Articles > Construction

Becoming a Roofing Contractor

November 16, 2021   Adam AttiaPhilip Evangelou

Becoming a Roofing Contractor 

Due to the special skills required for roof contracting, there are certain processes and requirements that must be satisfied before you are able to contract and advertise to work as a roofing contractor. 

These requirements include obtaining a license and certification. Obtaining the relevant qualifications prior to conducting work is strongly recommended as it will help avoid and mitigate significant adverse risks. There are also many other matters that should be considered when becoming a roofing contractor.

Risk of Roof Contracting Without a License

Although obtaining a license may involve extensive experience and financial costs, such costs are heavily outweighed by the potential risks of operating as a roof contractor without a license. Homeowners may be hesitant to work with an unlicensed roof contractor due to the lack of liability insurance, which licensed roof contractors possess. Furthermore, failing to abide by state legislative requirements may result in penalties such as fines and bad publicity, which have the effect of damaging company reputation. In NSW, fines for conducting work that requires a license will result in a large fine for your business. Depending on the circumstances, fines can be anywhere up to $111,000.

Requirements When Becoming a Roofing Contractor 

There are four integral components when looking to become a roofing contractor:

  1. Certification 
  2. Obtaining licenses
  3. Registering your business 
  4. Insurance 

1. Certification

An important step is obtaining the necessary qualifications. This includes a certified contracting course by the Commissioner of Vocational Training. Receiving your certificate is essential in order to work as a contractor. Further, it ensures that you have all the necessary skills needed to uphold Australian National roofing standards. 

2. Obtaining Licenses 

Acquiring a contractor license is a requirement for anyone who intends to contract, sub-contract or advertise to conduct residential building work or trade work. As roofing work can differ in nature, licenses that may be useful may differ depending on the types of work being undertaken. However, you are only able to undertake work that is included on your license card. Hence, expanding your licensing enables you to effectively operate in a greater range of fields. Further licenses you may wish to pursue may include roof tiling, roof cladding and/or roof plumbing licenses. Obtaining extensive licensing will enable you to expand the operations of your contracting company. A qualified supervisor license will allow you to supervise the work described on your certificate, therefore improving your ability to ensure quality of work is held to the highest standards. 

There are a range of criteria that must be satisfied before one is eligible to receive a contractors license. The person must be at least 18 years of age, pass the ‘fit and proper’ person requirement, must not be disqualified from holding an authority under the relevant legislation or have not performed work subject to an unreasonable number of insurance claims. Furthermore, they cannot be a current apprentice or trainee, nor a debtor to NSW Fair Trading or Administration Corporation

3. Business Registration 

A further requirement of becoming a roofing contractor is registration of your business. All roof contractor businesses need to register an Australian Business Number (ABN). 

4. Insurance 

Insurance plans needed for roofing contractors vary depending on the specific area you are working in. Insurance for roofing contract companies is a legal requirement. The value of a good insurance coverage to roofing contractors cannot be understated. Insurance will mitigate the damage of accidents, injuries or other workplace issues that may arise, insulating your company from a financial and health perspective. 

Key Takeaways 

Roof contracting presents a great opportunity for operational expansion, however certain processes and requirements must be followed prior to beginning. Most importantly you should seek the relevant certification, licensing, insurance and ABN registration. Failure to do so may have serious consequences for you or your business.

About Adam Attia

Adam AttiaAdam works with our content team while he completes his law degree at UTS. He is interested in corporate law, banking and finance law and discrimination law.

About Philip Evangelou

phillipPhil is a director at OpenLegal. He has over 16 years experience working in private practice and in-house counsel in Sydney and London, giving him expertise in employment law, IP, finance, leases, dispute resolution, insurance and contracts.