If you’ve always been good with your hands, doing odd jobs around the house, you may have the potential to be a great handyman. All you need is a Washington DC handyman license, plus a few other important documents, and you’re ready to get to work.
As a handyman in Washington DC, you need to do only the work permitted under your license. If you want to branch out into more complex projects, you’ll need to apply for a general contractor’s license. Don’t worry, though — there’s plenty of handyman work to go around.
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 Washington DC?
You need to have a license to be a handyman in Washington DC. It’s called a Home Improvement Contractor license, and according to the Code of the District, it allows you to undertake the “repair, remodeling, alteration, conversion, or modernization of, or addition to, residential property.”
Handymen can’t hire subcontractors or work on electrical, plumbing, or HVAC systems. They also can’t work in commercial spaces, only residential ones.
Is There a Specific Handyman License in Washington DC?
Yes, there is a specific handyman license. In Washington DC, it’s called the Home Improvement Contractor license.
*Washington DC Handyman License Requirements
The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs oversees the issuance of the Home Repair Contractor license. The DCRA also lists several other documents that are necessary to fulfill the handyman license requirements Washington DC needs.
The other documents include:
- A Certificate of Liability Insurance
- A Certificate of Occupancy/Home Occupation Permit
- A Corporate Registration (if applicable)
- A Home Improvement Contract (in triplicate)
- A Home Improvement Salesperson Designation Letter
- A Police Criminal History Report
- A Surety Bond of $25,000
- Tax Registration
Here are a few articles that help differentiate between a general contractor and a handyman:
- What Type of Work Can a Handyman Do Legally?
- How Much Work Can You Do Without a Contractor License?
- Does a Handyman Need a License? (What Kind and From Whom)
- Can a Handyman Do a Remodel Job? (Bathroom, Kitchen & More)
As a handyman in Washington DC, there are a few requirements for insurance. First, you’ll need a surety bond of at least $25,000. Second, you’ll need liability insurance in case a person is injured or property is damaged in the course of your work.
The liability insurance required is $50,000 for the injury or death of one person in a single accident, $100,000 in the aggregate for more than one person being injured or killed in a single accident, and $10,000 to cover property damage in any single accident.
If you hire employees, you need to have workers’ compensation insurance, too. Even if you don’t have anyone working for you, it may be a good idea to have workers’ comp to cover yourself if you’re injured on the job.
Many private health insurance companies won’t cover workplace injuries, so workers’ comp would foot the bill there. It also covers lost wages from the time when you’re unable to work due to your injury.
Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Washington DC Handyman Licensing and Registration Fees
There are just a couple of fees associated with getting a Home Improvement Contractor license in the District of Columbia. First, you’ll need to pay $288.50 for your Washington DC handyman license. You’ll also need to pay $7 for a copy of your Criminal History Report.
Handyman Training and Certification Programs
When you look into how to get a handyman license in Washington DC, you’ll discover there are no education requirements and no exams you have to pass.
However, it’s always helpful to have a little knowledge about the various types of work you’ll be doing. Your local community college may have a variety of courses geared toward general contracting that could come in handy.
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.
Washington DC Handyman License Application
The DCRA lists all the requirements for getting your handyman license on its website. You can register online. You can apply for your license online, too.
Handyman License Washington DC FAQ
1. What Happens If I Do Not Have the Right License?
If you operate without a Washington DC handyman license, you’re guilty of a misdemeanor. You could face up to 90 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. There may also be civil penalties.
2. How Long Is My Washington DC Handyman License Valid?
The business licenses required to have a handyman license in the District expire after two years. It’s unclear how long the Home Improvement Contractor license is good for.
3. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
If you have any questions, you can reach out to the DCRA by calling them at (202) 442-4400, emailing them at [email protected], or visiting their office in person at 1100 4th Street, SW.
Getting a Washington DC handyman license can be the start of a long, interesting career. You may never know from one job to the next what each project will entail, keeping you curious throughout your work. You’ll be able to help homeowners make their residences more beautiful and more functional, leading to great satisfaction in your chosen career.
For More License and Career Guides
To find out how to become a Handyman in another state, start here.
For information on other trades in Washington DC, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: