deep dive look at Nevada handyman laws

Nevada Handyman License: Updated for 2023!

Table of Contents

Nevada Handyman License Requirements?

One of the most common questions is:

Can I get a handyman license in Nevada?

The answer is quite simple.

  • If you are performing work over $1,000 or that requires pulling building permits, then you will need a contractor license. 
  • Anything under $1,000 that can be considered casual or minor in nature does not require a Contractor License in Nevada.
blog post covering the nevada handyman license

What Can a Handyman Legally Do In Nevada?

If you are a handyman that does not hold a license in Nevada, these are some basic rules of thumb you will want to keep in mind when advertising your services.

Don't take the job if:

  • A building permit is required to perform the work
  • The work is of a type performed by a plumbing, electrical, refrigeration, heating or air-conditioning contractor
  • The work is of a type performed by a contractor licensed in a classification set by the NSCB and significantly affects the health, safety and welfare of members of the general public
  • The work is performed as a part of a larger project

Steps to forming a handyman business in Nevada

Once you understand the services you can legally offer. You can take the proper steps to setting up your handyman business. 

  1. Register your name and choose a (DBA – Doing Business As) – Having a Fictitious Name or Company Name 
  2. Choose a Business Entity – Understanding the difference between a Sole Proprietor, LLC, S-Corp and Partnership
  3. Basic Accounting – Simple Accounting Practices that will help you avoid headaches come tax time
  4. You also may want to look into setting up a handyman website where you can promote your services

Those are essentially the basic three steps you can follow to get started. Depending on what part of Nevada you are in you may need to apply for a Nevada Business License. 

Handyman Courses and Certifications

Before we learn about the requirements to get a Contractor License in Nevada, lets take a look at some of the alternatives to licensing that you can obtain as a handyman. 

Whether you are a licensed and bonded contractor or a handyman with personal liability insurance, presenting yourself as a knowledgable advisor and professional is critical. 

Homeowners trust your knowledge and expertise. The following certifications are easy and inexpensive to obtain:

  • Lead Safety Certification – Homes and structures built before 1978 probably have high levels of lead paint somewhere within them. This 8 hour course teaches you the negative affects of lead exposure and how to contain it in a safe manner. Having this certification and showing that you are compliant with Federal EPA laws, is an excellent marketing piece for your handyman business

  • Mold Certification – Mold exposure can be very hazardous to the elderly and small children. Having a mold certification can help you position yourself as an expert and get referral business

  • Home Inspection Professional – Home inspection is a booming business. Typically before a home sale is complete, a home inspector can be hired to inspect the foundation and structural integrity of a house. While this certification may require some structural and foundational knowledge, it can be an excellent alternative to getting a contractor license

Who Needs a Contractor License in Nevada?

  • Anyone bidding on construction projects over $500 in labor or materials
  • Anyone offering services involving: Construct, Alter, Repair, Add to, Subtract from, Improve, Move, Wreck, or demolish any building, highway, road, railroad
  • Anyone engaging in excavation, structural work, development or improvement including erecting scaffolding
  • In Nevada the term “Contractor” is synonymous with “Builder”

Required Experience – To get a ​General contractor’s license in Nevada you must hold at least 4 years of journeyman level experience. Meaning experience gained either as a: Foreman, Supervisor, Contractor, or Journeyman. To learn more about the differences between these job titles, read below.

Qualifying Person – You will need to have at least 4 references confirming your level of experience. The individuals you choose must have first-hand knowledge of your level of experience. They can either be an employer, fellow employee, journeyman, foreman, building inspector, union-representative supervisor, or client. This person cannot be a family member unless that family member was your employer.

Description of Work Experience- The Nevada state contractors board requires all applicants to also provide a detailed description of your daily duties, tasks, responsibilities, and work experience associated with the license you are applying for. You will need to include dates, current address, and contact number of your current and former employers. If self-employed include documentation detailing projects and the contact number of your clients

Exam – There are two exams you will need to pass in order to get a contractor license in Nevada. Trade and Construction Management. Contractor examinations in Nevada are facilitated by a third-party company named PSI. Read below for more information on testing.

Criminal Background Check – All applicants must complete a criminal background check prior to getting a license. Nevada Contractors Board Fingerprinting can be done at any approved location. 

Form a Legal Entity – You must form a legal entity before applying for a contractor license in Nevada. You can choose between Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Corporation or LLC. To learn more about which entity is best for the construction industry, read below. 

Contractor Bond – All licensed contractors in Nevada must be bonded. The amount of your bond is determined by the Nevada State Contractors Board. It can be anywhere between $1,000 – $500,000 depending on a variety of factors. To learn more about the bonding process in Nevada, Continue reading.

Pay License Fees – 

  • The Application Fee is currently ———$300 
  • License Activation ———– $680 (every two years)
  • Bond Fee for Cash Bond ————- $200
  • Residential Recovery Fund ———— $200 – $1000 (for residential contractors only)

Submit Application – You can find an application here

Send to:



Nevada Contractor License Requirements

You must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of Age
  • Form of USA Issued Identification
  • Social Security Number
  • Not Currently On Probation or Parole

You Must also have

  • 4 Years of Journeyman Level Experience
  • Be able to document your experience if the Nevada Contractors Board request
  • A Business Entity

What is a Journeyman?

Journeyman-level experience means that you have reached a certain level of mastery and knowledge of your trade.

Credit for experience in Nevada is only issued at the journeyman or supervisory level.

You must be aware of every aspect of your trade as well as maintain a certain level of safety and quality control.

