Building work contractor's licence

Due to an increase in applications the current wait time for an interview is 10 to 12 weeks.

Check estimated processing times on the Consumer and Business Services website.

Building work contractors work in construction, trade, demolition, site preparation and restoration and repairs - who should apply for a licence.

Apply for a licence

To complete your registration or licence application you'll need meet certain requirements and supply supporting documents - what you'll need.

After filling out the form you'll need to print and sign it, then scan and upload it (if you can't do this phone 131 882 to discuss your options with CBS staff).

Other ways to submit the form

Application fees

Who should 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.


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.

What you'll need


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 a certificate of eligibility for building indemnity insurance to the application.

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 (205KB PDF)

Interstate builders working in SA (128.99 KB 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 - SA Police

National police checking service - Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission

You don't need an NPC if you:

  • are the 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 the same Act.

What happens next

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

Estimated processing times

If you're an interstate applicant, and not applying through mutual recognition, you'll need to provide evidence that you intend to do contract building work in South Australia.

Supervision of building work

All building work must be supervised by a registered building work supervisor.

Companies will need to nominate a building work supervisor when applying for a contractor licence.

Individuals who apply for a contractor licence can also register as a supervisor on the same application. If an individual is only contracting out building work, a supervisor must be nominated.

Building work supervisor’s registration

Changes that affect your registration or licence

You must notify CBS within 14 days:

Digital licences

You can download your licence or registration to an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet using the mySAGOV app.

Hard copy licences will still be issued and it's a good idea to carry these with you until digital licences become widely accepted.

Contact CBS licensing


Phone131 882 and press 4

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Page last updated 30 March 2023

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
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