If you’re looking to provide handyman services in Utah, and are wondering if you need a license, look no further.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about handyman licensing specifically for the state of Utah. I’ve poured over the laws and regulations and put the difficult to understand legal jargon into a simple to understand summary.
On a basic level, Utah is a handyman friendly state. Meaning that they allow handymen to perform quite a bit of work without a contractor’s license when compared to other states.
Do you need a license to be a handyman in Utah?
No, there is no handyman license. You can perform many home repairs, maintenance, and improvements with no license. However, there are limitations on what you can do as a handyman.
Utah Handyman Requirements and Limitations
In most states, there is a limitation on the dollar value of a job you can work on without a contractor’s license. In Utah, that amount is quite high and you can do jobs up to $3,000 as long as those jobs do NOT include:
- Electrical work
- Plumbing work
- HVAC work
- Alarm system work
- Radon mitigation or soil depressurization
- Jobs that are considered to significantly impact the public’s health, safety, and welfare.
When I say “work” I mean installation, repair, or replacement. That $3,000 includes labor and materials and any adjustments to the contracted price of the job.
Even though you don’t need a license to do jobs up to $3K, if you plan to do jobs above $1,000, you’ll need to take extra steps.
To do jobs over a $1,000 you must:
- File with the division (click here to get the form)
- Have the appropriate amount of liability insurance.
- Have workers comp (if you have employees).
Exceptions for Plumbing and Electrical Work Without a License
Now, of course, the laws are more specific than what I’ve listed above. There is some language in the laws that talk about doing minor electrical or plumbing work. For example, here is an excerpt taken from the Utah Construction Trades Licensing Act, 58-55. It was taken from a section talking about plumbing work you can do with out a license.
“(i) a person engaged in minor plumbing work that is incidental, as defined by the division by rule, to the replacement or repair of a fixture or an appliance in a residential or small Utah Code Page 25 commercial building, or structure used for agricultural use, as defined in Section 15A-1-202, provided that no modification is made to:
(A) existing culinary water, soil, waste, or vent piping; or
(B) a gas appliance or combustion system; and
(ii) except as provided in Subsection (1)(e), installation for the first time of a fixture or an appliance is not included in the exemption provided under Subsection (1)(k)(i);”
Now, I’m not a lawyer, and this is NOT legal advice, but here’s how I read this. It’s basically saying that you can replace faucets and appliances, fix toilets, etc. as long as you aren’t modifying piping or dealing with a gas appliance or installing a fixture or appliance for the first time. So, no new installation of plumbing fixtures and no modifying piping. That probably rules out plumbing valves as well.
As far as electrical work goes, there are also excemptions. In a section that is discussing exceptions to the rule of no electrical work, the laws state that you can do electrical if meet the following criteria:
The way I understand this (which could be completely wrong and is NOT legal advice) is that you can do some minor electrical work as long as they are incentental to some sort of other install. They mention the electrical required to install a pre-built hot tub. But, I assume they are also saying you can perform jobs like installing a ceiling fan or changing a light fixture.
Basically, don’t go rewire a house’s electrical system unless you’re an electrician.
Ok, so here’s the deal. This is all just my opinion and I am NOT a lawyer. To be sure what you can and cannot do, make sure to consult a legal professional who has a deep knowledge of contracting laws in Utah. They will be able to interpret these laws with more authority and potentially review any precendent for citations.
And, if you can, I also recommend speaking to an investigator that actually hands out citations for contracting without a license since they are the ones enforcing the laws.
To read the laws for yourself, visit this website: http://www.dopl.utah.gov/licensing/handyman.html
Already offering handyman services in Utah?
If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below to share your knowledge or experience.