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Compliance information for kitchen and bathroom businesses

In Queensland, individuals or companies who want to carry out ‘building work’ valued at over $3300 (including labour and materials) must have a licence. ‘Building work’ is defined by the Queensland Building Services Act 1991 (‘QBSA Act’) and extends to building work involving kitchen, bathroom and laundry renovation and construction.

In this article

  • What licence do I need?
  • Builder's licence
  • Builder restricted to kitchen, bathroom or laundry
  • Cabinetmaking licence
  • Frequently asked questions regarding licences

What licence do I need? 

As a trade contractor if you contract to a homeowner directly, or to builders, you will require a licence. If you only sub-contract to trade contractors and never to a builder or the public, you are not required to hold a licence. 

The type of licence you will need depends upon the type of work you would like to carry out. It is important that you know what licence you require and to only perform works within the scope of that licence. All licence classes have differing experience and qualification requirements as a condition of that licence. 

Builder’s licence 

If you would like to build kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and carry out works to other areas of a building (including constructing a building), you may want to consider getting a builder’s licence. There are different classes of builder’s licence available: 

  • Builder Low Rise: This licence will allow you to perform building work on a Class 1 or Class 10 building, and also on Classes 2 to 9 buildings, provided the gross floor space does not exceed 2000m2. This licence excludes type A construction on Classes 4 to 9 buildings
  • Builder Medium Rise: This licence will allow you to perform work on Class 1 and Class 10 buildings and other classes to a maximum of three stories. This licence excludes type A construction on Classes 4 to 9 buildings. 

Builder restricted to kitchen, bathroom or laundry 

If you would like to be able to install, refurbish, restore and repair a kitchen, bathroom or laundry in:

  • a Class 1 or 10 building, or
  • in Class 2 to 9 buildings if the gross floor area of the kitchen, bathroom or laundry is not more than 50m2,

you will need to have a licence in this class. This licence will also enable you to prepare plans and specifications provided they are for your personal use or for use in the building work that you will personally perform. However, this licence will not allow you to do any structural work or work that requires a fire protection or occupational licence. 

Cabinetmaking licence 

This licence will allow you to: 

install, refurbish, restore or repair kitchen bathroom, laundry and other fitted cabinets and fitments on-site 

install incidental work of another class up to a value of $3300. Please note BSA has advised that the value of $3300 would be the total sum of electrical, plumbing, tiling, etc. 

As such it’s difficult to operate a kitchen and bathroom business under this license and HIA suggest applying for the Builder Restricted to Kitchen, Bathroom and Laundry license. 

Frequently asked questions regarding licences

What if I want to get an equivalent licence in another state or territory? 

Mutual recognition is available for some licensees from other states or territories. 

Do I need to have a written contract? 

If you are contracting with a member of the public for the performance of domestic building work valued at $3300 or more, you need to have a written contract in place that is signed by both parties and complies with the Domestic Building Contracts Act 2000 (‘DBC Act’).

The QBSA Act applies to all trade contracting arrangements. A trade contract which complies with the QBSA Act is required for all contracting circumstances between builders and trade contractors where the value of the work is greater than $3300. Where the value of the work is $10,000 or greater the trade contract must be in place prior to the commencement of the works. Where the value of the works is less than $10,000 the trade contract must be in place prior to completion of the works.

HIA has contracts available that comply with Queensland legislation.

What rules apply to advertising?

Your business advertisements must include the name under which you are licenced, state that you are licenced under the QBSA Act and state your licence number. If the add is a spoken advertisement, these details need to be clearly stated.

Do I need to register a business name if I want to trade under another name?

If you are an individual, you need to register a business if you trade under a name that isn’t your own.

If you are a registered company, you need to register your business name if it is different from your registered company name. If your business is operating in Queensland, you will need to register your business name with ASIC. For more information go to www.asic.gov.au

What about warranty insurance?

Statutory warranty insurance must be obtained from the QBSA by the contractor before carrying out domestic building work over $3300.

What about general construction induction training?

General construction induction cards are required under the law for all people carrying out construction work in Queensland. Getting a general construction induction card involves successfully completing a course through a Registered Training Organisation such as HIA. 

What if I am going to be handling asbestos? Do I need a licence?

You must hold a certificate to remove friable asbestos-containing material. These certificates are held by the business and are also referred to as an A class certificate. The holder of an A class certificate has the authority to remove friable asbestos containing material and bonded asbestos containing material. Removal of friable asbestos containing material must be directly supervised by the A class certificate holder's competent person.

A certificate is also required to remove 10m2 or more of bonded asbestos containing material. These certificates are held by individuals who are directly involved in the removal of bonded asbestos containing material and are referred to as B class certificates. These certificates do not authorise the removal of friable asbestos containing material. Workers who are directly involved in the removal of 10m2 or more of bonded asbestos containing material do not require a B class certificate if they are directly supervised by the A class certificate holder's competent person.

If I trade as a company does my company need a BSA Licence?

Yes, where a company is entering into contracts valued at over $3300 to carry out building work, it is required to hold a licence.

Every company is required to have a Nominee Supervisor licensed in the same class of licence as being applied for by the company. This licensee provides on-site supervision of the work undertaken by the company. The nominee must be an employee or an influential person (i.e. director or company secretary). 

To find out more, contact HIA's Workplace Services team

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