For starting a handyman business in Australia, it’s important to understand the legal requirements surrounding your profession. Knowing what licenses, permits, and insurance you need can help you avoid fines and legal trouble, and ensure you are providing quality service to your clients. In this article, we’ll go over the legal requirements for handymen in Australia.

Licensing and Certification

In Australia, handymen don’t necessarily need a license to operate, but certain trades may require specific licenses. For example, if you are doing electrical work, you will need an electrical license. Similarly, if you are doing plumbing work, you will need a plumbing license. These licenses are issued by state and territory governments, so it’s important to check with your local government to see what licenses you need.

Additionally, some states and territories require a general building license for handymen who do certain types of building work. This license may require the completion of a specific course or qualification, as well as a certain amount of experience in the industry.


While not legally required, it’s highly recommended that handymen have insurance to protect themselves and their clients. Public liability insurance is especially important, as it covers any damage or injury caused by your work. If you accidentally damage a client’s property or someone is injured while you are working, public liability insurance can cover the costs associated with the damage or injury.

In addition to public liability insurance, it may also be a good idea to have income protection insurance to cover you if you are unable to work due to an injury or illness. This insurance can help cover lost income while you recover.

Occupational Health and Safety

As a handyman, it’s important to prioritize safety in your work. This means understanding and complying with occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations. OHS regulations may include guidelines for using certain tools or equipment, safety protocols for working at heights, and requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and safety glasses.

In addition to complying with OHS regulations, it’s also important to prioritize your own health and safety. This may include taking breaks when you need them, using proper lifting techniques, and seeking medical attention if you are injured on the job.

Consumer Protection

Handymen are also subject to consumer protection laws, which are designed to protect clients from fraud and poor workmanship. This includes laws surrounding advertising, contracts, and warranties. For example, if you advertise a specific service or skill, you must be able to provide that service or skill to a reasonable standard. Additionally, any contracts or agreements with clients should be clear and transparent, outlining the scope of work, costs, and timelines.

It’s also important to provide warranties for your work. This can give clients peace of mind that any issues with your work will be addressed in a timely manner.


As a self-employed handyman, you will need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and file taxes on your income. This may include income tax, goods and services tax (GST), and pay as you go (PAYG) withholding tax. It’s important to keep accurate records of your income and expenses to ensure you are filing your taxes correctly.

In addition to taxes, you may also need to register for other government programs such as workers’ compensation insurance or superannuation.

In conclusion, as a handyman in Australia, it’s important to understand the legal requirements surrounding your profession. This includes obtaining any necessary licenses or certifications, having proper insurance coverage, complying with occupational health and safety regulations, following consumer protection laws, and filing taxes correctly. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you are providing quality service to your clients while protecting yourself from legal trouble.

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