When you need a licence

When you need a licence

Individuals and companies

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

  • valued over $3,300
  • valued over $1,100 where it involves Hydraulic Services Design
  • of any value where it involves:
    • Drainage
    • Plumbing and Drainage
    • Gas Fitting
    • Termite Management – Chemical
    • Fire Protection
    • Completed Residential Building Inspection
    • Building Design – Low Rise, Medium Rise and Open
    • Site Classification
    • Mechanical Services

NOTE - How to assess the value of building work: The value of building work is the reasonable cost to a consumer of having the work carried out by a licensed contractor on the basis that materials, labour and GST are included, regardless of who supplies the materials. This can sometimes be referred to as the 'market value'.

The scope of work for each QBCC licence class outlines the range of building work for that class. The building work you do must be covered by your licence. For some work, you may need more than one licence class.

Employees

If you are an employee, you don’t need a licence unless you become responsible for:

  • Overseeing and directing the building work
  • Ensuring the work is of a competent standard, i.e. free of defects
  • Ensuring the work complies with the plans and specifications

If you are overseeing work that involves plumbing and drainage, gas fitting, pest control or fire protection, you need a QBCC licence regardless of the value of the work.  

Trusts

A trust cannot obtain a QBCC licence. The trustee of the trust must apply for the licence.  

Architects

Registered architects are able to carry out building design work and perform building inspections on all types of buildings. They do not require a QBCC licence as they are registered through the Board of Architects To check if your architect is registered, visit www.boaq.qld.gov.au  

When do I not need a licence?

In certain circumstances, you don’t need a QBCC licence. This includes carrying out building work as:

  • an employee of a licensee where your employer holds the correct QBCC licence to cover the work you are doing. However, as an employee, you cannot carry out occupational building work or carry out work as a site supervisor unless you hold the appropriate licence
  • sub-trade contractor for a licensed trade contractor where the licensed trade contractor holds the correct QBCC licence to cover the work you are doing
  • an unlicensed person working in partnership with a licensee where the licensed partner holds the correct QBCC licence for the work you are doing. However, as an unlicensed partner, you cannot offer to tender or enter into a contract to carry out building work and you must meet QBCC’s fitness and propriety conditions
  • an owner carrying out work on your own property where the work is valued at no more than $11,000 or as an owner builder carrying out building work under a permit
  • an asbestos removal worker – contact Workplace Health & Safety
  • a demolition worker – contact Workplace Health & Safety
  • an insulation installer – the installation of home insulation in Queensland does not require a licence
  • an electrician carrying out electrical work (an electrician cannot carry out building work without a QBCC licence) – contact the Electrical Safety Office in Workplace Health & Safety
  • a handyman – as long as the value is no more than $3,300, isn't electrical or plumbing work and doesn't require an occupational licence.
  • an architect - carrying out building design work or building inspections on all types of buildings - contact Board of Architects Queensland

There are other circumstances where you may not need a QBCC licence. See Section 5 of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Regulation 2003 and Section 42 of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991, or contact us.

Definitions and notes from this section