Building Licensing Advice

Do I need a building licence?

In Queensland, companies and individuals must hold a QBCC building licence in order to carry out:

  • Any building work valued over $3,300
  • Building work valued over $1,100 if it involves Hydraulic Services Design
  • Building work of any value when it involves:
    – Drainage
    – Plumbing and drainage
    – Termite management – Chemical
    – Fire protection
    – Completed residential building inspection
    – Building design – low rise, medium rise and open
    – Site classification

Developers and licensed contractors entering into commercial work contracts do not require to hold a licence as long as they engage an appropriately licensed contractor to carry out the building work.

How do I apply for a Queensland Building Licence?

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission administers the licensing of building contractors and building professionals in Queensland.

All applicants must meet the applicable eligibility criteria, which includes financial requirements, professional qualifications and experience as well as the fitness of character. An application must be accompanied by various supporting documents to provide evidence of the statements made in the application.

Eligible applicants must pay annual licence fees, which are calculated based on the category of the licence sought and any conditions applicable to the applicant.

What are the different classes of licence in Queensland?

Different classes of building licence are available for particular types of building work. Any the building work that you carry out must be covered by your licence class, and often a contractor will be required to maintain more than one licence class.

There are currently over 80 distinct classes of building licence administered by the QBCC in the following broad categories:

  • Builders
  • Builders restricted
  • Building design
  • Completed residential building inspections
  • Trade contractors
  • Occupational and provisional plumbing and draining
  • Restricted plumbing and draining; and
  • Fire protection

What if I receive a notice or a request from QBCC with respect to my building licence?

As the industry regulator the QBCC continually monitors the licensees’ compliance with the licensing requirements and the observance of the relevant building standards.

The QBCC may audit a licensee on adherence to the minimum financial requirements for holding of the building licence under an approved compliance audit program or if the Commission is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the licensee does not meet the minimum financial requirements for their licence class and/or condition.

The QBCC may decide to suspend or cancel a building licence if the licensee does not meet the audit requirements.

The QBCC may also issue show cause notices to the licensees with respect to certain insolvency events, for example, the bankruptcy of the licence holder or licensee’s responsibility for failure of a building company. The QBCC may decide that such persons and/or associated companies be excluded from holding a building licence. Various periods of exclusion including a life-long ban may apply.

If you receive a notice from the QBCC relating to your building licence you must take urgent action. Check the applicable time frame for your response and understand exactly what is required from you. If you do not comply with the prescribed deadline, you may be eligible for an extension of time in limited circumstances. Most importantly seek legal advice immediately.

I have a query about a building licence for other Australian states?

Not from QLD? We can provide you with building licensing advice relevant to your state.