Answers To Your Handyman Licensing Questions
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Handyman License in Florida – Everything You Need to Know

If you want to provide handyman services in Florida, there are a few things you’ll want to know when it comes to handyman licenses.

On this page, you’ll find a detailed explanation of what you can, and cannot do as a handyman, and what licenses are required.

Do you need a license to be a handyman in Florida?

No, there is no required contractor’s license to perform basic handyman services in exchange for money. However, there are limitation on which services you can provide unless you decide to get a contractor’s license.

(Please note: You do need a business license.)

Florida Handyman Limitations

Florida is a handyman friendly state. You can do a wide range of services without a contractor’s license of any kind, which is pretty nice if you don’t want to jump through a bunch of hoops just to start your handyman business.

On a basic level you can NOT do the following work without a contractor’s license of some kind:

  • Work on foundations
  • Work on structural walls
  • Plumbing of any kind
  • Electrical of any kind
  • HVAC – (Heating, ventilating, and cooling)
  • Additions
  • Asbestos abatement
  • Alarm system install, repair, or maintenance

Now that might sound like a lot of limitations, but there is a lot of work you can perform as an unlicensed handyman. Let’s dig into that a little deeper.

Electrical Work

Florida law is very strict when it comes to electrical work. Here’s what the Department of Business and Professional Regulation website says:

“If you pay someone to perform even the simplest of electrical work, such as connecting two wires, you must hire a licensee.”

That means no installing ceiling fans or replacing lighting fixtures. You can’t even replace an outlet.

Here’s electrical work you CAN perform WITHOUT a license:

  • Change a lightbulb
  • Change outlet cover plates
  • Setup home theater components (as long as you aren’t running wires through the wall)
  • Hang a flat screen TV on the wall
  • Set up wireless computer networks

Handyman Plumbing Limitations

You pretty much can NOT do any plumbing outside of simple tasks like installing a water filter to the faucet. Although the DBPR website doesn’t go much into specifics.

Here is the small list of plumbing work you CAN do:

  • Add a water filter to a faucet
  • Install or repair irrigation systems that have a back-flow preventer (But you’d need a licensed plumber to hook the system up to the potable water line. You can’t tap into any potable water lines without being a licensed plumber.)

General Construction Work

Compared to most states, Florida is quite lenient when it comes to general construction such a carpentry, painting, or tile work. While many states have a dollar limit of $1,000 on handyman jobs, there is no such limit in Florida.

No, you can’t do structural work, like work on foundations, built new additions, or even make modifications to structural walls, but there is quite a bit you can do.

According to the DBPR website, here’s some work you CAN do:

  • Paint
  • Install cabinets
  • Repair fences
  • Repair doors & windows
  • Install wood or tile flooring
  • Install insulation
  • Install a driveway or tile walkway
  • Install awnings that do not become permanent fixtures to the structure
  • Clean swimming pools (no chemical work allowed)
  • Lawn maintenance
  • Basic landscaping such as planting plants (no grading)
  • Build a pre-fabricated shed less than 250 sq feet.

Additional Limitations

Here are a few more projects that are off limits:

  • Install a dishwasher
  • Replace a water-heater
  • Install an air-conditioning unit (except for plug-in window units)
  • Repair or replace swimming pool pumps
  • Build a barn, metal building, or detached garage.

For more details, and to read the laws themselves, visit MyFloridaLicense.com.

Already offering handyman services in Florida?

If so, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below to share your knowledge or experience.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Alvis Jenkins January 4, 2018, 3:21 am

    Well, I must disagree with all this talk about having to get a license to do anything in Florida.
    First off, I have the Constitution of the United States of American, which guarantees me the pursuit of life and happiness and I owe no dues to the state.

    If I think I am qualified to do a plumbing installation, I inform the person that I’m doing the work for that they must agree with me that they will hold me harmless for any malfunctions of any degree if the installation should fail. That is my right under the Constitution to contract and I don’t need a state license. It’s obvious why the State wants you to be registered with the Department of Revenue, they want the tax money in exchange you supposedly will get State protection if someone sues you. That is a gamble the non-licensed person takes and if you have a written contract with the person showing that they hold you harmless for any default, a suit against you would have to be dismissed.
    Now I wait for some smart lawyer to contradict what I have said.

    • Anonymous July 4, 2018, 1:54 am

      Sorry snowflake, you don’t get to disagree with state law. The Constitution does not give you any right to to ignore state laws. If you were a true American, you would understand the importance of State’s Rights and how every state can subject its citizens to follow laws that are established for the public good. Don’t like it? Then leave the UNITED STATES and go to some third-world country where you can perform all the unlicensed work that your little heart desires.

