Tip Number One: To Get a Licence, Get Qualified

Qualifications Needed

If you are a landscaper in NSW and want to commence structural landscaping or any residential building work that is worth more than $5000, you need to first be licenced. 

To get a licence or certificate to do structural landscaping, you must complete one of the qualifications listed below: 

  • AHC30916/ AHC30910 Certificate III in Landscape Construction
  • RTF30403 Certificate III in Horticulture (Landscape)
  • RUH30498 Certificate III in Horticulture (Landscape) TAFE course #0672
  • Certificate III in Landscaping TAFE course #1581

Note that you must have finished your apprenticeship or traineeship, as apprentices and trainees may not apply for a licence or certificate.

Tip Number Two: Know the Right
Licence Type for You

Licence Types

There are 3 main types of licences for structural landscaping in NSW:

  • contractor licence
  • qualified supervisor certificate
  • endorsed contractor licence.

Contractor Licence

This is the type of licence you would need if you want to contract for another party, who may be a builder or a homeowner.

The contractor licence allows you to advertise to do work, and to do the kinds of work described on your licence card. You may also vary your licence card, by applying to add a category to your licence if you gain qualifications that allow you to do more types of work.

Qualified Supervisor Certificate

This is the type of licence you would need to supervise and do the work described in your certificate. You may also apply to add a category to do more work once you’ve gained qualifications to do so. However, a qualified supervisor certificate does not allow you to contract for work. If you want to do both contracting and supervising, you would need an:

Endorsed Contractor Licence

The endorsed contractor licence is for those who apply for a contractor licence, who at the same time, have the qualifications and experience to be a qualified supervisor. 

Tip Number Three: Requirement Checklist

To apply for a licence, you will first need to fill out forms, which you may get from the nearest Service NSW Center. These include:

  • application form – individual
  • application checklist – individual
  • additional details form/s (if applicable)

You’ll also need to prepare:

  • details of any past or current licences or certificates you hold
  • an original copy of your qualification/s, such as your certificate
  • details of your employment and experience
  • details of any past compliance issues, insolvency matters, or criminal offences (if applicable)
  • one passport size photo
  • proof of identify
  • payment

Tip Number Four: Get Insured

Do You Have Proper Insurance? 

Licenced NSW builders and tradespersons are required to take out Home Building Compensation Insurance (HBC) for every home building project or work over $20,000 including GST. This used to be called “home warranty insurance,” the purpose of which is to protect the homeowner in case you are unable to complete the project or fix defects. 

Make sure you have a valid insurance certificate to present to the homeowner before they sign the contract and before beginning the works and getting paid. 

Tip Number Five: Don’t Overcharge the Deposit

How much deposit can you ask for?

Under NSW law, the maximum deposit you’re allowed to require from the homeowner is 10% prior to the commencement of the works. 

If the contracted amount is over $20,000, you are not allowed to request for a deposit or payment unless you take out an HBC insurance, and give the homeowner a Certificate of Insurance.

How we can help

You may visit the NSW Fair Trading site for a more detailed procedure on starting your landscaping business. If you need help with your contract and other paperwork, feel free to give us a call. Contracts Specialist has been in the active practice of Construction Law for over 10 years now, and we have the necessary skill set and expertise to help you run your business smoothly.