Running a handyman business in Nevada can be a rewarding venture, but navigating the licensing and insurance landscape can be challenging. This comprehensive guide breaks down all the key requirements handymen need to know to legally start and operate their business in the state.

Introduction to Licensed Handymen in Nevada

Unlike some states, Nevada does require handymen to have a contractor’s license if they are performing jobs exceeding $1,000 in value or that require a building permit. Obtaining this license ensures handymen have the proper training and expertise to safely take on more complex projects while also protecting homeowners.

Being a licensed handyman benefits both the business owner and their customers. Licenses prove handymen have passed state-administered exams testing their competency in their desired trades. Homeowners who hire licensed pros know they are getting qualified, vetted professionals who have demonstrated their skills.

Beyond licensing, having proper insurance coverage is crucial for shielding handymen from expensive liability claims and lawsuits. This guide outlines the steps for handymen to get licensed in Nevada, maintain their license, understand reciprocity for out-of-state pros, and meet all mandatory insurance requirements.

Requirements for Becoming a Licensed Handyman in Nevada

To obtain a handyman contractor’s license from the Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB), applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

Handyman Experience Requirements

The handyman acting as the qualifier for the license must document at least 4 years of experience within the past 10 years as a journeyman, foreman, supervising employee, or contractor in the desired handyman classification.

Up to 3 years of this experience can be substituted with education from an accredited trade school program. Relevant military service and training records also qualify.

Handymen must provide proof of their experience through documentation, such as:

  • Certification of Work Experience forms completed by past employers or customers
  • Transcripts from trade schools showing program completion
  • Military records demonstrating years served in an appropriate occupational specialty

Sole proprietors using their own experience to qualify must provide a detailed work history spanning the past 10 years, including past customers and handyman projects completed.

Passing the Licensing Exams

Every handyman applicant must pass a Business and Law exam covering construction law and general business principles. Additional trade-specific exams are required for certain specialty handyman license classifications, such as electricians.

The NSCB partners with PSI Services, a national testing company, to administer all Nevada contractor licensing exams. PSI has examination centers located in Las Vegas, Reno, and Elko. However, handymen can also take Nevada’s licensing exams at any PSI testing location across the country.

The exams consist of multiple choice questions and are offered on a computer. The number of questions and time limit to complete the exams varies based on the specific handyman classification.

The Business and Law exam costs $95, while prices for the trade exams range from $75-$115. The total exam cost for obtaining a handyman license is typically between $170-$210.

Handymen who fail any part of the licensing exams must wait 14 days before they can attempt a retake. After 3 failed attempts at any one exam, they must start over and submit a new license application and fees.

Demonstrating Financial Responsibility

Applicants must submit a current financial statement along with their handyman license application to demonstrate financial fitness to operate a contracting business. CPA-prepared financial statements are required for handyman licenses with monetary limits over $10,000.

A bank verification form is also mandatory, signed by a bank representative to attest that the handyman has an active business bank account.

Meeting minimum financial requirements gives the NSCB confidence that a handyman can handle multiple larger-scale projects at once, which licensed pros are permitted to take on.

Obtaining a License Bond

The Nevada State Contractors Board determines the required license bond amount based on the handyman’s financial standing and qualifications for the specific license classification.

Bonds for handymen range from $1,000 to $50,000. This bond can be obtained from an authorized Nevada surety company or provided to the NSCB as a cash deposit.

License bonds must remain continuously in effect without any lapses in coverage. Gaps in bond coverage can result in suspension of the handyman’s license until corrected.

Being 18 Years Old

Finally, all handymen must be a minimum of 18 years old to qualify for a contractor license in Nevada.

