What license(s) do I need to start my own renovation business?

Question Icon
Posted by: from Aurora
11/17/2014 at 11:35:20 PM

Hi there,

I am 22 years old and I have been working in construction/trades for over 5 years now. II am planning on starting my own renovation business doing small scope work and gradually moving forward to larger projects.

My question is what license (other than a business license) am I required to have if I am doing a full reno of a room (electrical, plumbing, drywall, etc..)? Do I need to be licensed in each trade?

I am proficient in every aspect, I just want to make sure I am doing everything the right way.

Hope you guys can help, thanks!

User Icon
Martin's Renovations in Edmonton
Date/Time11/18/2014 at 4:16:59 AM


Yes. You do need to be licensed to do work in some specific areas of trade, like electrical and plumbing, but normally not in drywall and finishing work. However, it would be advised that you carry a license for each trade you work in.

Check the government website for where you intend to work. They should have all the information you may need concerning licensing, insurance, etc.

Hope that answers your question!

-Majd Mouzaffar

Martin's Renovations

User Icon
Date/Time11/18/2014 at 7:31:10 AM

Hi Steve,

As Majd stated, yes you need to have a qualified tradesman working on specific areas of your renovations. Even if it is a small thing like changing an outlet. Remember, If something is faulty, you are liable. Get permits and go by the book. Get Red Seal Trades in to do the work.

Barry Primak

BOLT Custom Carpentry

User Icon
Date/Time11/21/2014 at 7:14:17 PM

In the province of Ontario you need to be a licenced electrical contractor to complete any electrical work in a building or dwelling that belongs to someone else.

This also applies to other trades and also special tickets from TSSA for gas fitting, etc.


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

User Icon
Date/Time11/23/2014 at 3:51:45 PM

The only thing that I can add that has not already been stated (but not directly related to your query) is to develop positive relationships with licensed trades people. These people will be your greatest allies in getting work done in a timely and professional manner. As you work with them and get to know their work, you will be better able to price things out.

When you are doing an estimate, you may need to coordinate with them re: their costs. If they are agreeable (and most are), follow them around as they do their estimate and ask questions. This keeps you better informed of the nitty gritty of what goes into their part of the job and can make their job easier later as you will be more knowledgeable.

Good luck and be sure to ask questions on this forum! People here have been very helpful with me as well.

User Icon
Chris in Bobcaygeon
Date/Time4/18/2016 at 7:44:47 PM


Actually I'm in the exact same boat as well. I want to open my own reno company. And I am a licensed electrician. But I'd like to do as much of the work myself as possible. So yes I would need electrical permits and a plumbers license. But what about framing? Must I have a carpenters license to do the work. And will I need this license to pull a building permit.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get quotes from top-rated contractors