What Can a Handyman Legally Do in Florida?

There is no such thing as a handyman contractor’s license in Florida. A business license or tax receipt issued by the county is NOT a contractor’s license and does not allow you to legally engage in any type of contracting. In order to legally contract with customers, you must first obtain permission via a license from either the DBPR (CILB or ECLB) at the State level or by your local contractor’s board.

When unsure of whether a specific scope of work is licensed or not, it is always best to contact your local building department to find out. Also, remember that even though House Bill 735 (Preemption of Local Occupational Licensing) will prohibit counties from requiring licenses whose scope of work is substantially different from those issued by the state, many of the services offered by handymen extend well into the scope of work of well regulated trades like plumbing, roofing and general contracting. If your scope of work requires a contractor’s license in Florida or if your county or city require you to be licensed for a specific type of work, you should not offer those services as a handyman.

Some well established handyman businesses offer a set of services like the ones listed below and their work is completely legal.

Work a Handyman Can Perform in the State of Florida Without a License:

  • Patch Cracks & Holes in Existing Concrete
  • Caulking
  • Painting
  • Tile cleaning and repair
  • Exterior and Interior Cleaning
  • Yard Maintenance
  • Pressure Cleaning
  • Cleaning Gutters
  • Laying carpet, vinyl, wood, tile or laminate flooring
  • Replace interior doors & trim

Electrical Allowed:

  • Replace light bulbs with like type and wattage
  • Replace fuses of same size only

Plumbing Allowed:

  • Repair window A/C units
  • Replace disposable air filters
  • Replace exhaust vent piping for clothes dryer only

What Happens If A Handyman Is Found Performing Work That Is Not Licensed To Perform?

If a handyman is found performing work that he/she is not licensed to perform, a citation in the amount of $500.00 will be issued. You may also be charged under Florida Statutes § 489.127. If you would like to do expand your scope of work, you will need a contractor's license. Our licensing experts are standing by help you get a better understanding of your licensing options. Feel free to contact us at 866-986-7978.


# Ned 2021-03-13 17:59
Do I need to be licensed to reglaze or refurbish a bath tub
# Leah R. 2021-08-18 11:05
If you change cosmetic things in the bathroom without changing materials or impacting any plumbing fixtures, you do not need a license to reglaze or refurbish a bathtub. If anything in the bathroom needs to be altered or plumbing fixtures are required, this becomes a bathroom remodel.

The following licenses will allow you to alter the bathroom, work on plumbing fixtures, and work on anything electrical.

General Contractor- https://www.contractorcampus.com/florida-general-contractor-license.html

Building Contractor- https://www.contractorcampus.com/florida-building-contractor-license.html

Residential Contractor-

Plumbing Contractor-

Unlimited Electrical-
# Andrea V 2021-06-03 13:01
How do I report someone doing illegal work without the proper license?
# Contractor Campus. 2021-06-08 14:48
To report someone working without a contractor's license, you have to file a complaint with the DBPR. The following link will direct you to the website where this complaint can be filed https://www.myfloridalicense.com/datamart/loginFLDBPR.do;jsessionid=e_R_02wz7WGc0VF9gB7M-vtSuqPQFFWyhT8naSPQ.DBPR-WPAP039:VO-Server-Three
# Susan Brown 2021-06-05 23:04
Can a handyman replace a rotted floor around a toilet? That would include ceramic tile, cement board, plywood subflooring, and rotted floor joists that were strengthened by 2x4's on each side.
# Contractor Campus. 2021-06-08 14:11
In the state of Florida, a handyman is able to layout carpet, vinyl, wood, tile, or laminate flooring. Although it depends on the county, you would have to double-check with your current county to verify if that is allowed.
# Mark dode 2021-07-13 00:55
I am unlicensed contractor can I hire a structural engineer to make.plans for my customer
Without doing any of the work like the add on or building do plans require someone to be licensed just to hire the engineer and then charge the customer for them in florida
# Leah R. 2021-08-18 11:22
You do not need to be licensed to hire a Structural Engineer to make plans. If any structural work is necessary, such as add ons, a general contractor license is required.

