Building Company Registration

On 1 July 2018, new registration requirements will apply to companies that either enter into major domestic building contracts or are named on building permits as the builder for certain types of work.

These changes do not affect sole traders, who may continue to carry out building work.

Your most asked questions

When will the application for registration form be available?

We hope to have the application form on the website by the end of May. To apply, go to the Company Registrations page of the website, download the form to your computer, fill it in and return it to the address provided on the form and website.

The VBA has said my company will not be automatically registered. Why?

Information available to the VBA indicates that you are a registered Domestic Builder and operate under a company name. However, this does not mean you are eligible for automatic registration.

To be eligible for automatic registration:

  1. The company must have carried out work under a major domestic building contract since 1 July 2017. The company must be named as the builder on the contract. If you have only carried out work in your individual name over the last year, or your company didn’t carry out work under a major domestic building contract in the last year, your company does not qualify to be automatically registered.
  2. The VBA has evidence that the company held a certificate of eligibility to hold the required insurance for domestic building work.
  3. At least one director of the company must have a current (active) registration as a building practitioner.

The VBA says my company is not eligible to opt in. I’ve checked the eligibility criteria and I believe my company is eligible. What can I do?

The VBA acknowledges that there may be gaps in the data used to determine a company’s eligibility for automatic registration. If you think you meet the eligibility criteria, please send the VBA the following information:

  • the category/class of building practitioner registration you hold
  • a copy of your Letter of Eligibility or Certificate of Insurance in the name of the company
  • a copy of a building permit for domestic building work OR a contract for major domestic building work which clearly shows the name of the company relating to work carried out after 1 July 2017.

You can email the information to companyreg@vba.vic.gov.au or send it to the VBA in the mail using the VBA’s address on the letter.

I am a Domestic Builder. Can’t I opt in?

Legislation states that the option to opt in to company registration is only available to practitioners in a class other than Domestic Builder. This means we can’t accept requests to opt in from registered domestic builders.

If you are a domestic builder and your company is not eligible for automatic registration, you will have to apply for company registration using the application form, which will be available on the VBA website during the month of May.

I am a sole trader (operating under an ABN). Do I need be registered as a company?

No, these changes do not affect sole traders. You do not need to do anything. You can continue to carry out work as usual.

My business operates as a partnership. Do I need to register the partnership?

No, partnerships cannot be registered, and do not need to be registered. If you are a registered building practitioner operating under a partnership, you can continue to work as usual.

Does my company have to be registered?

Yes, if after 1 July 2018 you want to enter into a major domestic building contract in your company’s name, or you want your company to be named as the builder on a building permit for non-domestic work costing more than than $10,000.

However, you can enter into contracts or permits using your individual name. If you only intend to do this, you do not need to register your company, as long as you are a registered building practitioner and there is a certificate of eligibility for the appropriate insurance in your individual name.

Company Registration: What you need to know

If you are a registered domestic builder:

If you are registered in a class other than domestic builder:

Your company will be automatically registered on 1 July 2018 if it meets the eligibility criteria and your registration is up to date.      Your company will not be automatically registered on 1 July 2018, as only companies with a director who is a registered domestic builder are eligible for automatic registration.
You can opt out of automatic registration before 1 June 2018, if you do not want your company to be registered.      You can opt in to registration before 1 June 2018, if you want to carry out relevant work in your company’s name.
You are not eligible to opt in to registration.      If you are a building surveyor, your company may only be appointed as the relevant building surveyor if it is registered.

Company Registration: What you need to know

After 1 July 2018, your company must be registered as a building practitioner to:

  • continue entering into major domestic building contracts.
  • be named on a building permit as the builder for major domestic building work or any other building work costing more than $10,000.

Your company must hold an appropriate insurance certificate.

There are specific obligations and responsibilities for registered companies, and the penalties for breaking the law are greater than for individuals.

You must hold a current individual registration for your company to be registered.

Companies will be automatically registered on 1 July 2018 if they meet the eligibility criteria.

After 1 July 2018, you will need to complete a full application for registration to register a company.

