Yes, there's a lot of paperwork. A business license from your local (county or city) government business licensing department is a start.... Here in Pennsylvania, you go to the (County name) Earned Income Tax Bureau. Before you are issued a license, you pay a tax based on the amount of PROFIT you expect in the first year. Learning how to file a Schedule C with your Form 1040 for the IRS, is also a big help, especially if you keep track of the investment you make into your business. If you don't keep track, that's a good way to lose money you don't need to lose -- the IRS will be happy to keep the refund you'd otherwise be entitled to. Best thing: purchase a paperback book on how to start a handyman service. There does exist one with a title almost exactly like this. Part of a series of books whose title starts with "How To Start A...." Read it from cover to cover. Bookstores have them, internet retailers can get the same ones the bookstores can.
And unless you're already absolutely one of the best, not only handyman-expertise-wise but also cash-flow-management-wise and personality-plus-salesperson-wise, you are looking at indulging a very expensive hobby. Keep track of all your investments/losses; they go on Line 12 of your income tax return and get deducted from gross income to arrive at adjusted gross (AGI). If you're in a 28 percent tax bracket, you'll get 28 percent of those losses back from IRS later (lose only 72 percent). Take a look at the credibility factor for cutthroat competition in the Home Improvement Contractor business -- just check out your local Yellow Pages under "Contractors."