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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Compliance information for kitchen and bathroom businesses

In Victoria, individuals or companies who want to carry out domestic building work for a consumer or owner builder with a contract price exceeding $5000 must be registered with the Building Practitioner’s Board. ‘Domestic building work’ is defined by the Domestic Building Contracts Act and extends to building work involving kitchen, bathroom and laundry renovation, construction and includes the installation of cabinets and joinery.

In this article

  • What licence do I need?
  • Frequently asked questions regarding licences

What licence do I need? 

If you only sub-contract to builders and trade contractors and never to owners or the public, you are not required to hold a licence. However, if any of your business activities involve contracting with consumers or owner-builders you need to have a licence. 

It is also important to know that some categories in the building profession, such as electricians and plumbers, are registered with other bodies. 

The type of licence you will need to have depends on the type of work that you would like to carry out. It is important that you know what licence you need and do not do work outside the scope of that licence. All licence classes have different experience and qualification requirements as a condition of that licence. 

The following are the types of licences needed:

DB-U Domestic Builder Unlimited 

If you would like to build kitchens, bathrooms and laundries and carry out works to other areas of a building (including constructing a building), you may want to consider getting this licence. It will also allow you to engage unregistered subcontractors to carry out the building work. 

DB-LL Bathroom, kitchen or laundry renovations 

This will allow you to carry out works relating to bathrooms, kitchens and laundries, including replacing walls with glass bricks. This does not include works outside the floor, external walls and roof boundaries of these rooms. 

DB-LN Cabinet Making and Joinery 

This will allow you to carry out cabinet-making and joinery works for all types of cupboards, shelving and staircases. 

DB-LC Carpenter 

This will allow you to construct timber frames, verandahs, pergolas, decking and alterations, completion works, architraves, staircases, floorboards and weatherboards. Holders may also undertake cabinetmaking and joinery for all types of cupboards and shelving, door and window replacements and bathroom, kitchen and laundry renovations. 

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?

In general terms, if you are contracting with a member of the public for the performance of domestic building work valued at $5000 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.

HIA has contracts available that comply with the Domestic Building Contracts Act.

What rules apply to advertising?

Advertisements must include either:

  • the name of the person or company, or
  • the registered business name, and
  • the street address of the business, or
  • a business name registration number, or
  • a business licence number such as an estate agent or plumber’s licence.

An ABN or ACN is not sufficient.

If you don’t have a business name registration number or a business licence number and don’t want to display their street address you must provide the publisher with:

  • your own or company name, and
  • the street address of the business.

The publisher must retain this information for at least 12 months.

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 Victoria, you will need to register your business name with Consumer Affairs Victoria.

What about warranty insurance?

You need to take out Home Owners Warranty Insurance if you perform domestic building work and the contract price exceeds $12,000 (other than exempt work). If you are unsure if Home Owners Warranty Insurance is required, check first with the Building Practitioners Board on 1300 360 320.

If you need to take out home warranty insurance, call HIA Insurance Services on 1800 805 970.

What about general construction induction training?

General construction induction training is mandatory for all people carrying out construction work in Victoria. Getting a general construction induction card involves successfully completing a course through a Registered Training Organisation such as HIA. For more information, contact HIA’s Training Services team on 1300 650 620.

What if I am going to be handling asbestos?

The law permits an employer or self-employed person to conduct a limited amount of asbestos removal work without a licence if:

  • the asbestos-containing material is non-friable
  • the area of asbestos containing material to be removed does not exceed 10m2 in total
  • the total time asbestos removal work is performed in any period of seven days does not exceed one hour (this period is the cumulative total time the asbestos removal work is carried out by all employees over a period of seven days). 

To find out more, contact HIA's Contracts and Compliance team

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