      The state requires you to be licensed to perform specific work so idiots like you can’t put people in danger for performing a crappy job. The licensing also comes with additional insurance requirements, so those same people don’t need to worry about you going bankrupt when they sue you in court.

      Also, your talk of a “hold harmless” clause is complete nonsense. It doesn’t take a lawyer to tell you that gross negligence cannot be simply ‘wiped away’ with a written contract. I’ll make it simple for you to understand – you perform unlicensed work and you mess up, not only are you getting sued but you’re going to jail.

  • Anonymous January 24, 2018, 2:03 am

    Well, NOT quite.
    Even if the homeowner holds you harmless, should something go wrong, and the homeowner has to have his insurance company pay to fix it, the insurance company will come after you. And you will end up in court. And you will pay a lot of money for either an attorney, a judgement or both.

  • Dana Bautista March 25, 2018, 3:51 am

    I have recently open a handyman business LLC. However various people have told me That my husband has to be licensed in county and have a local license.. Is this true? I live in fort Myers Florida Lee county.

    • Naomi May 21, 2019, 1:39 am

      We ran into the same problem. My husband’s employer didn’t have any jobs, so my husband found some handyman things to get us through. He was getting jobs left and right, so we decided to open a LLC for handyman services. Go to apply to for the business license with the county, only to be told they don’t offer a business tax receipt for handyman services, but he would need a competency card from the county for the services we listed, which don’t require a license on the state website. Everyone (state and counties) need to be on the same page!

  • Steve May 21, 2018, 8:21 am

    I already have an ein number I’m also a business owner and I am also incorporated. All I want to do is keep my same company name and add handy man projects to my insurance and to keep the same name.is this possible I am in port saint lucie florida.my work is in st.lucie county. Need help?

  • Robert Finch June 6, 2018, 7:40 pm

    Some Counties in Florida are more restrictive than the State in requiring licenses. For example, Lee County requires a license to paint or do drywall along with many other things. They spell it out on the affidavit you sign to get a General Maintenance Business Receipt (fka “occupational license”). Their requirements trump the State’s and severely limit what a “Handyman” is allowed to do.

    • Naomi May 21, 2019, 1:45 am

      Broward county, as well. However, they don’t spell it out on their application. There is no mention at all of what a “handyman” is or can do in their county ordinances. The info they sent me is to apply for the competency card is for a general contractor, journeyman or specialty contractor, but again, not handyman specific. The whole reason we went with handyman services was to not have to apply or become license, since we aren’t in a position to do so.

  • James Beat June 16, 2018, 9:26 pm

    I want to put a magnetic handyman sign on my truck what can it say by FL law for advertising

  • Mike May 20, 2019, 8:31 am

    Do you need a license to install commercial and or residential wood/ metal doors, wood or metal frames and hardware associated?

  • Owen May 21, 2019, 8:15 am

    I recently moved from up ohio where contracting laws are even more lax. I am curious to if a handman can legally build an exterior deck that is attached to home?

  • jose Pe June 18, 2019, 5:28 pm

    I live in tampa florida and I’m handyman. and searched the web like getting a handyman license and it just doesn’t exist. I went to the county and they tell me that there is no such license, but they tell me that I must have a license to work. when I ask you again what I have to do to get it, you just don’t know. it’s like there’s a loophole in the law. on the other hand, ask for a license to place screen and some say they don’t need and others say they do. but again where can it be processed? when you enter the state or county website there is no such license. the same goes for a painter’s license. there is no specific license for this. as I understand it, I should apply for a general contractor’s license. but how can such a license be applied for if a painter has always been a painter and has not worked as a general contractor? can someone help me with my doubts?. it will be for these reasons that many do not

  • Jim June 22, 2019, 12:28 am

    Florida has become ridiculous with the rules on handymen.

    Used to be you could install a ceiling fan, change a light switch (two wires mind you), and pull the p trap from a sink and clean it and then change the faucet.

    But, not any more! Now they will throw the book at you for doing this type of work if your not an elect electrician or plumber! The public is the ones who are paying for it to. Ever try to get an electrician or plumber? Normally they are on big projects and it cost them money to pull off a project to come over to your place and install a ceiling fan etc.! And of course they have to pass this on to the customer by charging higher rates!

    I’m sick of Florida and since I live near the Georgia line I will be moving my business to Georgia. At least their laws for the most part in construction make sense!!!

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