Arizona handyman license and insurance requirements

Arizona handyman license and insurance requirements

Ashley Henshaw
By Ashley Henshaw
Feb 1, 2024
8 min read

Arizona has over 23,000 maintenance and repairs professionals, with the Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale region ranking among the top 10 metropolitan areas for the highest employment levels in this field.

Looking ahead, the demand for maintenance and repair professionals will likely continue to grow in the coming years, especially since Arizona’s population is expected to increase by over 26% between 2020 and 2040.

If you’re wondering what type of work a handyman can do legally in Arizona, the good news is that a professional license typically isn’t necessary. For larger projects valued at $1,000 or more, however, handypeople in this state must obtain an Arizona contractor license.

Read through this guide to learn more about the state’s licensing and insurance requirements for handypersons:

Does a handyman need a license in Arizona?

This state does not offer a handy license. Arizona only requires a residential contractor license for major projects and work worth more than $1,000, including labor and materials.

If your work as a handyperson involves only minor projects valued under $1,000, you probably don’t need a contractor license. This is commonly known as the handyman exemption. Arizona law does require a contractor license if your work necessitates a building permit; however, even if the price of labor and materials does not exceed $1,000.

What can a handyperson do without a license?

According to Arizona handyman laws, a handyperson without a license can work on minor repairs, carpentry or basic home improvement without needing a building permit. This can include tasks like replacing light fixtures, putting up drywall, fixing windows and assembling furniture.

Without a license, you won’t be able to work on any projects valued at over $1,000, or that require building permits, such as major renovations or structural work to a residential property.

The following examples can help determine if the jobs you perform categorize you as a handyman or a general contractor.

Handyman vs. Contractor

Content chart

How to get a handyman license in Arizona

There are no Arizona handyman license requirements since the state doesn’t issue this type of license. 

If you need a residential or general contractor license based on the nature of your work, you must apply to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. You must complete the following steps when submitting your application.

Choose your license classification

The Registrar of Contractors issues separate licenses for commercial and residential work as well as dual licenses for those who wish to perform both types of work.

Arizona offers the following contractor license classification categories:

  • Engineering Contracting (Commercial)
  • General Commercial Contracting
  • Residential Contracting
  • Specialty Residential Contracting
  • General Dual Engineering Contracting
  • General Dual License Contracting
  • Specialty Dual License Contracting
  • Specialty Commercial Contracting

Pass the exams

All applicants must complete two licensing exams:

  1. The Arizona Statutes and Rules Training Course and Exam (SRE)
  2. A specific trade exam

You must pass the required examinations with a score of at least 70%. Some applicants may obtain a waiver for the trade exam if they hold a license from another state.

Submit a background check

You must undergo a criminal background check before submitting your application. All applicants must obtain a background check online through PeopleG2.

Get a bond

Applicants must file a contractor’s bond in the amount required for their chosen classification. The bond amount will depend on the type of work you plan to do and the estimated gross volume of work. For example, a residential general contractor with a work volume of less than $750,000 would need a $9,000 bond.

Pay the fees

License and application fees vary depending on which license classification you’re applying for. Application fees range from $80 to $200, while license fees range from $270 to $580.

Some license classifications also include a recovery fund assessment of $370. However, this fee may be waived by furnishing a $200,000 surety bond or cash deposit.

Arizona contractor license requirements

Most Arizona contractor classifications require at least four years of professional experience. Select classifications may require fewer years of experience. In some cases, no experience is required as long as the applicant passes their trade exam. 

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors provides a detailed list of experience requirements for contractor licensing

How long does it take to get your contractor license?

It takes approximately 60 days to process most Arizona contractor licenses. This includes a period of 20 days, during which an administrative completeness review determines whether the application is missing any important documents or information, followed by a 40-day substantive review of the applicant’s qualifications.

Arizona contractor license renewal requirements

To maintain your Arizona contractor license, you must renew it every two years. Contractors must pay a license renewal fee and, if applicable, a recovery fund assessment. 

What kind of insurance does a handyman need in Arizona?

Getting the right business insurance in Arizona to operate as a handyperson or contractor is vital to protect your business. The following types of insurance are highly recommended for professionals in this line of work.

Workers’ Compensation insurance

All Arizona employers must have workers’ compensation insurance regardless of the employee’s status or relationship with the business owner. Contractors and handymen who don’t have employees often get this insurance to ensure they have wage protection and other benefits if they get injured on the job.

If you apply for an Arizona contractor license, you’ll be required to provide a workers’ comp policy number or attest to having no employees.

General Liability insurance

One popular type of small business insurance for handypeople is general liability insurance. This type of coverage helps pay for expenses related to work-related accidents and damage to someone else’s property.

Tools and Equipment insurance

Tools and equipment insurance helps cover the gear you use for work. If damage or theft occurs, this insurance coverage can contribute to the cost of repairs or replacements.

Commercial Auto insurance

Handypeople who drive for work typically need commercial auto insurance, which helps pay for accident-related costs like towing, repairs, rental reimbursement and medical expenses.

Commercial Property insurance

Commercial property insurance helps cover the costs of damage or vandalism at a property you own or rent as well as the inventory or equipment stored at that location.

How NEXT Insurance supports Arizona handypeople

NEXT makes it easy to find the right handyman insurance to protect your business. We’ve created custom insurance packages for thousands of professionals like you, and our affordable monthly rates help keep your business costs low.

To get insured, simply visit our online portal to view your policy options, apply for coverage and get a certificate of insurance. The whole process only takes minutes, and you can easily access your account from any computer or mobile device when you need to make changes to your coverage or download additional COIs.

Get an instant quote online today.

Do you want to work as a handyman in another U.S. state? Learn more about the requirements in our guide to handyman licensing.

This information has been provided as a service. It is correct and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge; however, it is in no way intended to offer legal advice and you must always consult with local authorities before you make any business decisions. Regulations and requirements may change at any time.

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Ashley Henshaw
About the author

Ashley Henshaw was a contributing writer at NEXT. She specializes in small business topics, covering everything from insurance and branding to web hosting and cryptocurrency.

Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, AOL City's Best, Citysearch, USA Today, The San Francisco Chronicle and Livestrong.

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