Where in NY?
NYC has it's own regulations.
Long Island Nassau and Suffolk county's each require a Home Improvement Contractors license. Suffolk you will have to take a written test. Not that bad just study the papers they give you. Then you have to register your business with the county as a solo prop or LLC. Get a EIN, then file for your sales tax number, then go to the WC office and if just you and no employees you can file for WC wavier or pay to WC insurance. Also will have to have $500,000 min liabilty insurance. For $20 more premium I got $1,000,000 coverage.
You will need a checking account in your business' name.
You do work for a business they have to make the check out to your business name to right it off. If they make the check out to your name after $600 total has been reached in one year they will have to 1099 you and or need your SS#. I'm not giving any one my SS#.
I don't know what they do up in the sticks.