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US immigration 911: Hirerush experts explain how to start a handyman business

Handyman business: is it possible for the immigrant?

In 2015 only 9% of immigrant workers were occupied in the construction works HireRush experts report. By 2017 the percentage grew up to a quarter of all immigrants. More and more people who come to the US consider construction works as the main income item for their families. If you are one of them, then this article is for you. However, today you will learn not just how to get a job in the construction industry, but how to open a business and become self-employed. We will discuss training required as well as paperwork needed to open the business in seven most suitable and profitable states for this kind of work.

Skill training

The term “handyman” is very broad and means that you can fix literally anything. While it’s great that you have skills in repairing and building anything, in the US it is essential that you have a proof of these skills. To be a professional and offer qualified services, you need to complete some training courses. Another side of courses is that after completing them you will learn professional lexis and will be able to pass the test for certification and license (read about licensing later in the article). Furthermore, it has never been easier to complete a handyman course than today; you can go online and find some courses on the web to attend a local community college if you have time. Whatever you do, it is highly advised to do so.

Professional licensing and job permits

Professional license and job permits are essential for large handyman businesses all over the US. However, the documents required by the government vary from state to state. Below you can find information about the paperwork and related links in seven best states for opening a handyman business.

1. New York

You don’t need any permits or license if you perform works with the total cost less than $200. If the cost exceeds, then you need to obtain home improvement contractor license. Once you decided to open a business, register your business name here. For more detailed information on opening a business in NY, you can visit this page or go to New York Business Express for consultation.

2. Georgia

The procedure of registering a handyman business in Georgia is similar to New York. First, you need to register a business name with the Superior Court Clerk in your Georgia county. Then decide on the structure of your future business. And, finally, register your business with Georgia Corporations Division or Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors. Keep in mind that plumbing and electrical works require a separate licensing in Georgia, while roofing, painting, sheetrock, siding, mold remediation, flooring, foundation waterproofing and septic tank repair contractors need no license in this state.

3. Texas

In Texas, there are no state regulations and requirements for general contractors (so-called handymen). This means that you don’t need to obtain a professional license here. However, such governmental policy led to particular regulations of contractors in cities. For example, in San Antonio, if you want to provide basic repairs and maintenance, you will have to fill out an application, get a complete background check, and then also pay a fee before you can legally get down to contractor services. In Austin, however, there are no registration requirements if you are performing small repairs and maintenance; registration exists only for specialty contractors (plumbers, electricians, HVAC professionals, elevator/escalator safety contractors, and building of industrial housing experts).

Bottom line, if you’re planning to open a handyman business in Texas, just google “handyman license in [city name]” to learn about particular requirements for your city. Of course, if you want to establish a business and not just be an individual contractor, then you still need to register your business name and obtain a business license.

4. California

As well as Texas, California doesn’t have state regulations for contractors and doesn’t demand any particular licensing. However, this freedom is applied not to all lines of contractor’s work. A handyman in California can perform any type of work without a license if the overall cost of the project does not exceed $500. Unfortunately, it means that if the project costs more than $500, but you do the part for $300, you still cannot participate in it.

In California, you don’t need to have a license to perform minor electrical and plumbing works, which makes this state a perfect place to start a handyman business. If you plan to enlarge the company, then make sure to register your company’s name and business with California authorities.

5. Florida

In Florida, no state regulations and license requirements exist for general contractors as well. However, without a license you cannot perform any project in the following categories: work on foundations, work on structural walls, plumbing and electrical works of any kind, HVAC works, asbestos abatement, alarm system install, repair, or maintenance. Florida also doesn’t have a limit on the cost of the project, which makes this state a handyman-friendly one.

If you need more information and legal documents about opening a handyman business here, visit Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Note that you still need to obtain a business license to open a business.

Tools and supplies

Tools and supplies you purchase depend on the line of work you are planning to perform and the number of workers you would like to have on your team. If in the beginning, you are planning to work on your own, then you should opt for only one set of tools. Keep in mind, that you don’t have to go to the department stores or home improvement supermarkets to get new tools. There you will spend a fortune! Instead, go online and look for used tools in good condition. Such a trick will allow you to start your business even if you don’t have much money.

In terms of supplies don’t bother. It is very rare that handymen pay for the supplies themselves. As a rule, the cost of supplies and their quality together with the price are discussed with the client before the contract signing. So this is your client who will pay for the supplies, not you.

Transport

Whatever kind of construction works you are planning to do, you need a car, and preferably a truck. Again, don’t be horrified that you need to get a new car! You can find a flat-bed or a pickup truck, an SUV will work as well, in the market for used cars. Depending on the condition of a vehicle, the price will vary. Yet, you will be able to buy a truck for as little as $4,000-$5,500. Keep in mind that you are looking for a workhorse, not a car to show off.

Marketing and advertising

Owing to the era of internet, you don’t need money to advertise yourself. To let people know you are open to new projects, you just need to post on facebook, find people who are looking for a handyman and offer them your service. You can also register in many local directories, like GoogleMyBusiness or HireRush, for free or a small fee. This will allow you to enlarge the area of your service significantly.

Taxes and finance

The issue of documents you need to obtain for a business was discussed earlier. Yet, taxation system is a complicated one in the US, so it’s highly advised to cooperate with an accountant at least in the beginning. The general advice can include the following. If you are planning to open a business, the register it with the Tax Department. Keep in mind that you also need to collect all receipts of all sales and performed services for taxes and you must also obtain Certificate of Authority. If you’re planning to expand your business and have more employees than just you, then you need to obtain federal identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Disclaimer: The content of this article is strictly the opinion of the author and is for information purposes only. There is no guarantee of accuracy. This following is NOT legal advice, and the author of the content is NOT a legal professional. It is recommended to seek the advice of a legal professional before you engage in any business venture.

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