Who to set up a handyman business as the general contractor?

I offer handyman services but don’t have an actual company. I want to get subcontractors to completely take care of my clients’ jobs. I want the subcontractors to be completely reliable for the job. I would basically be a middle man. I want to give the impression to the clients that I will be assisting with the job, even though that’s not necessarily the case. If client requires something in writing, what can I give them that would appear that I’m responsible and not show that a subcontractor is actually liable for the job?or that there is even a subcontractor involved? Also, what contract do I give to my subcontractors to make them liable and prevent them from stealing the jobs?

Asked on August 19, 2013 under Business Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

What you propose is fraud--consummer fraud; you are proposing to lie to customers about who is responsible for the job. That sort of material (or important) misrepresentation (or lie) is fraud and can result in considerable liability. Do NOT lie to your customers about who will do work or is responsible for it.

You can have your subcontractors sign "nonsolicitation" and/or "noncompetition" agreements, under which they agree to not take your customers or do work for them other than through you. You can also have them sign indemnification agreements under which they will agree to reimburse you for any costs or loses/liability you incur due to their actions. You  can and should require them to have insurance; prove they have insurance; and name you as an "additional insurered," or someone else covered by their policy.


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