For more information on obtaining a general contractor license, please visit https://www.contractorcampus.com/florida-general-contractor-license.html.
# J Marino 2021-08-07 16:10
Can an unlicensed handyman replace and/or repair sprinkler heads and what recourse does a homeowner have if the job is not done properly or completed and he got paid prior to realizing that the job was not complete and he didn’t return?
# Leah R. 2021-08-18 09:41
An unlicensed handyman is unable to replace or repair sprinkler heads. To do this work legally, you will need an Irrigation Contractor License. For more information on obtaining an Irrigation License, please visit https://www.contractorcampus.com/florida-irrigation-contractor-license.html. If you are interested in a county license, please visit https://www.contractorcampus.com/florida-licenses.html and select the county you are interested in.

As a homeowner, you can report any unlicensed activity with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Please visit http://bpr.state.fl.us/apps/complaint_forms/pmw_form.asp to file a complaint in regards to paid and unfinished work along with the unlicensed activity.
# GW 2021-08-15 23:04
Does the sub contractor for marble and granite needs license in Palm Beach county Florida?
# Leah R. 2021-08-18 11:49
Yes, a license is required to perform marble and granite work in Palm Beach County, even as a subcontractor.
In Palm Beach County, the license required to perform marble and granite work is a Tile, Terrazzo, and Stone Contractor License. For more information on how to obtain this license, please visit https://www.contractorcampus.com/palm-beach-county-florida-tile-terrazzo-and-stone-contractor-gits-license.html
# Michael story 2021-08-18 21:40
Am I allowed to replace or repair siding in the state of Florida ?
# Leah R. 2021-08-19 14:15
To Replace or Repair siding in the State of Florida, you must have a General Contractor License. For more information on how to obtain a Contractors license, please visit https://www.contractorcampus.com/florida-general-contractor-license.html.
# Jorge Rodriguez 2021-08-22 03:46
Can a handyman install exterior doors and windows or is license necessary
# Leah R. 2021-08-23 09:23
To Install Exterior Doors and Windows, a windows and doors license is required at a county level. To obtain this license, you will need to pass a trade and business exam. We offer the books and classes to better prep you for these exams. For more information on a specific county, visit https://www.contractorcampus.com/florida-licenses.html

If you are looking to obtain a state-level license, a general, building, or residential contractor will allow you to install exterior doors and windows.

For more information on these licenses, please visit:



# Wesley Doty 2021-08-27 12:36
can i paint, repair drywall and pressure wash?
# Leah R. 2021-09-10 10:22
A Handyman can paint and pressure wash without a license.

To repair drywall, a license is needed. These licenses can be obtained at a county or state level.

For information on the state license, please visit,

For information on a county license please visit, https://www.contractorcampus.com/florida-licenses.html and select the county you are interested in working in.
# Loubert 2021-11-17 20:51
Hi! can you help me pass the exam for plaster and stucco to have my county license
# Idalia S. 2021-11-22 09:12
Hi Loubert! We can get you ready for the plaster and stucco exam. We offer courses and books to help prepare you for this test. I will attach a link below with a famous county so you may read up on the different requirements, testing options, and information on that license.

# Laurie B Levine 2021-09-02 19:54
Unlicensed handyman replaced my window. Now my HOA is having a fit. I did get a permit and the inspection passed. What should I do? I didn't realize he wasn't licensed or that one was even needed
# Leah R. 2021-09-10 10:26
It does not seem as much can be done after the fact. However, for future reference, to check if a person is licensed and insured, please visit, https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp?SID=&brd=H
# handyman arlington 2021-09-09 10:10
I need to thank you for this very good read and I have bookmarked to check out new things from your post. Thank you very much for sharing such a useful article and Will definitely save and revisit your site.

handyman arlington
# Leah R. 2021-09-10 10:27
Thank you so much for the feedback!
# Solon castro 2021-09-10 15:04
Need a painting license in florida
# Leah R. 2021-09-13 08:33
To work on painting in the State of Florida, there is no specific license. This work normally falls under the county level. Most counties require a Painting Contractor License such as Lee County.

