Handymen provide an invaluable service to homeowners and businesses by taking care of minor repairs, basic installations, general maintenance, and a variety of odd jobs. However, working as a professional handyman requires proper licensing and insurance coverage to legally operate and adequately protect your business in Alaska.

This comprehensive guide will provide a thorough overview of the licensing and insurance requirements for handymen and handyman businesses throughout the state of Alaska. We will cover all the steps required to obtain a new handyman contractor license, renew an existing handyman license, establish eligibility through reciprocity with other states, summarize the license bond stipulations, and detail the insurance requirements.

Understanding Alaska’s specific regulations for operating as a legal handyman business is crucial for ensuring compliance and avoiding potential penalties.

Requirements for Becoming a Licensed Handyman in Alaska

To legally work as a handyman and perform handyman services in exchange for compensation in Alaska, you must hold a General Contractor – Handyman license that is issued by the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Division of Corporations Business and Professional Licensing.

This handyman contractor license allows you to operate as a handyman and perform various handyman jobs and projects with a total cumulative value under $10,000. This license generally excludes electrical, handyman, HVAC, or other specialized trades work, which require additional specialty licenses and administrator qualifications even for smaller jobs.

However, the handyman license does permit a wide range of common handyman tasks like minor repairs, basic installations, replacements, general labor, maintenance work, and other miscellaneous jobs for residential and commercial clients.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for obtaining a new handyman license issued by the state of Alaska, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Hold an active business license in Alaska. This can be obtained prior to or after applying for the handyman contractor license.
  • Provide adequate proof of current general liability insurance coverage.
  • Provide proof of a sufficient surety bond or eligible cash deposit.
  • Pay all required licensing fees.

Notably, there are no examination requirements nor any specific educational prerequisites needed to obtain a handyman license in Alaska.

How to Apply for an Initial Handyman License

Follow these steps to apply for and obtain a new handyman contractor license in Alaska:

  1. Obtain a business license in Alaska if you don’t already hold an active one registered with the state. This can be done online through the MY LICENSE portal or by submitting a paper application.
  2. Complete the handyman license application form available from the Division and get the form properly notarized.
  3. Provide proof of a $5,000 surety bond or equivalent cash deposit payable to the State of Alaska. This will be held as a security deposit.
  4. Supply adequate proof of your current general liability insurance coverage meeting the state minimums as outlined in the insurance section below.
  5. Pay the required non-refundable application fee ($100) and registration fee ($250). Payments must be made with a credit card to the State of Alaska.
  6. Submit your completed application, fees, bond information, and proof of insurance to the Division for processing.

Once approved, you will be issued an official handyman contractor license number. This must be displayed on all advertising, contracts, websites, and other public-facing materials produced by your handyman business.

Renewing an Existing Handyman License in Alaska

Handyman licenses issued in Alaska must be renewed every 2 years before the expiration deadline of December 31st on even-numbered years.

For instance, handyman licenses issued in 2020, 2022, 2024 and so forth will need to renewed by December 31, 2022, December 31, 2024, etc.

To renew an active handyman contractor license in Alaska:

  1. Login to your MY LICENSE account at the state’s MY LICENSE portal.
  2. Select your existing handyman license and click the “Renew License” button to enter the online renewal application.
  3. Pay the renewal licensing fees including the $100 non-refundable application fee and $250 registration fee.
  4. Verify your insurance and bond information is current and upload any updated documentation if needed.
  5. Complete the online renewal process. In most cases, your handyman license will be instantly renewed upon completing the steps.

Notably, there are no continuing education requirements that must be fulfilled to renew a handyman license in Alaska at this time. The renewal fees mirror the original licensing fees.

Be sure to keep your email address and contact information updated in your MY LICENSE account so you receive renewal reminders well ahead of the expiration date. Late renewals can lead to penalties and workforce disruptions.

Reciprocity for Handyman Licenses in Alaska

Alaska has no direct reciprocity agreements regarding handyman licenses with any other states at this time.

To legally work as a handyman and operate a handyman business providing paid services for clients in Alaska, you must hold a valid Alaska-issued General Contractor – Handyman license.

This requirement applies even if you hold an active handyman or contractor license issued by another state. There is no exemption or allowance to work under a handyman license from other states when operating in Alaska.

The steps to obtain a license detailed above must be completed to have a valid handyman contractor license in Alaska, regardless of existing licenses from other states.

Alaska’s Handyman License Bond Requirements

To obtain a new handyman license in Alaska and maintain an active license, you must provide current proof of a $5,000 surety bond.

This bond must remain continuously in effect for the entire 3-year license duration until renewal. The bond serves as a security deposit held by the state.

Instead of obtaining a surety bond from an insurance company, you can provide a $5,000 cash deposit to the State of Alaska to fulfill this requirement. This cash deposit must be held in a trust account that is payable to the state.

The bond or cash deposit cannot be cancelled, released, or refunded until 3 full years after the handyman contractor ceases conducting business in Alaska. This hold period also applies if obtaining a new bond or making a new cash deposit to replace an existing one.

If your surety bond is set to expire during your 3-year licensing period, you must replace it with an extended or new bond to maintain active licensing status. The same protocols apply for replacing a cash deposit.

Insurance Requirements for Licensed Handymen in Alaska

Alaska requires licensed handymen to carry adequate insurance coverage to protect their business. The state minimums are:

  • At least $20,000 in property damage coverage This covers damage repairs caused by the handyman.
  • A minimum of $50,000 for injury or death of one person This covers medical and liability costs if a customer is injured.
  • At least $100,000 for total coverage for injury or death of multiple persons This is the aggregate coverage when more than one person suffers injuries or death.

You must also carry an active workers’ compensation insurance policy if you plan to hire any employees to assist you with handyman work. This covers any workplace injuries suffered by employees.

Up-to-date certificates of insurance must be provided when applying for a new handyman license or renewing an existing contractor license in Alaska. You cannot legally operate without meeting these minimum insurance coverage requirements.

Summary of Key Requirements for Alaska Handyman Licenses

To summarize the key requirements covered in this licensing guide:

  • You must obtain a General Contractor – Handyman license issued by Alaska to legally operate as a handyman in the state. This allows you to perform handyman work under $10,000.
  • No exam or trade-specific education is required to obtain a handyman license. You must be 18+ years old and hold a business license.
  • The handyman license must be renewed every 2 years before the December 31st deadline. No continuing ed is required for license renewal.
  • Alaska does not offer any reciprocity for handyman licenses issued by other states. You must hold an Alaska-issued license.
  • A $5,000 license bond from a surety company or $5,000 cash deposit is required. This must be maintained for 3 years.
  • Minimum insurance coverage includes $20k property damage, $50k injury per person, and $100k injury aggregate.

Staying up-to-date on Alaska’s regulations for operating a legal handyman business is vital for maintaining compliance. Be sure to keep your business license, bond, and insurance active at all times.

Contact the Department of Commerce licensing division with any additional questions or concerns about meeting the state’s handyman licensing requirements.


Handymen provide extremely valuable services to Alaska residents and businesses by taking care of a wide variety of minor repairs and basic maintenance needs. However, legitimately working as a paid professional handyman requires proper licensing and insurance coverage.

We hope this comprehensive guide has helped explain Alaska’s specific requirements and steps for securing a handyman contractor license, renewing your license, transferring eligibility from out-of-state, meeting bond stipulations, and carrying adequate insurance.

Operating legally with proper licensing and insurance is the best way to protect yourself, your clients, and your business’ reputation when providing professional handyman services in Alaska. Keep this resource handy and reach out to the Department of Commerce with any other questions!