  • Journeyman can perform all of the duties associated with their trade un-supervised. This person has either completed an apprenticeship or is an experienced worker
  • Foreman is a supervising employee on a job-site and has full knowledge of all of the duties and skills that a journeyman would have
  • Contractor is an independent tradesman who manages and supervises several phases of a construction job
Logo of the nevada contractors board. Nevada is apart of the California Contractor license reciprocity agreement

Nevada State Contractors Board

The Contractors Board in Nevada may request to see the documentation of your experience.

It is important that you have some way to prove your claim of being a journeyman.

Proving Your Construction Experience

You may document your 4 years of experience in the following ways:

  • W2’s
  • Tax Returns
  • Check Stubs
  • Contracts
  • Letter from a licensed contractor

Who can sign off on your construction experience?

The Nevada State Contractors Board will require you to submit 4 notarized references verifying your construction experience.

These references must be from people who have first-hand knowledge of your experience and who have witnessed your work. 

You may use any of the following people to sign off on your experience:

  • Employers 
  • Foreman or Supervisors
  • Journeyman 
  • Licensed Contractor 
  • Union Representative
  • Building inspector 
  • Architect  
  • Engineer
  • Client 
  • Customer

Describing your work experience to the NSCB

In addition to references. You must also include a detailed description of your experience. 

Each reference must include

  • Name
  • Current Address
  • Phone Number
  • Dates of Employment

Your description must go into a certain level of detail:

“Jim is a great guy and built our house” – Is not descriptive enough

Jim has installed rafters, girders and engaged in formwork. He has experience with framing, pouring concrete, mixing mortar, and stacking. Jim has overseen construction job sites, maintained worker safety and overseen electrical wiring, plumbing, and roof installations” – This is an example of a much more descriptive explanation

You will want to talk about the:

  • Types of construction projects
  • Trades
  • Crafts
  • Task and Duties

Forming a Business Entity in Nevada

You will have to form a legal entity. You can learn more about setting up a business entity on the Nevada Secretary of State Website.

You must first choose a name and then you can choose the type of entity you want.

Typically, construction companies choose either:

  • Sole Proprietor
  • Partnership
  • LLC
  • S-Corporation

For a complete explanation of the difference between these types of entities and which one makes the most sense for someone applying for a contractor license, check out this free guide!

Types of Contractor License Classifications in Nevada

Nevada A – General Engineering

Nevada B – General Building

Nevada C – Specialty Classifications

  • Low Voltage
  • Well Drilling
  • Solar
  • Finish Carpentry
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Concrete
  • Sign Installation
  • Carpentry, Maintenance, and Minor Repairs
  • Pipe and Duct Insulation
  • Pipes and Vents for Gas
  • Fencing
  • Individual Sewerage
  • Wrecking/Demolition
  • Industrial Machinery
  • Excavating and Graving
  • Asbestos Removal

What Is On The Nevada Contractor License Law Exam?

a carpenter sawing a large plank. there is no handyman license in nevada

All Contractors looking to get licensed and bonded in Nevada must pass a LAW & Business exam, also known as the Contractor management survey examination.

Not all licenses require a trade exam. 

The exam covers the following topics:

  • Licensing
  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Lien Law
  • Financial Management
  • Tax Laws
  • Labor Laws
  • Project Management
  • Contracts
  • Risk Management
  • Environmental Safety and Health Department Regulations
  • Occupational Safety
  • Construction Regulations

If you are unfamiliar with the contractor license laws, it could be helpful for you to enroll in a Nevada contractor license school. 

However, make sure you understand the scope of what contractor classes actually teach you.

To learn more about the difference between a trade school and a contractor license school, check out this article!

NSCB Testing Information

  • 120 Minutes
  • 60 Questions
  • 75% Passing Score
  • You will get 3 chances to pass the exam (2 weeks between each exam date)

You must first register for an examination at the Nevada State Contractors Board website.

Once the board accepts your application packet, they will mail you a candidate eligibility letter that will include a PSI Registration Form with instructions on how to select an exam date. 

  • One Examination $95
  • Two Examinations $140
  • Computerized Test
  • Bring 2 forms of Identification
  • Open Book
  • Arrive 30 minutes before scheduled exam time
  • You will have to forfeit your exam fee if you cancel less than 2 days before your date, are late or fail to bring identification

Exam Locations

There are three available testing locations:


3210 East Tropicana Avenue

Las Vegas, Nevada 89121

  • RENO

Airport Plaza Office Building

1755 E Plumb Lane Ste 108

Reno, Nevada 89502

  • ELKO 

225 Silver Street Ste 102

Elko, Nevada 89801

Nevada Contractor License Lookup Page

For consumers looking for a licensed and bonded contractor in the state of Nevada, you can check out this page

You may be also required to register and get a Nevada state business license. The Nevada Department of business and Industry has information about this process.

Handyman License Laws in California

  • In the State of California, individuals that perform handyman services cant charge more than $500 for labor and materials. 
  • This also means that you are not allowed to split up the project into smaller stages or parts to stay under the $500 limit. 
  • This law in some cases prohibits you from even being involved in a project where the cost of labor and materials exceeds $500.
  • Each state has their own handyman laws

complete california handyman license guide

For example, if a customer is looking to remodel their home and has hired several other sub-contractors, and the only thing they need you to do is install some cabinets you would legally not be allowed to perform that work.

Even if the cost for your services is under legal amount as its part of an overall project where the bid is above $500.

In my experience, it is just easier to obtain a contractor license vs. trying cutting the price of your services or trying to come up with creative ways to evade state laws. 

Learn more about handyman license laws in California!