  • If your company is not registered, it:


    will not be able to enter into major domestic building contracts.

    cannot be named on a building permit as a builder, if the permit is for major domestic building work or other building work costing more than $10,000.

    will not be eligible to be appointed as the relevant building surveyor.

    However:

    Contracts signed, and permits issued, before 1 July 2018 may be honoured, if the company has a director holding current registration for the type of work being carried out.

    Domestic builders registered in an appropriate class can enter into major domestic building contracts or hold building permits under their own name.

    Building surveyors will remain eligible to be appointed as the relevant building surveyor under their own name.

    Serious penalties apply for saying or implying that you, or your company, are registered, if this is not true.

  • A company will be automatically registered on 1 July 2018, if:


    At least one director has a current registration in a class of building practitioner authorised to carry out domestic building work. These are Domestic Builder (Unlimited), Domestic Builder (Limited to…) or Domestic Builder (Manager).

    It holds a certificate of eligibility for the required insurance.

    Work was carried out under a major domestic building contract that was covered by the required insurance in the previous 12 months. The work must have been carried out in the company’s name.

    The company and all of its directors are fit and proper persons for registration.

    The company is not in a high-risk insurance category.

    The company had not opted out of automatic registration.

    Note: The VBA is seeking information on insurance directly from insurers. If you are in a high-risk category, your insurer will have most likely rejected your request for domestic building insurance.

  • If you are a registered domestic builder and your company has carried out work under a major domestic building contract at any time since 1 July 2017, you can opt out of automatic registration if you do not want your company to be registered.


    Remember, if your company is not registered on 1 July 2018:


    Your company will not be able to enter into a major domestic building contract.

    You can still enter into major domestic building contracts as an individual (assuming your registration and insurance are valid).

    You can register your company by completing an application form. However, your company cannot enter into a major domestic building contract until registration is granted.

    How do I opt out of automatic registration?
    To opt out, complete the Opt Out of Automatic Registration Form and send it to the VBA before 1 June 2018.

  • If you are registered in a class other than Domestic Builder and want your company to be registered, you can opt in.


    Who is eligible to opt in?
    You can opt in, if:

    At least one director of your company holds current registration as a building practitioner in any category or class other than as a Domestic Builder. A ‘Domestic Builder’ is a Domestic Builder (Unlimited), Domestic Builder (Limited) or Domestic Builder (Manager). The class of Domestic Builder is not eligible to opt in.

    The VBA is satisfied that each director of your company is a fit and proper person for registration.

    None of the directors is an ‘excluded person’ as defined in the Building Act 1993.

    Directors of registered companies have specific obligations, and there are serious penalties if these are not met. Please read the information about the obligations and responsibilities of a registered company and its directors before you decide to opt in to automatic registration.

    How do I opt in?
    Complete the Opt In to Company Registration Form and send it to the VBA before 1 June 2018.

    Remember: a company must be registered in the same class or classes of practitioner as its directors. If you hold more than one registration, you can choose which of those registrations you wish to opt in to.

    There is no fee to opt in. The usual annual fees and registration renewal fees will apply when they are due. More information on company registration fees.

  • A company that will be automatically registered
    A&B Builders Pty Ltd is a company with two directors. One of the directors, Bilal, is a registered Domestic Builder (Unlimited). The other director, Amanda, is not a registered builder. Bilal and Amanda signed a contract on a major build in the name of A&B Builders Pty Ltd in August 2017. If the VBA is satisfied that both Bilal and Amanda are fit and proper persons, and the company holds the appropriate insurance, A&B Builders Pty Ltd will be automatically registered on 1 July 2018. This is because one of the company’s directors is a registered Domestic Builder and the company engaged in, or carried out work under, a major domestic building contract in the year before 30 June 2018.
    A company that won’t be automatically registered
    Jane is a registered building surveyor and the director of We Survey Co. Pty Ltd, which was appointed as the building surveyor for a major build in October 2017. Jane would like to complete more work in the company’s name in the next few years. As Jane is registered as a building surveyor, not a domestic builder, the company will not be automatically registered. However, Jane can opt in to automatic registration, if the company and its directors meet the criteria for registration, by completing the Opt In to Company Registration Form and returning it to the VBA.
    Opting in to automatic registration:
    Dan is a registered building surveyor and one of three directors at SurveyCo Pty Ltd. The other two directors are not registered practitioners. The directors want to use their company as the appointed building surveyor on a major domestic build, so they choose to opt in to register SurveyCo Pty Ltd. Because Dan is a registered building practitioner, the company meets the insurance requirements, and all of the directors meet the fit and proper person requirements, the VBA accepts their request and registers SurveyCo Pty Ltd on 1 July 2018.
    Opting out of automatic registration
    Bob, a registered Domestic Builder (Unlimited), is the only director of AB Building Pty Ltd and enters into major domestic building contracts under the company’s name. Bob intends to retire at the end of 2018 and is not handing the company over to another builder. Because Bob doesn’t want his company to be automatically registered, as it will mean additional obligations he doesn’t want to manage before he retires, Bob chooses to opt out of automatic registration. He can, however, finish work on the contracts AB Building Pty Ltd entered into before 1 July 2018. Bob also retains his individual registration, which means he can still enter into major domestic building contracts in his own name until he retires.
Will my company be registered?

Are you a Registered Domestic Builder? A Registered Domestic Builder is a builder registered in the classes of Domestic Builder (Unlimited), Domestic Builder (Limited) or Domestic Builder Manager.

Are you a Director of a company that has carried out work under a major domestic building contract in the company’s name at any time since 1 July 2017?

What scenario fits you best?

Your company will be automatically registered on 1 July 2018 as long as:

  • the company holds an appropriate certificate of insurance (the VBA is obtaining this information directly from the insurers)
  • all directors of the company are fit and proper persons for registration
  • no director of the company has been excluded from registration; and
  • your registration is current on 30 June 2018.

Because your company will be registered, it will be able to enter into major domestic building contracts from 1 July 2018.

You will become the company’s nominee director. The company’s directors are responsible for ensuring that the company meets its obligations under the Building Act.

You can also opt out from automatic registration. To opt out, complete the Opt Out of Automatic Registration Form and send it to the VBA before 1 June 2018.

Your company will not be automatically registered.

Only companies that have carried out work under a major domestic building contract in the company’s name since 1 July 2017 will be automatically registered.

In addition, you cannot opt in to automatic registration. Only companies with directors registered in a class other than Domestic Builder are eligible to opt in.

You can apply to register your company after 1 July 2018.

Your company will not be automatically registered on 1 July 2018.

If your company is not registered on 1 July 2018, you will not be able to enter into major domestic building contracts in the company’s name. However, you will still be able to undertake building work using your individual registration and insurance certificate.

If you are a building surveyor, you will not be eligible to be appointed as the relevant building surveyor under the company’s name. Also, your company cannot be named as the builder on a non-domestic building permit for work costing more than $10,000.

If you want your company to be able to enter major domestic building contracts, issue or be issued building permits after 1 July 2018, you can opt in to registration. To opt in, complete the Opt In to Automatic Registration Form and send it to the VBA before 1 June 2018.

After 1 July 2018, you will have to complete a full application for company registration and pay the relevant application fee.

You will not be able to enter into major domestic building contracts in the name of your company after 1 July 2018. Only companies that are registered with the VBA can enter into a major domestic building contract after 1 July 2018. To be eligible for registration, a company must have at least one director who is a registered building practitioner in Victoria.

However, if your company has another director who is registered as a Domestic Builder, and your company has carried out work under a major domestic building contract in the company’s name at any time since 1 July 2017, your company may qualify for automatic registration.

Finally, if your company has another director who is registered in a class of building practitioner other than Domestic Builder, your company may be eligible to opt in to registration. Alternatively, if you have the appropriate skills and qualifications, you may also apply to be registered yourself. Find out more about individual registration.

Legislation

The provisions of the Building Amendment (Enforcement and Other Measures) Act 2017 will be incorporated into the Building Act 1993 from 1 July 2018.