If you’re good with your hands and up for the challenge of taking on odd jobs around the house, you may be interested in learning how to get a handyman license in Virginia. This guide will tell you everything you need to know to get a professional Virginia handyman license.
Aside from general piece work in residences, a Virginia handyman can do general contractor work, so long as the cost of the materials and labor combined doesn’t go above $1,000. Once you hit the $1,000 mark, you must have a general contractor license to legally do the work.
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 Virginia?
There is not currently a license required to be a handyman in Virginia. The class C general contractor’s license is sometimes referred to as a handyman license since it has the lowest range and scope, but it’s a general contractor license.
A handyman without this license may do work that includes painting, drywall repair, window or door repair, replacing faucets or electrical outlets, swapping out light fixtures, laying carpet, hanging curtains, or installing shelves. It’s important to understand what a handyman may not do, as well. Pulling permits, working on the electrical panel or running wire, laying pipes, and working on the HVAC system of a home are all prohibited.
Is There a Specific Handyman License in Virginia?
There are three levels of general contractor license in Virginia, based on the size of the job being performed. The lowest level of general contractor’s license, a class C license, allows for residential contracting jobs between the amount of $1,000 and $10,000, including materials and labor. Currently, there are no handyman license requirements Virginia has set forth.
Virginia Handyman License Requirements
The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation regulates professional licenses, including the general contractor license. It’s important to note that the DPOR doesn’t issue contractor licenses to individuals, only to businesses; if you want to go after your general contractor license so you can take on bigger projects, you must register as a business first. The Virginia State Corporation Commission has all the information you need to do so.
If you want to work on projects larger than $1,000 or anticipate doing enough jobs to total more than $150,000 in a year, you must apply for a general contractor license. You can learn more about being a general contractor in Virginia in this handy guide.
Here are a few other helpful articles about working as a handyman:
- Do You Need a Contractor License to Be a Handyman?
- What Type of Work Can a Handyman Do Legally?
- How Much Work Can You Do Without a Contractor License?
- What Should a Handyman Be Able To Do? (Skills You Need)
With no Virginia handyman license, there’s also no insurance requirement. However, it’s always a good idea to have liability insurance in case someone is injured or property is damaged. That way you’re protected in a worst-case scenario.
If you hire any employees, you must have workers’ compensation insurance. You may want to have workers’ comp anyway, to pay for your medical bills and lost wages should you be injured on the job. Some health insurance providers won’t pay for such injuries.
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Handyman Training and Certification Programs
While handyman training and certification programs don’t really exist, you may benefit from taking some courses in the building trades from your local community college. For example, Virginia Western Community College offers a variety of classes that would benefit a handyman, including First Aid and Safety, Landscape Plants, Industrial Safety, Home Electric Power, Introduction to Construction, and Principles of Plumbing Trade.
You might also want to take a class or two on business management. For example, Northern Virginia Community College offers courses in Entrepreneurship, Accounting for Small Business, Principles of Management, Planning for Small Business, and Marketing.
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 Virginia FAQ
1. What Happens If I Do Not Have the Right License?
If you’re found doing the work of a contractor without a contractor’s license, you could be found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. In addition, for every day you’re found in violation of the law, you can be fined an additional $500 per day.
2. How Long Is My Virginia Handyman License Valid?
General contractor licenses must be renewed every two years. Licenses are valid through the end of the month in which they were granted.
3. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
Contact the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation Board for Contractors in Richmond if you have any questions. They can be reached by phone at (804) 367-2785, fax at (866) 430-1033, or email via their contact form.
Now that you know all there is to know about a Virginia handyman license, you’re well on your way to an exciting career since you never know what your next job is going to entail. You could be painting a nursery one day, revitalizing flowerbeds the next, and installing a closet organization system the day after that. Wherever your handyman business takes you, stay legal and stay safe.