Georgia is a popular place to work as a handyman. In fact, Atlanta ranked eighth in the U.S. among the metropolitan areas with the highest employment level of maintenance and repair workers.1 With the state’s population set to grow by 19.5% between 2020 and 2040, there’s sure to be an increased demand for these types of professionals.2
Curious about what type of work can a handyman do legally? You’ll be pleased to hear that there’s no need to get a handyman license in Georgia. However, you must obtain a Georgia contractor license if you plan to take on larger jobs valued at $2,500 or more.
Learn more about the Georgia handyman license exemption and the requirements for contractor licenses in this guide covering the following topics:
- Does a handyman need a license in Georgia?
- How to get a handyman license in Georgia
- Georgia contractor license requirements
- How long does it take to get a contractor license?
- Georgia contractor license renewal
- What kind of insurance does a handyman need in Georgia?
Does a handyman need a license in Georgia?
Georgia does not have any handyman license requirements. This state does not require a license as long as the value of any project you undertake as a handyman does not exceed $2,500.3
Although this exemption means you don’t need a handyman license, Georgia requires a contractor license if your work projects exceed that amount.
What can a handyman do without a license?
You must stick to relatively minor maintenance and repair projects to work as a handyman without a contractor license. Most jobs that fall within this scope are the kind that a handyperson can complete on their own, like putting up drywall, repairing windows or assembling furniture.
Not sure whether you’re a handyman or a general contractor? Get a better idea of the types of jobs you can take on in each role by looking at the following comparison chart.
Handyman vs. Contractor
How to get a handyman license in Georgia
According to Georgia handyman laws, you only need a license if any of your work contracts exceed $2,500. Those whose projects exceed this amount must have a contractor license issued by the Georgia Board of Residential and General Contractors4. The application process involves the following steps.
Choose a license classification
The state of Georgia offers four types of contractor licenses:5
- Residential-Basic Contractor: For work on detached one-family and two-family residences and one-family townhouses not over three stories high
- Residential-Light Commercial Contractor: For Residential-Basic Contractor work plus projects on multi-family and multi-use light commercial buildings and structures
- General Contractor: For industrial commercial work
- General Contractor Limited Tier: Limited to commercial contract amounts of $500,000 or less
Most handypeople in Georgia who take on projects of $2,500 or more apply for the Residential-Basic Contractor classification.
Submit an application
Your application must include the following documentation:
- Bankruptcy documents
- Net worth affirmation
- Surety bond with power of attorney
- Line of credit
- General liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Secure and verifiable document
- Affidavit of citizenship
- Disciplinary action/sanctions (if applicable)
- Immigration documents (If applicable)
In addition, you must include a non-refundable application fee of $200. You may submit your application by mail or online.
Pass the exam
If the board approves your application, you will receive a notification via email. That message will include instructions on how to schedule your licensing exam.
Within one year of your application approval, you must pass two exams:
- Business and law exam
- Trade exam
To pass, you need a minimum score of 70% on each exam. You’ll immediately receive a notification of your score after completing the exam. The PSI Candidate Information Bulletin includes detailed information on the content of the exams and the testing process.6
Georgia contractor license requirements
To apply for a Residential-Basic Contractor license in Georgia, you must demonstrate the following qualifications:7
- At least two years of experience working as a residential contractor or in the employment of a residential contractor
- Successful completion of at least two projects falling within the Residential-Basic Contractor scope of work
How long does it take to get a Georgia contractor license?
The Georgia Board of Residential and General Contractors processes most contractor license applications within 20 business days of receipt. Applicants may check their application status online.8
Georgia contractor license renewal
Georgia contractors must renew their licenses by June 30th of every even-numbered year. The Georgia Board of Residential and General Contractors website features an online renewal option. You must pay a renewal fee of $100.
What kind of insurance does a handyman need in Georgia?
Regardless of whether your work requires a license, you should obtain the right handyman insurance to protect your business. The following types of coverage are recommended for handypeople and contractors in Georgia:
General liability insurance
This type of insurance helps pay for expenses related to property damage and other accidents that could happen while working as a handyman or contractor. Georgia contractor license applicants must provide proof of at least $300,000 in general liability insurance coverage.
Workers’ Compensation insurance
Georgia employers with three or more employees must submit proof of workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This insurance can help cover medical expenses and lost wages for employee injuries on the job.
Any business owner can apply for workers’ comp insurance even if they are not required to by state law. For example, an individual business owner with no employees can also benefit from this type of coverage if they get hurt at work.
Tools and Equipment insurance
If damage or theft affects your work gear, tools and equipment insurance can help cover repair or replacement costs.
Commercial Auto insurance
Most handypeople need commercial auto insurance since they regularly drive to different job sites. This insurance helps pay for accident-related expenses, such as towing, repairs and rental reimbursement.
Commercial Property insurance
If you own or rent business property for your business, commercial property insurance can help pay for costs related to damage or vandalism to the property or the inventory or equipment stored there.
How NEXT Insurance supports Georgia handypeople
NEXT offers affordable insurance for handypeople and contractors in Georgia. With our convenient online services, it only takes minutes to apply for and secure the coverage you need to fulfill the requirements for your Georgia contractor license.
Once you’ve purchased your coverage, you’ll get unlimited free downloads for your certificates of insurance. You can go online anytime to access your account and make changes to your insurance.
Because we specialize in small business insurance, NEXT can help you get protection for your business while keeping costs low. We’ve helped thousands of contractors like you get custom insurance to meet their unique needs.
Get an instant quote online today.
Are you planning to work as a handyman in another U.S. state? Learn how to get the proper professional credentials in our handyman license requirements guide.