How Much Does it Cost to Start Up a Handyman Business?

Handyman Business Costs

The start up costs for a handyman business are extremely low compared to most other types of businesses.  If you already have the tools and the skills, you can get started for under $1,000.  Just like with any other type of business, however, there are plenty of hidden costs that you may not see coming.

In this post I’ll share how much you can expect to spend starting a handyman business.  For information on how much I spent to start my handyman business, check out my monthly income reports.

Handyman Business Start Up Costs

If you already have a lot of tools, are willing to do your own marketing, and don’t have a lot of money to spend, you can start a handyman business for a little over $500.  Hopefully you have a little more than that to spend if your considering opening a business.  If you want to go big and hit the ground running, the sky is the limit.  You can spend well over 10 thousand.  Most handymen will fall somewhere in the middle of these figures and can expect to spend about $2,000-$4,000.

Here is a comprehensive list of the common costs a new handyman business should expect to encounter.

Business License:

  • Cost:  $100-$400
  • This cost will vary depending on the city and state in which you plan to run your business and the structure that you decide to file under.  The cost listed above is for an LLC (Limited Liability Company).

Business Cards:

  • Cost: $20-$80 online
  • The price of your business cards will reflect the quality.

Mailbox Rental:

  • Cost: $125-$250 (rental for 6 months)
  • This is one of those costs that you may not see coming as I didn’t when I started my handyman business.  I do strongly recommend that you rent a mailbox opposed to using your home address.

Bank Account:

  • Cost: $40
  • Technically it doesn’t cost anything to set up a bank account, but there is usually a minimum balance of $25 plus about $15 for the first 100 checks.

Accounting:

  • Software: $0-250
  • Consultation with Accountant:  $50-$500
  • Free accounting software does exist but a paid version is going to be better in the long run.  If you use a PC, Quickbooks is the way to go.  I recommend AccountEdge for the Mac user.  If you aren’t familiar with accounting, you may consider consulting with an accountant before trying to tackle your books.

Website:

  • Cost: $150-$8,000
  • If you setup your own website (easier than you think), you can save a LOT of money.  To have a decent website designed should cost a couple thousand bucks.  If you hire somebody to design a high end site you can pay up to $8,000.

Uniforms:

  • Cost: $100-$350
  • This expense is optional, but recommended.  It will help make you appear more established and sell your services a little easier.  Some polo shirts with your logo are all you really need.

Logo Design:

  • Cost: $0-$500
  • You can design your own or have a pro do it for you.  I’d recommend the latter.  Outsourcing your handyman logo is probably the easiest way to get a great logo designed for less than you would pay a logo designing consultant.

Initial Advertising:

  • Cost: $0-$500
  • If you simply start out advertising on craigslist, signing up for online directories, and building your website, it may not be necessary to pay for advertising.  However, dedicating a couple hundred dollars to experiment with a few methods of advertising will pay off.

Tools:

  • Cost: $0-$500
  • I recommend buying tools as necessary.  Hopefully you have the basics such as a drill, miter saw, circular saw, a hammer, and some screw drivers.

 Licensing Fees

  • $0-$4,000
  • Some states require you to have a license in order to perform any work on a home.  My state doesn’t require a license, but I have a limit of $1,000 per job.  I’m currently unlicensed and this is the way I recommend starting out if you can.

Handyman Insurance

  • ~$1,000/year
  • Some say you need handyman insurance right away, I disagree in most cases.  I held off for several months before getting it myself.

Truck Decals

  • $150-$400
  • These aren’t necessary right away and I waited about 3 months before getting mine.  I spent about $250 and applied them myself.

 

That should just about cover it.  If you think I’ve left something out or think I’ve got something wrong, please leave a comment below.

Although this list seems long, don’t let it discourage you.  A lot of these costs aren’t necessary right away and can be dispersed over several months.  I certainly didn’t go out and spend $3,000 my first month in business.  I think it’s best to spend money on business upgrades as a business grows.

If you still have questions concerning handyman business start up costs, I recommend reading my monthly reports starting with my first one.

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  • Bob Hamilton December 19, 2013

    I’m very interested in finally starting my own business.I’ve been doing home improvement for about 20 years, approx. 10 of those are on a full time basis. I like your information on the subject and I’m open for any and all I can learn in the future.

    • Dan Perry December 19, 2013

      Well you’ve found the right place! Good to meet you, Bob.

  • Bobby Jania March 22, 2015

    Hey Dan-

    I wanted to start up my own handyman business.

    I need a truck. I have ALL the tools needed to start.

    I was wondering if you could provide Intel on business loans so I could buy a truck and perhaps apply personal debt into that business loan?

    • Dan Perry March 23, 2015

      Bobby,

      I don’t know much about getting a business loan so I’m the wrong person to ask.

      Honestly, I think starting in debt is a bad idea, though. I would recommend starting with whatever vehicle you have right now, get up and running, and if things are going well then get a truck. Starting a business with debt hanging over your head sounds like additional stress you just don’t want.

      Additionally, you can still find ways to look professional without having a nice truck.

  • Kate April 6, 2015

    I am a female considering starting a handyman business. Of course I would not be doing any of the work, but rather hiring qualified staff. I have a 23 year old son has not handle but I thought this would be a good way to start a small business inexpensively & a way to get my own minor home repairs done. you mentioned insurance but not being bonded. naturally I would do criminal background checks and drug screens is there anything else you could recommend. Would it be a good idea to attend one of the courses adult classes at a high school or college on how to start a small business?

    • Dan Perry April 7, 2015

      Kate,

      I would recommend getting as much knowledge and help as you can when starting your business so yes, I would at least look into the small business courses you mentioned.

      Dan

  • Wen May 1, 2015

    Hi Dan,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a few days now and I consider it a true blessing. You have no idea how much information your blog provides about the process of starting a handyman business. I am very excited about beginning the business and doing things right by following your steps and learning from your first year in business. I almost can hear and angels choir because you explain everything so clear and easy to follow. We, husband and I, are in Oklahoma, he’ll be the “tough and brave one” and I’ll be the “book worm”! :)

    I hope whatever you are doing, (since I visited your website and at this moment you are not taking any new customers), I hope everything is going wonderful for you. Again, thank you for shedding light on the business for us poor and wandering newbies! :)

    Wen

    • Dan Perry May 1, 2015

      Hi Wen,

      Thanks for the kind words! Very glad my content has been helpful for you. Also, it sounds like you will do very well as husband wife teams fit this business perfectly.

      Dan

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