Lee County Painting Contractors can use paint spraying equipment and hand tools to apply paint to the interior and exterior surfaces; includes painting concrete, sealing river rock, sandblasting, and general coating except for roof applications.

For more information on obtaining a Lee County Painting License please visit, https://www.contractorcampus.com/lee-county-florida-painting-pt-contractor-gits-license.html

If you are interested in obtaining a license at the state level, a general, building, or residential contractor will allow you to do so.
# cpo2071 2021-09-12 16:14
I'm moving to FL early in 2022. I currently do work in MN that I don't need a license for, that includes parts replacement of: electrical outlets, switches, and light fixtures and faucets, sink drain pipes, and toilets.
Is there a license level that would allow me to do those services?
# Leah R. 2021-09-13 08:51
To do the replacement of electrical outlets, switches, and light fixtures, you will need to obtain a lighting maintenance contractor license. We offer the books and classes to better prep you for both exams.

For more information on how to obtain this license, please visit,

To replace faucets, sink drain pipes, and toilets you will need a Plumbing Contractors License.
This license has a trade and business exam. We carry all the material needed to help you pass these exams.

# Dave T Droese 2021-09-28 18:52
does a mobile home come under the same the same category has a residential home? needing a licence to do the same work on a permanent structure.
# Idalia S. 2021-10-13 14:16
Hello Dave! The interior cosmetics of a mobile home do not fall under the same category as a residential home for licensing purposes. In most jurisdictions, you are not required to obtain a license if you are performing work that does not interfere with Plumbing, Electrical, or HVAC Sytems. However, we advise you to confirm with your local building department since every jurisdiction is different.
# George Acevedo 2021-10-10 14:33
this is B S more ways to keep people from making a living and more money for the government and more red tape to keep people from getting licenses ..state ,city ,and country government should make schooling and licensing much more affordable for any one to get the schooling and licensing so every one can be legal to preform the job right ...
# Idalia S. 2021-10-13 14:29
Hello George, We understand your frustration and it can be complicated to obtain these licenses. But the good news is that we are here to help prepare you to acquire your contracting license. We offer books and courses so you may study. If you are not looking to purchase the entire set of books and classes you may purchase them individually.
# Stephany 2021-10-12 22:24
Is a license required to install cabinets? Or is that covered under handyman services
# Idalia S. 2021-10-13 14:36
Hello Stephany! A Finish Carpentry or Carpentry Contracting License is required in most jurisdictions to install cabinets. Within handyman services, you may only replace cabinet handles and missing cabinet doors.
# Charlie lawfer 2021-10-20 14:46
Do I need any certification to hang lights on the inside of a pool cage. I won’t be changing anything structural. All lights are low voltage led and plug into an existing gfci outlet
# Idalia S. 2021-10-21 10:58
Hi Charlie! Based on what you are describing you do not need a license. Just in case, there is some information below for the Lightning Maintenance License.

# Rolland 2021-10-30 14:02
I need to replace a deck that has rotting boards at side of house. Do I need a permit in Sarasota county to replace the wooden deck with concrete walkway that will now extend into the driveway. Will a contractor need to be licensed?
# Idalia S. 2021-11-03 11:18
Hi Rolland! As far as permitting requirements to go, it is always best to confirm with a Sarasota county official.


To confirm the license that the contractor needs, I will also attach a separate link to our website where there you may also read about the scope of work that the contractor is allowed to perform depending on his or her license.

# Len 2021-11-12 11:45
as a handyman I do a tile installation in FL, mostly residential, (sometimes commercial). Do I need any kind of license?
# Idalia S. 2021-11-12 13:18
Hi Len! For the state of Florida, you do need a contractor license to do tile installation. It is usually obtained at a county level. There isn't a "Tile license" that would cover the entire State of Florida; however, we recommend the Residential Contractor license because its scope covers tile. I will attach a link below so you may have more information on that specific license.

# New Handyman 2021-12-02 15:10
This is great information about Florida (I was unaware it was so confusing in Fl about who can do what). Do you have any idea about North Carolina? We just started our handyman company Concord Handyman Company in Concord, NC and want to obviously be on the right side of the law.
# Stephanie M. 2021-12-03 09:36
Hi Concord Handyman! We are delighted that our information has been helpful. For the State of North Carolina, a Contractor License is only required when the contract amount exceeds $30,000. I will attach a link below with more information for North Carolina.

# Cathy 2021-12-06 09:56
Do you need a contractors license to install a fence on residential property?
# Stephanie M. 2021-12-07 08:53
Hello Cathy,
The answer is no. You don't need a General contractor license just for fencing. You might be able to use a fencing contractor license within your county if they provide it, or you may use a Residential Contractor license within your state. I hope this information was helpful.
# Al Mason 2021-12-21 10:35
Do I need a license in Florida to put coatings on asphalt driveways? What about patching holes and crack sealant ?
# Idalia S. 2021-12-22 09:17
Hi Mason,

It would depend on the county you are located in. For example, some counties have an asphalt sealing license, and others simply have an asphalt license.

I will attach a link two popular counties license that covers the work you are interested in performing.


# Alex f 2021-12-28 13:22
Would I need a license to perform repairs or alterations to the framing of an interior door?
# Aengels G. 2021-12-28 14:46
Hello Alex,
It would depend on the County you are in; for example, if you are located in Lee County, and it's a regular door, the license you would need is The Lee County Finish Carpentry Contractor License; this is the link for that license.

If you are located in Collier County, and the door is glass, you would need the Collier County Glass and Glazing Contractor License
# Lennys C 2022-01-12 17:19

I would like to know if I any license is required for plastering services in Miami. Could you please help?
# Aengels G. 2022-01-13 12:23
Hello Lennys,
To do plastering services in Miami, you would need the Miami-Dade County Lathing & Plastering (ProV©) License. We have the books and classes to prepare you to pass the Trade and Business exam. For more information, check the link I have added below.

# sharon grimes 2022-01-13 13:53
do we need a licensed contractor to replace a cabinet with a sink in our bathroom? existing pipes will be used- just getting new canibnet and sink
# Aengels G. 2022-01-13 16:25
Hello Sharon,
Yes, you will need a licensed contractor to replace a cabinet with a sink. The contractor can have a Cabinet and Millwork Contractor License or a Carpentry Contract license. They will also need to have a plumbing license since they will be working with the existing pipes.
# Mr. G 2022-01-22 09:40
Thank you in advance for all the previous comments and answers. Would I need to have a license to paint or repair a fence in S. Fl?
# Aengels G. 2022-01-24 12:00
Hello Mr. G,
Depending on the county you are located in, you will need a license. For example, for the County of Lee, it will be the Lee County (Florida) Fence Erection (FN) Contractor (GITS) License.

# Mike N. 2022-01-28 10:53
do I need a contracts license to repair my exterior fence in the state of Florida? thank you!
# Aengels G. 2022-01-28 11:54
Hello Mike,
No, you do not need a Contractor License to repair the exterior of your fence under your property.
# Timothy 2022-02-02 10:35
I’m in the process of starting a handyman business In Florida and would like to find out a cost for insurance,what type of coverage and costs
# Aengels G. 2022-02-02 16:10
Hola Timothy,
We are a school and a bookstore that has the books and classes to prepare you to pass the exams for a Contractor License. For the price of insurance you will need to contact Insurance and Bond Companies, which I will add a link below that has some information for that.

# Cherdan 2022-03-05 02:18
I hired a well established remodeling company in Broward County (FL) with one licensed person who has both a RB and a RR license. To my knowledge, this “GC” has not stepped foot on my property for nearly 400 days to oversee my complete renovation of my primary bathroom project. I believe the “tile person” has a basic GC license. However, I believe this “tile person” is having unlicensed people do the majority of the work. The result - an incorrectly installed shower floor pitch 2x. This company thinks I should allow this “tile person” and his unlicensed crew attempt to install my shower floor a 3x. My question: Is it against Florida law for a GC to allow unlicensed people to complete a full shower tile installation (floor, wall, etc.)?
# Idalia S. 2022-03-07 11:43
Florida Statute 489.113(2) states that "A person must be certified or registered in order to engage in the business of contracting in this state. However, for purposes of complying with the provisions of this chapter, a subcontractor who is not certified or registered may perform construction work under the supervision of a person who is certified or registered, provided that the work is within the scope of the supervising contractor’s license, the supervising contractor is responsible for the work, and the subcontractor being supervised is not engaged in construction work that would require a license as a contractor under any of the categories listed in s. 489.105(3)(d)-(o). This subsection does not affect the application of any local construction licensing ordinances." As to the legal interpretation of that statement within the context of your particular situation, please seek competent legal advice.

# Tim W 2022-03-16 15:14
I’m a new start up and searching all over to be completely compliant, will be residential and commercial repaints and new is there any licenses I will need?
# Idalia S. 2022-03-16 16:24
Hi Tim! If you are looking to do solely painting and some construction work, we would recommend the residential license for the state of Florida.


For Commercial construction work, including painting, we would recommend the General Contractor license for you to be completely compliant to perform any work in Florida.

# Jan 2022-04-29 21:05
When I initially commented I appear to have clicked
on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a
comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same
comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able
to remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

Feel free to visit my web-site - San Diego,
CA Dispensary Delivery: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Torrey+Holistics+San+Diego+Dispensary+and+Delivery/@32.8981918,-117.2240979,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dc076267b9c057:0x8dd3f0994937aa49!8m2!3d32.8981873!4d-117.2219092
# Aengels G. 2022-05-02 10:19
Hello Jan, you would need to unsubscribe here on the same page you clicked that box, under the RSS feed button.
# Jill 2022-05-08 21:33
My husband is getting older and wants to get his plumbing license, but I think he can maybe do several small things without having a license. Also can unlicensed plumbers do leak detection? Also, can you send me the link to the site that has that information, too, please? Thank you so much.
# Aengels G. 2022-05-09 09:39
Hello Jill, A Handyman can perform work in Florida without a Plumbing license, but he is limited to the job. He can repair window A/C units, replace disposable air filters, and replace exhaust vent piping for clothes dryers only. He will need his Plumbing License to do other plumbing work. He needs to pass the Trade and Business exam to obtain his contractor license. We have the books and classes to prepare him to pass both exams. I will add a link below with more information about the Florida Plumbing Contractor License.

# Sad Homeowner 2022-05-13 16:10
Can an unlicensed contractor/handyman replace soffit and fascia on a house? Can they fill in old unused ac return vents in plaster walls? Can the replace siding on a house?
# Sharilyn Baez 2022-05-13 16:41
Hello Tracy,
Depending on the county that you are in, a handyman will need to have a license to perform that type of work. For the state of Florida, you can have a specialty structure Contractor License which will allow you to perform the work you stated above. Below is a link for more information.
# Zach C. 2022-05-20 16:16
Hoping you can lead me in the right direction. I am looking to start a business offering interior painting. I am retired and looking to only paint home interiors, and potentially install some high end mini blinds. No spray equipment, I would be doing all jobs by hand. I would imagine most of my jobs would be under 5k.

I realize a handyman can paint without a contractor license, but can I call myself a Professional Painter, and not have a license ? I would prefer not to market myself as a handyman. Any guidance you can provide is appreciated.
# Sharilyn Baez 2022-05-20 16:35
Hello Zach,
Without a contractor license, you will not be considered to be a professional painter. We recommend obtaining a Commercial or Residential state Contractor license which will allow you to do the type of work you stated above. You can also contact your local jurisdiction and ask if a painting license is needed. Below are links to contact them and where you can find more information about the licenses.
# Joanne 2022-06-14 19:59
A contractor friend is willing to pay me to paint the interior of a home in Osceola county. Since his professional painters bailed out. Would I need a license or certificate to finish it.
# Aengels G. 2022-06-15 09:08
Hello Joanne,

You will need to obtain the Residential Contractor License for Osceola county. For more information on this license, I will attach a link below. We have the classes and books to prepare you to pass the Trade and Business exams.


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