Handymen and handyman businesses are a vital part of communities across Arkansas. As skilled tradespeople, they provide professional handyman services to help homeowners tackle repairs, renovations, maintenance and other projects that would otherwise be difficult for the average homeowner to complete. The work performed by handymen enables homeowners to preserve and maximize the value of their real estate investments.

However, in order to legally operate as a handyman or handyman business in the state of Arkansas, individuals need to obtain proper licensing and carry adequate insurance coverage. The specific requirements vary based on the size and scope of work being performed.

This comprehensive guide will provide an in-depth look at Arkansas’ licensing and insurance requirements for handymen and handyman businesses. We’ll cover:

  • An overview of handyman work in Arkansas
  • Requirements for becoming a licensed handyman
  • Steps to obtain a new handyman license
  • License renewal process
  • Reciprocity for out-of-state handymen
  • License bonds
  • Insurance requirements
  • Resources for additional information

With licensing and insurance rules varying by location, it’s essential for Arkansas handymen to understand their obligations under state law. This ensures full compliance, helps limit liability, and allows handyman professionals to continue providing valuable services to their communities.

An Overview of Handyman Work in Arkansas

According to Arkansas’ Contractors Licensing Board, a handyman is defined as someone who has the skillset and experience to perform a wide range of repairs, fix-up tasks, and general maintenance, typically around a client’s home. The work can be either indoor or outdoor.

Some examples of common handyman jobs in Arkansas include:

  • General home repairs (e.g. leaky faucets, broken appliances)
  • Minor handyman work (e.g. drain cleaning, fixture repair)
  • Electrical repairs like replacing switches or outlets
  • Carpentry services (e.g. door adjustments, cabinet installation)
  • Drywall installation or repairs
  • Interior and exterior painting
  • Wallpaper removal
  • Window repairs and screen installation
  • Deck and fence staining
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Tile repair
  • Flooring installation
  • Roof repairs
  • Landscaping and yard cleanup

Arkansas handymen are able to provide these “odd job” services across a range of skill sets. However, to legally operate a handyman business, individuals need to follow state licensing and insurance requirements.

Requirements for Becoming a Licensed Handyman in Arkansas

Arkansas’ handyman licensing requirements vary based on the size and dollar value of planned work. Some key thresholds include:

Work valued under $2,000

For small handyman jobs valued under $2,000 total (parts and labor), a state license is not required. However, the Handyman must restrict work to basic tasks like cleaning, landscaping, painting, staining, etc. Electrical, HVAC or complex handyman jobs always require proper licensing, even if under $2,000.

Work valued over $2,000

For handyman work valued at over $2,000, a state-issued Home Improvement License is required. This allows the handyman to complete specialized tasks like cabinetry, flooring, roofing, drywall, fencing, tile repair, insulation installation, and more for single family residences.

With this handyman license, professionals can complete jobs valued up to either $50,000 (limited license) or unlimited project sizes (unlimited license). Structural work like additions and remodeling require a specialty remodeler’s license.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a handyman license in Arkansas, applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a legal resident of the United States
  • Not have any disqualifying criminal convictions
  • Comply with insurance requirements
  • Provide references
  • Pay licensing fees

Next, we’ll look at the step-by-step process for obtaining a new handyman license in Arkansas.

Steps to Obtain a New Handyman License in Arkansas

If you plan to perform handyman services valued over $2,000, follow these steps to obtain your Home Improvement License:

Step 1: Confirm Eligibility

Double check that you meet the eligibility criteria for a handyman license as outlined in the previous section. This includes being at least 18 years old, having no disqualifying criminal history, and maintaining appropriate insurance coverage.

Step 2: Prepare Reference Forms

Arkansas requires handyman license applicants to submit three references on the provided reference forms. Make sure to follow all instructions and have references verify your relevant experience.

Step 3: Obtain Business Documentation

Have all required documentation for your handyman business structure ready to go. This may include formation documents like articles of organization if you are an LLC.

Step 4: Complete License Application

You can find the Home Improvement License application online on the Contractors Licensing Board website. Be sure to pay close attention to:

  • Classifications – Select all the types of work you will perform
  • Limited vs Unlimited – Choose based on your projected project sizes
  • Business structure – Should match your formation documents
  • References – Attach your completed reference forms

Step 5: Pay Licensing Fee

The fee to obtain a Home Improvement License in Arkansas is $50. This is paid directly through the application form. Some applicants may qualify for an initial fee waiver.

