California Handyman

California Handyman

California Handyman

Just a quick post to discuss being a California handyman.

There is no specific license for being a handyman, other than a business license in the city/county you reside in. A contractors license is only needed if your projects are $500.00 or more.

That per project amount is just that, per project/per client. You can’t split up a contract for one client over a period of time so that you’re only being paid $499.99 each time. If you do work for one client over the course of time, the total you were paid would determine if you should be licensed or not. For example, you worked on 10 projects for one client over the course of a year and they paid you $1500, you need a contractors license.

If you plan to apply for a B General Building license using your handyman experience, beware, the cslb’s opinion is that a California handyman (generally speaking) has little to no framing experience. Since structural framing requires a permit, and a license is required to get that permit, they believe you won’t have the necessary framing experience.

As I mentioned in another post, the cslb is considering the creation of a new license classification that does not have the framing component as a requirement of licensure. So those out there who are working as a handyman, you have a potential path to getting licensed and subsequently taking on bigger projects.

As a cslb expert, I’ve spent a great deal of time helping people to navigate the licensing process and to guide the California handyman down the path and through the red tape.


I am a Navy vet and former laborer for a B-Gen Bldg contractor, I built mobile homes for many years, I worked at the Contractors State License Board for 5 yrs, and have been operating a contractors license service company since 2005.

5 thoughts on “California Handyman”

  1. Has there been any update on this? Been trying to get my general B and framing is the one thing I can’t prove even though I have electrical plumbing concrete drywall excavation ect provable, I’m being told my app won’t be accepted because of not enough framing experience. But I’m also told I can’t get multiple licenses either. So basically I’m screwed out of starting my business that would not have any framing involved because I don’t have the framing experience in a way they will accept

    1. Hi Kasey,

      I haven’t heard anything from the cslb regarding the new license classification, unfortunately. You could apply for one of the specialty licenses, but then you’re trapped performing only that trade classification, and the trades that would fall under the scope of work for that trade classification.

  2. Blu Hill Flowers

    A handyman license would be a good addition to the licensed community. I just believe that the handyman license should have restrictions on any structural component like framing, reinforced concrete, complete mechanical, electrical, plumbing, roofing systems. That is it should be clear when a B, C, or D license would be required.

    1. Thank you for the comment. The feedback is invaluable! From what I’ve heard so far, there would be limits on the structural components under the proposed C-1 or B-1 license.

      I don’t believe there would be any restrictions on electrical or plumbing, but we’ll learn more as the process moves forward.

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