Rules and regulations
There are no specific certificates or training required for starting up as a handyman. However, if you want to be able to offer a full range of services, it is worth getting certified with certain regulatory bodies.
The NICEIC is the organisation that authorises the electrical industry, and if you intend on carrying out any new electrical wiring, this is vital.
For work relating to gas engineering, it is important to register yourself on the Gas Safe index. Initial registration costs £428, which must be renewed every year for a further £205 via telephone, or £180 online. The Gas Safety Register is the UK’s official body for gas safety, having replaced CORGI in 2009, which requires anyone working on gas maintenance to carry the card, proving they are part of the network and are therefore approved.
There are a variety of credible courses that can help you acquire the more complex skills. Kerrie Hanafin from A Woman’s Touch recommends taking a few short courses in each trade. You can find courses for one or two weeks which will give you enough confidence and knowledge to be able to offer your services in that trade.
You will need to think about registering for VAT. As of 2010, you must register for VAT if your turnover for the previous 12 months is more than the current registration threshold of £70 000, or if you expect it to go over that figure in the next 30 days. If your turnover hasn’t crossed the registration threshold, you can still voluntarily register for VAT, because it may be beneficial to you, however, it is not required.
If you are planning on sub-contracting some of your work to other servicemen, you need to register with the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). As a contractor, you will need to check your workers are registered with HM Revenue and Customs.