Step 6: Submit Application

Mail your completed handyman license application, references, fee payment, and any other required documents to:

Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board
4100 Richards Rd
North Little Rock, AR 72117

Expect it to take a minimum of 4 weeks to officially process your application. You can check the status on the Board’s online system.

Once approved, you will receive your handyman license by mail. Make sure to prominently display your license number on all advertising per state requirements.

Renewing an Arkansas Handyman License

All handyman licenses in Arkansas must be renewed on an annual basis. The steps for license renewal include:

Step 1: Submit Renewal Application

You can submit your license renewal application 60-90 days prior to the expiration date printed on your current handyman license. Applications are available on the Contractors Licensing Board website.

Step 2: Pay Renewal Fee

The renewal fee is $50, the same as the initial application fee. You can pay by including a check or money order with your renewal paperwork.

Step 3: Fulfill Continuing Education

Arkansas does not require licensed handymen to complete any continuing education for license renewal at this time. You just need to successfully renew within your expiration timeframe.

Once approved, your renewed handyman license will be valid for one additional year past the prior expiration date. Expect renewal reminders from the state approximately 60 days prior to expiration.

Reciprocity for Out-of-State Handymen

Arkansas offers handyman license reciprocity for professionals already licensed in other states. This allows you to transfer your existing license instead of having to meet Arkansas’ full licensing requirements from scratch.

To apply for license reciprocity as an out-of-state handyman, you need to:

  • Hold a current and valid handyman license in another U.S. state
  • Submit a reciprocity application to the Arkansas Contractors Board
  • Pay the $50 application fee
  • Provide proof of insurance
  • Include documentation of your current license

If approved, you will be granted an equivalent Arkansas handyman license, renewable on a yearly basis for $50.

The Board may also issue temporary 90-day licenses to out-of-state handymen while the official reciprocity application is processing. This allows you to operate legally as you wait for full approval.

License Bonds for Arkansas Handymen

Arkansas does not currently require licensed handymen to obtain any license bonds. However, general contractors seeking certain specialty licenses do need to secure license bonds.

License bonds help provide financial protection to consumers by allowing claims to be made against the bond if a contractor violates licensing laws. This gives homeowners peace of mind when hiring general contractors for bigger projects.

Since handyman work is generally smaller in scope, license bonds are not mandated. However, handymen still need to follow all other licensing regulations. General business insurance is recommended to cover damages.

Insurance Requirements for Arkansas Handymen

While license bonds are not required, the state of Arkansas does mandate that licensed handymen carry adequate insurance coverage. There are some differences in insurance requirements for limited vs. unlimited license holders.

Limited License Insurance Requirements

Handymen holding limited licenses, which allow projects up to $50,000, must have:

  • General business liability insurance

Unlimited License Insurance Requirements

Unlimited license holders with no project size restrictions must carry:

  • General business liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance (if employees are utilized)

Workers’ Comp Considerations

Workers’ compensation, which covers jobsite injuries to employees, is only mandated under an unlimited handyman license if you have workers. However, it’s highly recommended for all handymen working with any employees or subcontractors. This insurance protects your business in the event of costly injury claims.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is also an important handyman insurance coverage. It helps protect your business from third-party claims of property damage or bodily injury during a project. Minimum policy limits of $500,000 to $1 million are recommended.

Resources for Additional Information

This covers the major requirements for handymen and handyman businesses seeking to legally operate in the state of Arkansas. Here are some additional resources if you need more information:

  • Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board – The Board to contact for licensing applications and information. Website: aclb.arkansas.gov
  • Arkansas Department of Insurance – The state agency that regulates insurance requirements. Website: insurance.arkansas.gov
  • Local Arkansas handyman associations – Joining a trade association provides networking/education.
  • Business formation resources – Obtain proper business formation help through legal counsel or business services companies.
  • Accountant/CPA – Seek professional accounting guidance on tax compliance.

By following Arkansas’ licensing and insurance requirements, handymen can show their professionalism while also protecting their business interests. Be sure to stay up-to-date on any changes to state regulations impacting handymen.


This guide provides a thorough overview of the licensing and insurance obligations for handymen and handyman businesses operating in Arkansas. While small handyman jobs may not require a license, professionals taking on work over $2,000 in value must obtain a state-issued Home Improvement License and carry adequate business insurance.

Arkansas also offers handyman license reciprocity for professionals licensed out-of-state. By following all licensing regulations and insurance requirements, Arkansas handymen can continue providing valuable repair, maintenance and improvement services to homeowners across the state. Be sure to consult state resources if you have additional questions or scenarios not addressed here related to licensing and insurance rules.