Applying for a New Handyman License

Once a handyman has verified they meet all the eligibility criteria outlined above, they must complete the following steps to become licensed in Nevada:

  1. Obtain a contractor license application from the Nevada State Contractors Board website or nearest office.
  2. Complete the license application form in its entirety, providing all required personal, business, financial, experience, and project history details.
  3. Submit the handyman license application, along with the $300 application fee and any required supporting documents to the NSCB for processing.
  4. After the application is approved, pass the Business and Law exam, plus any trade-specific exams required for the handyman classification. Exams are scheduled through PSI Services once approved.
  5. Receive an official approval letter from the NSCB detailing the required license bond amount that must be obtained.
  6. Secure a Nevada license bond for the handyman business from an authorized surety company or provide a cash deposit. Send proof to the NSCB.
  7. Submit the $600 biennial handyman license fee to the NSCB.
  8. File proof of general liability insurance coverage meeting Nevada minimums.
  9. Provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance or file an exemption affidavit if no employees.
  10. Complete registration with Nevada’s SilverFlume online business portal.
  11. Wait to receive the actual license certificate by mail. Obtain plastic pocket cards as well.

This entire new licensing process takes 30-90 days on average after submitting a complete handyman license application to the Nevada State Contractors Board.

Handymen cannot legally advertise services, bid on projects over $1,000, or operate their business until the license has been officially issued by the state.

Renewing a Nevada Handyman License

In Nevada, contractor licenses including those held by handymen must be renewed every 2 years before the expiration date to remain valid. Renewal requires handymen to:

  • Complete and submit the handyman license renewal application form
  • Pay the $600 biennial license renewal fee
  • Provide updated financial and experience statements to still meet eligibility
  • Send proof of continuous and uninterrupted bond coverage
  • Submit evidence of required general liability insurance policy
  • File proof of completing the 10-hour OSHA safety course, retaken every 5 years
  • Get re-registered for business licensing through Nevada SilverFlume

All renewal documentation and payments must be received by the NSCB before the expiration date printed on the current license. If a handyman allows their license to lapse due to non-renewal, they must immediately stop operating until the license is reinstated.

Reciprocity for Out-of-State Handymen

For handymen already licensed in certain other states, Nevada offers license reciprocity to streamline the process for out-of-state pros wanting to operate in Nevada.

To obtain a Nevada handyman license through reciprocity, out-of-state applicants must:

  • Hold an active handyman license in Arizona, California, Utah, or select other states with equivalent licensing standards
  • Have maintained that license in good standing for 4 continuous years
  • Submit official license verification from their home state

Handymen licensed in states without examination and experience standards similar to Nevada’s criteria will still need to pass Nevada’s own licensing exams to qualify.

All other application materials, requirements, processes, and licensing fees remain the same for reciprocity applicants. They will still need to arrange bonds, insurance, and complete Nevada’s full license application.

Nevada License Bond Requirements

Obtaining and maintaining a license bond is key for legal operation. These bonds offer financial protection to consumers in case a licensed handyman fails to complete a project or violates state contracting laws.

Nevada sets handyman license bond requirements as follows:

  • Bonds range from $1,000 to $50,000 based on the license type
  • Must be obtained solely from a Nevada surety company or provided as a cash deposit
  • Bond coverage must remain continuous without any lapses
  • Bonds can be canceled by the surety company with 60 days written notice
  • Any lapse in bond coverage results in license suspension

Keeping an active license bond at all times is solely the handyman’s responsibility. They will not be allowed to perform any handyman services in Nevada with a suspended license.

Nevada Insurance Requirements

The state mandates all licensed handymen carry general liability and workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

General liability insurance covers damages and lawsuits arising from third-party property damage or bodily injury claims while working. Nevada requires handymen to maintain at least $100,000 in liability coverage.

Workers’ compensation insurance pays for employee injuries or illnesses related to work activities. This policy is mandatory for handymen with W2 employees, owners excluded.

Independent contractors, subcontractors, and sole proprietors without employees can file an exemption affidavit to waive the workers’ compensation requirement.

Having proper insurance helps protect a handyman’s personal and business assets in case of an incident or lawsuit. Failing to meet Nevada’s minimum insurance requirements can lead to license suspension or revocation.


While licensing and insurance involves some upfront effort, it enables handymen to operate legally and gives homeowners confidence in their expertise. This 2,000 word guide covers the key requirements for becoming a licensed handyman permitted to take on larger projects requiring permits in Nevada.

The Nevada State Contractors Board’s criteria aims to establish minimum competency standards through examinations and experience verification. Qualified handymen prove they can safely handle more advanced jobs.

Knowing all the steps and costs for obtaining and renewing a handyman license ensures compliance. And staying properly insured is a crucial way handymen protect themselves while servicing customers.