Starting A Handyman Business – A Full Guide

August 7, 2023

We all need work done around the house occasionally, whether it’s to do with general maintenance, landscaping, plumbing, electricity or the like. Luckily, some of us are more handy than others – if you’re one of these skilled people, why not turn your hobby of fixing things into a successful handyman business? 


But how does one actually start a handyman business? As with most things, it’s easier said than done, that’s why we have compiled a short guide of the essentials you will need to consider before you take the plunge into the world of becoming a handyman.

Pros & Cons Of Starting A Handyman Business

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of launching your own handyman business, let’s take a moment to weigh up the pros and cons.


  • Be Your Own Boss: As a handyman business owner, you call the shots and decide on your workload, speciality, pricing, and working hours.
  • Flexibility: You can scale your business operations from a part-time side hustle all the way to a full-fledged company.
  • Skill Enhancement: Working as a handyman is a great opportunity to refine your skills and stay active throughout the day.


  • More Responsibility: Managing your business comes with lots of administrative work and the sourcing of your own materials, on top of performing your actual handywork. 
  • Inconsistent Work: As with all trades and services, the stream of work coming in can fluctuate, leading to periods where you may have an influx of work and others where you have little to none.
  • Increased Liability: Being a service provider means you are liable for any damages that occur on the job, making liability insurance crucial.

How To Start A Handyman Business

If you’re still interested in starting your own handyman business after considering the pros and cons, you’re now probably wondering what you’ll need in order to get started.


A great place to start is to determine whether there are any specific handyman licenses or qualifications required before you can begin. Across Australia, handymen don’t typically require a license to work unless they are completing a ‘large’ job. Research the threshold in your state to ensure compliance and to be aware of any changes to regulation.

Remaining State

Choose A Business Structure

Decide on a business structure that will best suit you. Whether it’s a sole trader, trust, or company. It may be helpful to consider your growth plans and the regulatory considerations of each option. As your business develops, the structure of your business can always evolve.


When you begin your handyman business, it’s essential that you register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). If your annual revenue exceeds $75,000, you will need to register for GST. At this stage, it is common for people to seek out professional help from an Accountant – this will allow you to focus more on the hands-on side of your business, while ensuring all the rules are being followed.


It is strongly recommended that you insure your handyman business to protect yourself and your clients. Insurance is particularly important in this industry given you are working in people’s homes and properties. Additionally, many handymen and tradespeople look at getting equipment and vehicle insurance, given these are essential to the running of their business. The most common insurance policies for the handyman industry are:

  • Public liability insurance,
  • Tool and equipment insurance,
  • Vehicle insurance,
  • Income protection insurance,
  • Workers compensation (only relevant if you have employees).

Essential Equipment For Your Handyman Business

As a handyman, your expertise is crucial, but having the right equipment is equally as important. Consider the kind of jobs you plan to take on and invest in essential, good quality pieces of equipment such as:

  • Hand tools (hammer, screwdriver, wrench, clamps, etc.)
  • Power tools (drill, sander, etc.)
  • Protective gear (glasses, gloves, tool belt, dust mask, knee guards, etc.)
  • Garden tools (shovel, lawn mower, pruning tools, rake, etc.)

How To Get Customers For Your Small Business

  • Word-Of-Mouth: There is nothing more powerful than word-of-mouth referrals or recommendations. If you are just starting out but have a few clients that were happy with the work you did, it could be worth asking them to share your details around – if they haven’t already!
  • Create A Website: By creating a professional looking website you are giving customers reassurance that you are a legitimate tradesperson. By having all of your contact details in one place, with a few customer testimonials on the page, customers know that you take care in how you present your business and will be more confident in the service you are providing.
  • Social Media: A great free tool that everyone can use! Upload photos of your logo, any jobs you have recently completed or even some customer testimonials. This gives potential customers an easy way to get a grasp on what you are all about.
  • Branding: This doesn’t need to be intensive – design or work on a simple logo and company name that people will remember and associate with handyman tasks.  
  • Airtasker: Get your name out there and build up your customer base by promoting your availability on websites such as Airtasker. Depending on your skills and speciality, list your company for a range of categories such as maintenance, landscaping, and plumbing business, so you can attract as much interest as possible.

Payment Methods To Accept

When you are offering a trade or service, it is always great to offer multiple ways for your customers to pay. The two main ways to pay nowadays are via an EFTPOS terminal or with cash. As a sole trader, there are a number of new processes that you will need to undertake when it comes to processing your tax return and contributing to your superannuation fund. For more information on the requirements, please visit the ATO’s resource – Working as a Contractor.


For a trades business, consider carrying a portable and durable EFTPOS terminal to all your jobs. Luckily, we’ve got all you’ll ever need in our Primo terminal. Experience the ease of getting paid then and there as soon as you finish a job. You won’t need to wait for your clients to respond to any email invoices for weeks after the job is complete. With Pago, funds are settled quickly, and you can even process payments over the phone with MOTO enabled. Plus, you’ll be able to settle and transfer your hard earned money into your business account within 24 hours (on weekdays). 

To find out how you can start using Pago as your EFTPOS payment method for your handyman business, please enquire here.


Another common way to take payment for trades work completed is via cash in hand. This can be seen as another easy way to receive your funds right away.

Is A Handyman Business Profitable?

While the average salary for a handyman will vary depending on the experience, skills, location, and speciality, running a handyman business can definitely be profitable. Most handymen charge a substantial hourly fee but it is important to remember that this includes the cost of materials, tools, travel and other business expenses. As discussed earlier, if you are operating as a sole trader in your handyman business, the work and income you receive will be dependent on customer demand.

If you are looking to conduct more specialised tasks like plumbing or electrical work, you require further qualifications.


This depends greatly on the level of skill and experience held by the tradesperson, as well as any qualifications they may have.

In Australia, a handyman can only legally perform general trades work. A few examples include: 

  • Window repair/installation
  • Basic electrical, plumbing work
  • Garden maintenance
  • Interior/exterior home painting
  • Fence installation
  • Door/door lock repair
  • Small furniture installation/building

If you are looking to conduct more specialised tasks like plumbing or electrical work, you require further qualifications.

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