Texas is one of the fastest-growing U.S. states. In addition to a booming population, its lack of statewide contractor regulations makes it an ideal place to work as a handyman.
There is no Texas handyman license; however, certain specialties require a contractor license, including plumbers, electricians, and mechanical contractors. Additionally, many local municipalities have a contractor registration process.
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 Texas?
You do not need a Texas handyman license to perform standard handyman projects in Texas. Typical work includes minor household repairs, repairing or replacing windows and doors, drywall repairs and interior painting, and pressure washing.
Handyman professionals and contractors must be licensed to engage in plumbing, mechanical, and electrical work throughout the state.
Many cities have handyman registration requirements. Registration allows handymen to perform limited work within city limits but is not a Texan handyman license.
Is There a Specific Handyman License in Texas?
There is no statewide handyman license in Texas. Instead, many cities require contractors or handymen to register with the local permitting department.
Handymen wanting to complete specialty work (i.e., plumbing, electrical, HVAC) must apply for an appropriate license with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
Texas Handyman License Requirements
Thanks to a lack of statewide regulations, there are no statewide handyman license requirements Texas contractors must meet before they can accept work.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation issues and oversees licenses for plumbers, electricians, and HVAC contractors in the state. Each specialty has several classifications of license requiring different education, training, and application processes. Contact the TDLR help center for current application information.
Our Texas contractor guide provides information about getting a Texas general contractor or specialty license.
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There are very minimal business insurance requirements in Texas. However, you may want to have certain policies in place to protect your business, such as:
- Commercial auto — This covers vehicles operated as part of your business, such as your handyman work truck
- General liability — Liability insurance protects you against claims if your work results in an injury or property damage.
- Worker’s compensation — Texas does not require employers to carry worker’s comp coverage. However, failure to have coverage means you are responsible for costs if an employee is injured on the job.
You are responsible for determining your handyman insurance needs and finding suitable coverage in Texas. Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Texas Handyman Licensing and Registration Fees
Part of how to get a handyman license in Texas is knowing the fees required by each local jurisdiction where you will be working. Unless you plan to cover large areas of the state, this should be relatively straightforward. Here are registration fees and requirements for some of the largest cities in Texas:
- Houston: Several registrations and permits are available through the City of Houston Public Works. Fees vary depending on the registration or permit requested. Check with Public Works to get an accurate figure.
- Dallas: Complete the Application for Contractor Registration and submit it with a $120 annual fee.
- San Antonio: You must complete the Home Improvement Contractor Registration Application and an FBI background check to register as a home improvement contractor in San Antonio. There is a $150 fee, payable every two years, and insurance requirements to operate as a handyman in the city.
- Austin: To register as a New Contractor with the City of Austin Development Services department, you must complete and submit a Letter of Authorization.
Contact your local licensing board if you are in a different city or the TDLR for specialty license information.
Handyman Training and Certification Programs
Many individuals seeking a Texas handyman license opt to gain experience and knowledge through on-the-job training or volunteer work. However, there are plenty of options for formal education in construction-related fields. A few popular schools in Texas that can help you get started as a handyman include:
- Coastal Bend College, Beeville, TX (866) 722-2838
- Paris Junior College, Paris, TX (903) 782-0425
- Texarkana College, Texarkana, TX (903) 823-3456
- Remington College, Fort Worth, TX (817) 451-0017
- Western Texas College, Snyder, TX (325) 573-8511
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 Texas FAQ
While there is no Texas handyman license covering the whole state, there are various requirements in many local jurisdictions. That can make the process of becoming a handyman confusing. However, the following answers can clarify how to get started.
1. What Happens If I Do Not Have the Right License?
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) can issue fines of up to $5,000 for handymen who perform unlicensed electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work.
2. How Long Is My Texas Handyman License Valid?
Depending on where you are registered, you may need to renew your Texas handyman license annually or every two years. Check with the local licensing agency to determine requirements.
3. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
It is common to have questions about how to get a handyman license in Texas. Because licenses and registrations are handled at the city level, you should contact the local building or public works department where you will be working.
If you need additional information about Texas contractor licenses, the following departments within the TDLR may be helpful: