Is there a license I need to be a handyman in Georgia? Not only will I do home repairs, but also fencing. Any help would be appreciated.
It appears that the statute which instituted contractor licensing in Georgia applies "where the total value of the work or activity or of the compensation to be received by the contractor for such activity or work, whichever is the higher, exceeds $2,500.00."
In September 2009, the then-Secretary of State issued a press release after extensive flooding in Georgia, which stated, in part:
" Typical flood damage that requires a contractor to hold a state-issued license includes major structural repair, electrical, plumbing and HVAC. Consumers can verify that a contractor is properly licensed or file a complaint against a licensed contractor online at: http://sos.georgia.gov/plb.
"Additionally, state law exempts some types of construction work from licensure. Typical flood damage that does not require a licensed contractor includes roofing, painting, sheetrock, siding, mold remediation, flooring, foundation waterproofing and septic tank repair. Septic tank repair must be conducted by a person certified by the Georgia Department of Community Health.
"Consumers should know that is illegal for a homeowner to obtain a building permit and use an unlicensed contractor to manage construction services. The person or business who obtains the permit could also assume the majority of liability for the project, leaving the consumer with little to no legal recourse."
"There are various penalties for failing to obtain a contractor's license when it is required. Penalties include the workman being unable to get paid or place a lien for nonpayment; inability to get a building inspector to approve a project; and being issued an order to "cease and desist".
Due to the potential for such harsh penalties, it is best for you to consult with an attorney in Gwinnett County who has knowledge of construction law before you start any work. The cost of paying the attorney would be small compared to possible penalties.
There may be other licenses, such as business license(s) in the city/county in which you plan to work. Check with local government for these.
Most likely you will be limited on the amount of repairs you can do without a license. You can apply for your license through the Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors.
There is a separate license for plumbers and electricians, so if you are going to be doing that kind of work as well, you should also obtain those licenses as well so you do not get sanctioned and possibly jail time.
I hope this helps. Here is the link to the website for the Licensing Board: