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Duties and obligations of building companies

A company must be registered to enter into a major domestic building contract or be issued a building permit for non-domestic building work costing more than $10,000.

If your company is not registered, it is an offence to enter into a major domestic building contract in your company's name or give the impression that the company is registered as a building practitioner.

What is the difference between a nominee director and a director?

Any director of a registered company who is also a registered building practitioner will become that company's nominee director. There may be more than one nominee director.

Companies can only be registered in a class that at least one of their nominee directors is registered in.

All company directors (nominee and otherwise) are bound by the regulations relating to company registration, where relevant.

The duties and obligations of a registered company and its directors

A registered company has the same duties and obligations as a registered building practitioner and must meet additional obligations relating to registered companies.

Note: The penalties for companies are up to five times higher than the penalties for an individual practitioner.

A company's directors are responsible for ensuring their company meets its obligations. The company must:

  • comply with the Building Act 1993
  • comply with the Building Regulations
  • tell the VBA within five working days if there is a change in nominee director, or if the company no longer has a nominee director. The company has 30 days to find a replacement nominee director before its registration is suspended.
  • comply with any conditions placed on the company’s registration
  • tell the VBA within 14 working days if there are any changes to the information about the company that appears in the Registrar of Building Practitioners
  • advise the VBA immediately if one of the company's directors (both nominee and non-nominee directors) becomes an 'excluded person'.

A company's directors cannot:

  • sign a contract in the company's name for a type of work their company is not registered to carry out
  • say or imply that their company is registered to carry out work that it is not registered to carry out
  • continue to be directors if they become 'excluded persons'. If they continue to be a director, the company’s registration will be cancelled.

Learn more about the obligations and penalties (PDF, 509.18 KB) that apply to directors of registered companies.

A registered company that carries out building inspections or building surveyor work has the same regulatory obligations as an individually registered building inspector or building surveyor, in addition to the obligations of a registered company.

Additional obligations for building surveyors issuing building permits

In addition to the obligations accepted when issuing a building permit, building surveyors must also be satisfied that:

  • a company named as the builder on a building permit to carry out building work costing more than $10,000 is registered
  • where a company is named as the builder, the name of a person who can be served directions, notices and orders has also been provided
  • the builder's name matches the name of the person or company specified as the builder in the certificate of insurance and major domestic building contract
  • the major domestic building contract was entered into by a person or company that was entitled to do so.

Administrative requirements

Registration number and certificate

Registered companies will receive their own registration number and registration certificate.

Five-year registration and annual fee and insurance check

Companies will be registered for a maximum of five years and must complete the registration renewal process to remain registered. They must also pay an annual fee and demonstrate continuous insurance cover by providing updated insurance policies to the VBA prior to expiry.

If a company is automatically registered, its registration renewal, annual fee and insurance check due dates will be the same as those of its nominee director. If there is more than one nominee director, the company's due dates will be the same as whichever nominee director's due dates occur first after 1 July 2018.

Company registration fees

Refer to the full list of the fees for company registration.