You must have a contractor licence before you contract, sub-contract or advertise to do:
You must lodge your application in person at a Fair Trading Centre or Government Access Centre for the following:
Call 13 32 20 or visit the Fair Trading website for the location of your nearest Fair Trading or Government Access Centre.
If you are applying for a company or partnership licence you may lodge your application either in person at a Fair Trading or Government Access Centre, or by post.
If lodging your company or partnership licence application by post, send your completed application form, supporting documents, and a cheque for the application fee to:
NSW Fair Trading
Home Building Licensing
PO Box 972
Parramatta NSW 2124
For application forms, go to the Builder and tradespeople forms page on the Fair Trading website or visit your nearest Fair Trading or Government Access Centre.
The fee will vary depending on the type of licence or certificate you are applying for and you can pay by cash, cheque or credit card. For more information, go to the schedule of home building fees on the Fair Trading website or call 13 32 20.
Applications that are incomplete, do not contain all supporting documentation or the prescribed fee, will not be accepted, and may be returned to you.
Once we have received your completed application form, supporting documentation, and the fee payment, the application is assessed against the requirements. If your application is approved, we will grant you a licence number and send you a licence card.
If you are applying for an individual licence or certificate, your name will be shown on the licence card, not your business name. If the licence has been issued to a partnership or company, the name of the partnership or company will appear on the card.
Licence details also appear on Fair Trading’s public register and will show the members of the partnership or directors of the company, as well as the nominated supervisor.
If one of the following situations applies to you, your licence may not be granted:
If we refuse your application, only part of the fee may be refunded, the rest is to cover processing costs.
An application form and supporting documentation such as the following will need to be lodged with Fair Trading:
If you are applying for your first licence or a different licence, make sure you have the necessary qualifications and experience. For information about the level of qualifications, and the amount and type of practical experience needed, go to the Licence classes and qualifications page on the Fair Trading website or call 13 32 20.
Individual Contractor Licences, Qualified Supervisor and Tradesperson Certificates are issued in the applicant’s legal name. Fair Trading requires that your qualification is in your correct name. That means you must ensure that the name stated on your qualification is your proper legal name. If the name on your qualification is not in your legal name you should contact the training organisation that issued your qualification and request the change prior to lodging your application for a licence or certificate.
Proof of identity (POI) for individual licence and certificate holders is required. NSW Fair Trading requires you to produce in person, at a Fair Trading Centre:
Find more information about proof of identity requirements on the Fair Trading website, or call 13 32 20.
All applicants for building work licence classes must provide evidence from an approved insurer of:
Home warranty insurance certificates, or certificates of eligibility must be in the exact name of the applicant.
Alternatively, applicants may apply for an exemption from the need to hold home warranty insurance. In the case of licensees granted an exemption, the licence will be endorsed with the condition ‘Only for contracts not requiring home warranty insurance’. Licensees with this exemption can only contract to do work if the contract price does not exceed $20,000 (ie. the reasonable cost of labour and materials, inclusive of GST, does not exceed $20,000).
The Home Building Act 1989 prohibits a company from advertising, quoting, contracting or arranging for any residential or specialist work to be carried out without having a current contractor licence.
The maximum penalty for a company contracting to do residential or specialist work without a licence is $110,000 and the maximum penalty for partnerships is $22,000.
A company or partnership that is applying for a contractor licence is required to specify the name of its proposed nominated qualified supervisor and the nominated supervisor must consent to be the supervisor for the company/partnership.
If only one qualified supervisor is nominated, they must also hold a current endorsed individual contractor licence or qualified supervisor certificate that includes all classes of work that the company or partnership wishes to contract for. It may be necessary for the company or partnership to nominate more than one supervisor to cover all classes of work that the company or partnership proposes to carry out.
The holder of a company or partnership contractor licence is required to notify Fair Trading within 7 days of its ceasing to have a nominated supervisor. Failure to notify is an offence.
If, without prior consent having been given by Fair Trading, the holder of a company or partnership licence does not have a nominated supervisor who is acceptable to Fair Trading for a period exceeding 30 days, the licence will be cancelled.
The nominated supervisor of a licence is required to notify Fair Trading within 7 days of them ceasing to be the nominated supervisor for that licensee. Failure to notify is an offence.
An acceptable nominated supervisor is one that is:
A supervisor cannot be accepted for nomination if they are:
Dual nomination is where a supervisor is nominated for more than one company or partnership contractor licence. A company or partnership must seek the approval of NSW Fair Trading for a company or partnership to have a dual nominated supervisor. The approval is decided on a case by case basis.
The nominated supervisor is responsible for the carrying out of all relevant work undertaken by the contractor. The supervisor actually in control of work is guilty of improper conduct if codes of practice, ordinances or regulations are breached, if unsuitable materials are used or the work is not done in a good and workmanlike manner.
A nominated supervisor must discharge their responsibilities as the nominated supervisor for their employer personally and cannot delegate them to another person.
This does not mean that the nominated supervisor must be present at the site at all times if the work being carried out is residential building work.
However, when the nominated supervisor is absent, the nominated supervisor should:
If the nominated supervisor ceases to be a director, partner or employee, they must notify Fair Trading of this fact within 7 days. Failure to notify is an offence.
A company contractor licence is cancelled if the company has become the subject of a winding up order or has been voluntarily wound up.
If a company is wound up, it is the responsibility of the directors to immediately surrender the licence card to a Fair Trading Centre or Government Access Centre, or if unable to do so, lodge a statement signed by a current director providing details of why the card cannot be surrendered.
If a director of a company that has been wound up due to insolvency holds an individual or partnership contractor licence, or is the director of another company that holds a contractor licence, it may result in an application for renewal of the licence being refused.
In this situation, if the director of the affected company is an individual, or a director of another company or a member of a partnership that holds the class of building or swimming pool building, the individual, partnership or company contractor licence may not be renewed. If the individual, partnership or company contractor licence is for a class other than building or swimming pool building, the licence if approved for renewal may have the condition imposed ‘only for contracts not requiring home warranty insurance'.
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