Building and trade

Building work contractor's licence

Building work contractors work in construction, trade, demolition, site preparation and restoration and repairs.

Building contractor’s responsibilities

Who can apply

Individuals and businesses must be licensed as building contractors, including subcontractors if they run a business that carries out or organises building work:

  • for others
  • to sell or let land or buildings.

Sole traders normally apply for a contractor's licence and building work supervisor registration at the same time as both are required to contract work.

Check if you can work in South Australia if you have a current interstate or overseas contractor’s licence.

Before you apply

Finances

People who do 'specified building work' - eg bricklayers, carpenters - need to have at least $10,000 in net assets to apply for a contractor's licence. If you don’t have enough in net assets, you can apply for a restricted licence as a subcontractor.

Builders who work in 'major residential construction' must attach one of the following to the application:

  • a certificate showing you are able to get building indemnity insurance
  • letter from a chartered accountant, certified practising accountant or IPA public accountant confirming that you are solvent and have at least $100,000 in tangible net assets.

Industrial, commercial and civil builders must declare on the application form that they have the financial resources needed to carry on this type of business.

Knowledge and experience

Check you have the right knowledge and experience to apply for a building contractor's licence.

Business criteria for contractors (176KB PDF)

Police clearance

Include with your application a copy of your National Police Certificate (NPC) no more than 12 months old. Apply for an NPC through:

You do not need an NPC if you:

  • are director of a company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
  • have lodged an NPC with CBS within the last year
  • are an overseas resident and have never lived in Australia
  • have held a licence within the last year and are applying for an equivalent licence
  • have already supplied an NPC for a different licence issued under this Act.

Fees

Fees include the application and annual amounts.


Company

General building work

Specified building work

+ approve a building work supervisor

$1,150

$690

$120

Individual contractor

General building work and a supervisor’s registration

Specified building work and a supervisor’s registration

$833

$624

General building work

+ approve a building work supervisor

$619

$120

Specified building work

+ approve a building work supervisor

$423

$120

Changes to a licence
Vary a licence $156

Licence exemptions

Business partners who don’t organise or do the work no longer need to hold a contractor’s licence and can apply for an exemption - eg administrative partner.

Apply for an exemption - new applicants
Surrender your licence - for partners who already hold a licence and would like to apply for an exemption.

How to apply - new licence, upgrade or change of conditions

Online

1. Complete the form

Fill in the online application.

Start now

2. Print and sign

Print and sign the completed form.

3. Scan and upload

Scan and upload the signed form along with your supporting evidence.

4. Payment

You can pay by credit card using CBS's secure service. The fee is automatically calculated when you fill out the form.

In person

1. Complete the form

Fill in the online application.

Start now

2. Print and sign

Print and sign the completed form.

3. Lodgement

Take your application to the CBS Customer Service Centre or to a Service SA regional office along with your supporting evidence and payment.

Post

1. Complete the form

Fill in the online application.

Start now

2. Print and sign

Print and sign the completed form.

3. Payment

Make cheque or money orders payable to the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs.

3. Lodgement

Post your application, supporting evidence and payment to:

Consumer and Business Services
GPO Box 1719
Adelaide 5001

Phone

If you're not able to apply online, in person or by post, call 131 882 and discuss your options with our staff.

What happens next

If you're not registering as a building work supervisor when you apply, you will need to hire an approved supervisor before you can begin work.

Building work supervisor registration

Licence photos

You will need to have your photo taken for your licence and undergo an ID check before being issued with a licence card.


Renew a licence

Licences must be renewed every year. If your licence has expired, you need to apply for a new one.

Renewal fees

Company 

General building work

$949

Specified building work

$489
Individual contractor 
General building work$431
Specified building work$222
Changes to licences 
Vary a condition on a licence$156

How to renew

Online

Make sure you have your licence number and customer number ready to renew online. You can pay by credit card using our secure service.

Renew now

Post

Make cheque or money orders payable to the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs and attach to the front page of your renewal.

Consumer and Business Services
GPO Box 1719
Adelaide 5001

Phone

Make sure you have your licence and customer number ready when you call. You can pay by credit card.

Phone 1300 668 531

In person

Renew and pay for your licence at:

CBS Customer Service Centre
91 Grenfell Street
Adelaide

Or a regional office of Service SA.

Changes affecting your licence

Contact CBS Occupational Licensing

Email

Phone

131 882

In person

91 Grenfell Street
Adelaide

Post

GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001


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Page last updated 19 September 2017

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/business-and-trade/licensing/building-and-trade/building-work-contractor-s-licence
Last Updated:
19/09/17
Printed on:
27/09/17
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016