If you are hoping to get a Vermont handyman license, you might be surprised to know that Vermont does not offer a statewide handyman license. They also do not mandate licensing for general contractors. However, certain construction-related specialties do require licensing.
If your handyman work includes electrical, plumbing, gas lines, fire alarms or suppression systems, or mechanical work, you will need to obtain the appropriate license from the state. The Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety, oversees licensing for these specialties.
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 Vermont?
For the most part, you do not need a Vermont handyman license to start working as a handyman. You can perform a wide variety of home improvement tasks without a license in the state, including:
- Installing or replacing windows and doors
- Building additions
- Drywall repair
- Kitchen and bath remodels
- Installing window treatments
- Roof repairs and installations
Mechanical work involving oil burners, plumbing, electrical, and gas requires a license from the Vermont Division of Fire Safety.
Is There a Specific Handyman License in Vermont?
You do not need a special license to work as a handyman or building contractor in Vermont. The licenses that you may need for specialty work include:
- Plumbing contractor
- Oil burner installer
- Gas installer (natural gas and propane)
- Chimney sweep
Additionally, individual municipalities may impose their own licensing or registration rules, and many require a permit before certain types of work can start.
Vermont Handyman License Requirements
When looking at how to get a handyman license in Vermont, it quickly becomes evident that there are very few handyman license requirements Vermont handyman professionals must meet. As long as you limit your activities to those allowed without a license, you are essentially free to operate your handyman business as you see fit.
Depending on your business structure, you may also need to:
- Register the business with the Vermont Secretary of State
- Obtain an EIN from the IRS
- Establish an account with the Vermont Department of Tax
- Set up an account with the Department of Labor
If you decide to obtain a specialty license, contact the Vermont Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety, for licensing information. Several boards within the department oversee these specialties. You must take an exam or provide proof of relevant experience to get a license. You may also need to meet continuing education requirements to renew it.
The following resources may be helpful as you explore the different types of work that are possible with a Vermont handyman license:
- Are Handymen Cheaper Than a Contractor? By How Much?
- Can a Handyman Hire Subcontractors?
- Can a Handyman Do a Remodel Job? (Bathroom, Kitchen & More)
- What Should a Handyman Be Able To Do? (Skills You Need)
There are no commercial liability requirements to have a Vermont handyman license. However, you will need an auto policy if you operate a vehicle as part of your business, such as storing and transporting tools to job sites. In addition, Vermont businesses with employees may be required to have specific coverage, such as workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.
Even though liability insurance is not required, you may still opt to purchase coverage. It can offer an extra level of confidence to customers, replace tools or equipment that are damaged to du theft or vandalism, and protect financial assets against legal claims. Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Handyman Training and Certification Programs
There are several different training programs available for Vermont handyman license hopefuls. The following are a few of the most affordable and innovative options.
Vermont tech offers two- and four-year construction management degree programs at its Randolph Center campus. Contact the school at (877) 337-7116 for more information.
Southwest Tech offers a building trades program designed to teach basic skills needed to enter the construction industry and can be an excellent foundation for a handyman career. The program is free to high school students and adult Vermont residents without a high school diploma. Others must pay or use financial aid to cover tuition.
Vermont Talent Pipeline Management offers several training resources and industry certifications that may help advance your handyman career.
ReSOURCE VT is a nonprofit organization that offers a free six-week construction 101 skills training program to Vermont residents. Apply online or contact Pam Laser, Lead Employment and Transition Coordinator, at [email protected] or (802) 324-.2091 for more information.
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 Vermont FAQ
There are very few requirements to get a Vermont handyman license. However, the lack of clear regulations can lead to confusion. These FAQs may help you understand rules more clearly.
1. What Happens If I Do Not Have the Right License?
The Division of Fire Safety can impose a fine of up to $500 for performing electrical or plumbing work without a license. In addition, other penalties may be assessed at the local level.
2. How Do I Find Out About Local Requirements?
In general, local contractor licensing and building permits are handled by your city or county’s building and zoning department. Contact local administrative offices to find out what is required in your area before you start any handyman projects.
3. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
If you still have questions about how to get a handyman license in Vermont, contact the My-Lanh Graves, Licensing Specialist at the Division of Fire Safety Central Office, at 802-479-7564.