for registration. It should be accompanied by three letters of reference and a check (payable to SCRBC) for the correct amount to:
South Carolina Residential Builders Commission
PO Box 11329
Columbia, SC, 29211
If you are performing work valued at $5,000 or more, you will also need proof of a $5,000 surety bond.
Handyman License South Carolina FAQ
There are some unusual steps to getting a South Carolina handyman license, so it is pretty common to have questions about the process. Here are answers to some we hear most often.
1. What Happens If I Do Not Have the Right License?
There are legal penalties, established in S.C. Code Ann. § 40-11-200, for acting as a contractor without proper licensing. Practicing without a license is a misdemeanor; individuals convicted may face a jail sentence and a monetary fine of no more than $5,000.
2. How Long Is My South Carolina Handyman License Valid?
Your South Carolina handyman specialty contractor registration must be renewed every two years. They expire on June 30th of odd years. Failure to submit a renewal will result in your registration lapsing.
3. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
If you have additional questions about how to get a handyman license in South Carolina, contact the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The office is located at:
Synergy Business Park; Kingstree Building
110 Centerview Dr.
Columbia, South Carolina 29210
You can also speak to board staff by calling (803) 896-4300 or emailing [email protected] Staff is available during normal business hours of 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.