Are you ready to start your handyman business but aren’t sure where to begin?
If you’re serious about branching out on your own, you will need to take a variety of factors into consideration, including permit requirements, earnings potential, registration policies, insurance, and health and safety regulations.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the steps you can take to successfully launch your own handyman business in Pennsylvania.
Defining your service provisions
The first step is to assess your current abilities and determine which services you will offer.
As a handyman, you may be tempted to think that you need to be able to offer all services. However, that is not necessarily the case. Indeed, by providing a limited range of services, you can make a lot of money. In some cases, specializing can actually be more profitable.
For instance, in some states, you may need a license to perform any plumbing, electrical, or HVAC work. This can restrict what services you can offer. As such, you should take a strategic perspective to defining your offerings.
Consider all of the other handyman-like service businesses available, such as garage door repair, lawn care, locksmiths, home security installers, masons, and so on. These companies all specialize in one service and can be extremely profitable.
As a handyman, you’ll be able to provide a much broader range of services that span several trades, but you can start small and expand from there. This approach can be very useful for getting your handyman business off the ground, and you can continue to learn on the job and subsequently add new skills to your portfolio.
Start by producing a full list of all the services you feel confident you can provide right now. Then find out about your state’s handyman laws.
Before you get too excited about the services list you just created, you should familiarize yourself with your state’s contracting laws (every state is different). You must determine which services you can provide without a license and which services you must provide with a license, or you must determine what license you require to provide the service you desire.
Electricians should be aware of their risks and take steps to protect themselves and their businesses. Consider getting insurance for electricians in Pennsylvania. Find out more here.
Starting a Handyman Company in Pennsylvania
In the state of Pennsylvania, there are several steps to starting a handyman business. However, because laws change frequently, you must conduct your own in-depth research. Here are some steps to starting your own handyman business that you may need to take (not necessarily in the same order), as well as links to more information.
Determine a business name for your services
Visit the following page (http://www.dos.pa.gov/BusinessCharities/Business/Resources/Pages/Fictitious-Names.aspx) for more information on registering a name for your handyman services business.
Determine your company structure
There are many different ways in which you can organize your business. You may opt to form a partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or sole proprietorship. Visit http://www.dos.pa.gov/BusinessCharities/Business/Documents/Business%20Guide.pdf for further details about the options that are available.
Register your business
You can register your handyman business with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue here: https://www.doreservices.state.pa.us/businesstax/PA100/FormatSelection.htm
Open a bank account for your business.
You’ll need to open a new bank account in your business name for your handyman business.
Learn about taxes and hire a tax professional.
If your handyman business is small, you might want to do your own taxes. As your company grows, hiring an accountant will become more convenient. http://www.revenue.pa.gov/ and http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Starting-a-Business/
Acquire Commercial Software
Business software will help you organize your business administration before you even start by allowing you to see and control all of your leads, sales, jobs, and tasks from a single program, putting your company on the fast track to success.
You’ll also be able to create invoices and estimates, place material orders, and automate the tedious (but necessary) tasks, giving you and your team the ability to complete projects on time and on budget.
Get the correct insurance
Protect yourself and your business by ensuring you have the right level of insurance in place. You should consider both general liability insurance and contractor liability insurance. If you have any employees, you’ll also need Worker’s Compensation.
Get a Home Improvement Contractor Number
Registration is not free. A two-year registration is required. You can register online at https://hic.attorneygeneral.gov/login.aspx. A certificate and your official Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor number will be mailed to you. You must ensure that you include your contractor number on any marketing material, invoices, contracts, etc., as this is a legal requirement.
Obtain medical coverage.
You’ll need your own health insurance since you’ll be self-employed. If you have employees, you’ll need a healthcare plan that includes them as well.
Check your licensing and permit requirements
Depending on where you live and intend to operate, you may need to obtain special permits or licenses in order to conduct business there. Research the requirements in depth before you start taking work.
Inspections and Building Codes
Building codes for your specific job must be followed, and you may face inspections.
You might need to follow OSHA regulations depending on how many employees you have. http://www.osha.gov