How To Do a Trade Licence Check With NSW Fair Trading

Do this before you hire your next tradie?

If you live in NSW and need to hire a builder or other tradie, did you know that they are required to be licensed to do the work which they perform? A tradie working without the proper licensing in place is breaking the law and will be fined if caught.

It’s possible to check that any tradesperson you are thinking about hiring has the proper licensing in place which ensures that they are qualified to do the work.

It also pays to keep in mind that if you use a tradesperson who isn’t licensed, then you can be held liable for any of the work they carry out.

 What does licensing prove?

A tradesperson who holds the appropriate licence has proven they have undergone the relevant qualifications for their trade and can carry out the work according to the standards which have been set out in the standards code. A tradesperson must also establish that they can continue to maintain and improve their standards in their trade if they are to continue to hold a licence.

Licence numbers must also be included on stationery, prominently displayed on business dwellings, and on all signage.

Which trades need to hold a licence?

In NSW licensing is required for any person who will be carrying out work which is more than $5,000 (including labour and materials) in or around a residential building.

Some trades require a licence regardless of the value of the work. These include plumbers/drainers, electricians, plumbers, gasfitters, or anybody performing any work on refrigeration or air conditioning.

How to carry out a licence check

You can ask the tradie directly to produce their licence, which is usually a card about the size of a credit card. On the licence you will find details such as the contractor’s name or business name, their registered address, expiry date, and licence number.

Further details will also list the type of work for which they are qualified to carry out. For example, a domestic builder is not legally allowed to work on any commercial buildings. Classes and restrictions will also be denoted on the licence.

For most trades performing work on residential properties, the licensing authority is the NSW Fair Trading office.

To check that a licence is up to date or even exists is simplicity itself.

  1. Ask the tradie for their licence name and number.
  2. Visit the website
  3. On the homepage click the “Check a licence” link. At the time of writing it is located near the top of the page underneath the main navigation bar. You should land on this page
  4. Click on the link for the type of licence check you wish to do. For example if you were checking the licence of an electrician you would click on the “Contractor and Tradespersons” link.
  5. Once you are on the relevant page you will be shown a dialogue box where you can search the contractor’s name.
  6. Once you have typed in the name you will be taken to a new page listing a number of contractors by that name.
  7. If the list is quite long you can narrow down the search by selecting the contracting work they do; classifications include air conditioning technicians, building work, electricians, plumber, drainer, gasfitter, and trade work.
  8. You can also narrow the search further by using a postcode, as well as selecting only current or expired licenses.

Once you are satisfied that the licence is current, and they are qualified to do the work you require, then you have the green light to hire them for the job.

But, is a licence check enough?

Of course, just because they have a bona fide licence doesn’t always mean they are the right person for the job.

Before the licence checking stage, you will need to have created a shortlist of tradespeople by asking friends and neighbours for recommendations and getting written quotes.

Looking for trusted builders and local tradies? Who do you call?

Did know here at Tradebusters®, our FREE and local tradesmen concierge service can help you connect with highly recommended trade businesses.

Check out more right here:

From builders, painters, electricians, plumbers, bathroom and kitchen renovators and more, we have you covered for your jobs, big or small.

To get started, you can tell us about your job right here or call 1800 TBUSTERS (828 783).

More useful links:

Sydney Renovations

Melbourne Renovations

Perth Renovations

Brisbane Renovations

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