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.

Interstate and overseas licences

Before you begin


People who do 'specified building work'  for example, 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 or certified practising accountant or IPA public accountant confirming that you are solvent and have at least $100,000 of 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 - SA Police

National police checking service - Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission

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 the same Act.


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.

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 upon application of a contractor licence.

Individuals that 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

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


1. Complete the form

Fill in the application, then print and sign it.

Apply now

If you can't complete the form online phone 131 882 to discuss your options with CBS staff.

2. Scan and upload

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

3. Payment

Pay by credit card using the CBS secure service on the registration form.

Other ways to lodge the form

In person

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


Post your application, supporting evidence and payment to:

Consumer and Business Services
GPO Box 1719
Adelaide 5001


Fees include the application and annual amounts.


General building work

Specified building work

+ approve a building work supervisor




Individual contractor

General building work and supervisor’s registration

  • Interstate or NZ licence recognised in SA

Specified building work and supervisor’s registration

  • Interstate or NZ licence recognised in SA





Application for approval of additional building work supervisor


General building work (contractor only)

  • Interstate or NZ licence recognised in SA

Specified building work (contractor only)

  • Interstate or NZ licence recognised in SA

+ approve a building work supervisor






Application for a building work supervisor registration

  • Interstate or NZ licence recognised in SA



Application to vary a licence


Application to vary a registration


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.

Changes affecting your licence


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


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


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


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

Or a regional office of Service SA.

Renewal fees


General building work


Specified building work

Individual contractor 
General building work $484.00
Specified building work $250.00
Changes to licences 
Vary a condition on a licence $175.00
Replacement of licence card or certificate $29.75

Digital licences

You can download your licence or registration to an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet using the mySA GOV 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. For more information visit

Contact CBS Occupational Licensing


Phone131 882

In person:
91 Grenfell Street

GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001

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Page last updated 4 July 2019

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
Last Updated:
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