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Hidden Corners: Do I Need a Handyman Business License to Start a ShelfGenie Franchise?

Posted Feb 13th, 2020

Before we start, it is important to note that nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice. State laws are all different, and I am not an attorney. I’m merely sharing my experience and observations. Take my words here as the basis for questions to ask an attorney in your area.

We’ve previously talked about what permits and licenses ShelfGenie franchise partners need to have. Regarding whether you need a handyman license for this kind of remodeling business let’s start with a basic question.

What is a Handyman’s License?

I’ll step out of the ShelfGenie world for a moment and look generally at some terminology. A “handyman” license typically is not the same as a “contractor” license.

A contractor takes on large commercial and residential projects that require bids, and may perform specialties that have their own unique licensing requirements, such as electrical, plumbing, and other types of work that require particular training and licensing of their own. A “contractor” by definition may also be a subcontractor working for a larger contractor.

The definition of “handyman” varies by state, but generally the work of a handyman may encompass small repairs and jobs for which the pay is under a certain dollar threshold.

So, this work may fall under a given state’s “handyman exemption” under which licensure isn’t required for jobs under that dollar amount, or under which certain work of any dollar amount may not require a license.

But some states still may require an actual license for these low-dollar “handyman” projects.

Keep in mind that regardless whether you are required to have a license, a handyman may have to have liability insurance, like a contractor does.

What Kind of License Do I Need for a ShelfGenie Franchise?

Most states do not require a remodeling business such as a ShelfGenie franchise to have any sort of specialty license. However, in several states, ShelfGenie franchises must have a contractor’s license to operate, since jobs may bring in more revenue than a “handyman” may charge without a license.

But states each have different definitions of the kinds of work that require a contractor’s license. Some states even have different levels of contractor’s licenses defined by the type and scope of the work and other factors.

You May Already Have the Right Licensing

ShelfGenie franchise partners in our owner/operator franchise model, depending on their background and other work they do outside of ShelfGenie, may already be licensed appropriately.

Our owner/operator model is for a franchise operator who can act as sort of one-man-band entity with one territory, doing his or her own sales, designing, and installations. While experience is not required in this model, an ideal candidate for this model already operates a “handyman” or “contractor” business and wants to add an additional stream of revenue.

In this case, you may already have the licensing necessary, maintaining it for your other endeavors. Especially if your remodeling business is by definition a full-on “contractor,” your licensing may cover ShelfGenie jobs as well.

As you can see, there is no magic answer that covers all ShelfGenie franchises. I again reiterate that laws vary by state and sometimes even by county, so please consult an attorney licensed in your area. Again, I cannot stress enough that my thoughts on this page are not legal advice.

ShelfGenie Business Model and Support

We have highly effective tools and resources in place that allow franchisees to focus on scaling their business. Our franchise model allows the owner to focus on marketing and sales while leveraging designers, installers, and our centralized Business Support Center to handle most day-to-day activities of the business.

To learn more about ShelfGenie franchise opportunities, simply download our Franchise Information Report and someone from our Franchise Development team will be in touch with you shortly. Now is the time to take advantage of ShelfGenie’s one-of-a-kind support to start your business and hit the ground running!

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