The answer is Yes, you definitely need a business license to clean gutters in the United States. Most gutter cleaning businesses only need to have a general business license to operate. In some jurisdictions, however, the service may be considered property improvement and be subject to sales tax collection. In addition, your business may also be classified as a contractor and be required to obtain a specific license to operate in addition to the general business license.
Certain cities may require a separate license as well if you plan to service customers within their borders. For instance, California requires all contractors who build or modify buildings to be licensed with the state if the job cost exceeds $500. New York mandates that home-improvement businesses carry a license only if they operate in certain cities.
While some states have general requirements, your business might need other licenses obtained from industry associations, and many licensing bodies will require you to pay fees and pass exams to earn certification. However, not all states and industries require gutter cleaners to be licensed, but even if it is not mandatory, it still offers benefits.
Getting a professional license or certification could give you an advantage over the competition, and some large clients may only work with construction companies and contractors who are licensed. In some states, construction licenses can help you collect damages if a client fails to pay you for your work.
Aside from a business license that is necessary, there are other licenses you might need to clean gutters in the United States. Adequate licenses and permits show prospective clients that your business is qualified to handle the job and in compliance with local regulations, and they can keep you from getting fines that impact your bottom line.