Do I Need to Have a Catchy Name for My Handyman Business?

If you’re interested in selling your business down the road you will want to have a catchy name.  It would be pretty tough to sell Jim Smith’s Handyman Service to Jenny Jones! But there are some downsides.  Using a fictitious name (any name that isn’t your given name) will cost you some extra money.  Once you’ve chosen the name you’ll…

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Who is Required to Have a City Business Tax Certificate?

If you do work within the city limits, where ever you are, there is probably a business license requirement. Here is a quote from the City of Santa Rosa’s website:  “Any person whose business is located in the city or conducts business in the city must apply for a business tax certificate within 30-days of the date the business commences….

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Should I Incorporate My Handyman Business?

What legal business structure should I choose?  The three most commonly chosen legal business structures are Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and S Corporation.  Because I am not a lawyer or a tax attorney I am not qualified to recommend one structure over another.  I can only tell you what I have done and strongly recommend that you consult…

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What About Billing Customers for Completed Work?

If it brings you more business, just say “Yes.”  This has come up in three different situations.  When I’ve done commercial work, work for a property management company or while doing pest repairs for real estate agents. The problem with billing customers on account is the time delay in receiving payment.  Commercial accounts often take up to 90 days to…

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Can I Open a SEP-IRA Retirement Account?

According to the IRS; businesses, corporations and self-employed individuals can open retirement accounts including the SEP-IRA.  As a self-employed handyman the amount you can contribute is dependent on your profit for the year. It is not easy to calculate your allowable contribution.  Always looking for a bargain, I opened a SEP-IRA at one of the large discount mutual fund families. …

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About Invoicing and Billing for Handyman Work

To promote a professional image and set yourself apart from your competition, you must use a professional looking invoice.  Customers appreciate having a paid invoice and you will find that all commercial work will require it.  The invoice that I use carries my logo, name and address, and has a place for the customer to sign that they have accepted…

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Should I Accept Personal Checks?

Yes!  Most customers pay by check.  However, when in doubt do what the corner merchant does to cover himself.  Write the customer’s driver’s license number on the check to prove you checked their ID.  In order for the police to help you collect on a bad check, you will need to be able to prove who it was that signed…

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Should I Ask To Be Paid in Cash?

No.  And don’t offer a cash discount.  Never tell a customer that you prefer to be paid in cash.  Asking for cash is bad business and a dead give away that you are cheating on your taxes.

What About Preliminary Notices and Mechanics Liens?

Here is a definition for you:  A Preliminary Notice contains language which describes the details of the contract and who the interested parties are to the transaction.  It also makes a statement to the property owner that a mechanics lien could be placed on the subject property, what the consequences of such a lien placement are, and what their remedies…

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Does the Truck I Drive Really Matter?

Yes!  A handyman’s truck should tell the world that they are dealing with a reasonably priced professional.  It should indicate to your customers that the owner is clean, organized, efficient, and serious about their work. Buy a good used truck or a basic new truck like I did.  Don’t get anything too flashy because it will make you look too…

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