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Where am I allowed (AGAIN)

AspiringHandyman's picture

Okay, let's try this one again---I got ready to post this question and somehow backed out of it, so my apologies if this same question shows up again.

 

Anyway, I'm getting ready to start my own handyman business.  In Illinois, we don't need a license to be a handyman/contractor unless handlng electric/plumbing/roofing.  Although I've been told that we are allowed to replace/upgrade existing plumbing pipes, but we cannot install new or relocate.  Feel free to correct me.

My main question is about where I'm allowed to do business.  Since I'm a sole proprietor, all I had to do was fill out a Doing Business As form and get an announcement posted in the paper.  That's it.  But nobody can seem to tell me if I'm allowed to do business in other counties or am I restricted to my own. 

So I'm asking everyone here, because short of the friggin Governor, nobody can seem to tell me anything consistently.  All I've been told is that if I don't use my business name I can go anywhere I want.   I have friends/family in other counties who are willing to help get my name out there, but I'm trying to keep a professional image with a business name, instead of being "just some guy that someone else knows."

I'll let you know who replies faster....you guys or someone  from the state of Illinois.

Might be as variable as the info you've been given. (post #207008, reply #1 of 12)

Hopefully somone from your state will see your message and respond.

I'm from Ohio.  We have no statewide licensing.  However, each municipality may have a "license requirement" which for the most part means registering with inspection so your info is available to their city income tax bureau.  Usually involves a registration fee and yearly donations.

Where in Illinois are you located?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


I live in Illinois (near (post #207008, reply #2 of 12)

I live in Illinois (near Champaign) but am far from an expert on business matters.

Illinois is wierd on plumbing. I'm not sure what you said is correct.  I was under the impression that you can't do plumbing for someone else unless you're licensed or it's your own house. But I'm not certain.

I've never heard of any restrictions about where you can work. But some of the counties have wierd building departments - Especially up north.

If there's a building department in the town you live in they might be willing to help you.  If you're in a larger town, maybe the local home builders association.

 

Best of luck.  And welcome to Breaktime.

BossHog---Classic!!!!  Yes, (post #207008, reply #3 of 12)

BossHog---Classic!!!!  Yes, you are right about the plumbing issue.  You can do your own with no license but any hired work must be licensed. 

I'm from Rockford and I've been digging around a lot online about being able to work in other counties, but keep coming up empty so I'm just going to have to ask when I go to register the business name. 

Thanks for getting back to me though.

On another note--if there's any advice you can give me for just starting out, I'm all ears.  I don't have a lot of "professional" experience, but I've studied my butt off, I love the work,  and I'm hoping a professional image and mannerism will help get me in the door.

I think the people to ask are (post #207008, reply #4 of 12)

I think the people to ask are probably the people at the county building inspector's office.  They know the rules pretty well, and also know the "unwritten rules" -- ie, whether or not you can get in a situation where the inspector will refuse to approve anything you do.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Interesting...I never even (post #207008, reply #5 of 12)

Interesting...I never even thought of that.  I can imagine my first meeting with an inspector---

INSPECTOR:  How long have you been at this?

ME:  About 20 minutes.

INSPECTOR:  No, I mean how long have you been in business?

ME:  About 20 minutes.

INSPECTOR:  GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE!!!

 


 

AH (post #207008, reply #6 of 12)

Hope you have secured liability insurance for the business and your work vehicle.  Important things that sometimes go on the back burner.

And have the costs of doing business down to a science.

Best of luck.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Inspectors deal with DIYers (post #207008, reply #7 of 12)

Inspectors deal with DIYers and handymen all the time.  And, in any event, you want to get a feel for how the inspectors feel about such people -- some are quite accommodating if you make some effort to follow the rules and use good practices, while others are really into the "old boy network" thing and would just as soon shoot you. 

You need to know which sort of office you're dealing with, and probably stay off the turf of the second type.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Yup! As a DIYer who does (post #207008, reply #8 of 12)

Yup!

As a DIYer who does alot of off the wall stuff and works with materials and methods that I learn about here - and not what is commonly used by the other 99.99% of the trades in my area - My first rule of dealing with the inspector.

Shut TFU

Let them look at whatever you are presenting and let them talk - you listen.  They usually have some sort of adgenda otr pet peeve that you need to respond to or address FIRST.  This is a working relationship!  Find your common ground, or at least learn which island to swim towards!

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!

____________________________________________________

Yeah, I hear that a lot when (post #207008, reply #9 of 12)

Yeah, I hear that a lot when it comes to inspectors, especially early on.  Just keep quiet and do what the nice man says. 

AH (post #207008, reply #10 of 12)

Not so on the keep the mouth shut.

Dealing with inspectors is merely an extension of dealing with anyone-

your customers

your subs (if you do use them)

your suppliers......

anyone.

 

You've got to be good at working the room.

Don't just shoot your mouth off, do it right.

 

 

I've found that at times, the best way to start a conversation with the inspector upon his arrival is to talk about anything BUT the job.  Get started with just a normal conversation-this puts you and he/she on the same footing for starters.  Greet him, then get down to business.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Yeah, but don't talk about (post #207008, reply #11 of 12)

Yeah, but don't talk about the big game until you find out who he's rooting for, and NEVER discuss politics, at least not until you have a good working relationship.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

come on Dan............ (post #207008, reply #12 of 12)

That's basic bull [JOBSITE WORD]'n one oh one.

 

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/