Gain an understanding of the legal, operational and business issues relevant to the building and construction industry.

The building and construction industry includes:

  • residential and non-residential construction
  • building structure services
  • installation services
  • heavy and civil engineering
  • land development
  • site preparation

Our professional services industry information is relevant to you if you are an architect.

You should also check our general business information for additional regulations and obligations relevant to your business. For further advice and assistance, contact your accountant, solicitor or business adviser. You may also wish to consult with an industry association or group for more information and advice on your industry.

Licences and permits


State or territory governments manage the licences and permits for the building and construction industry.

The licences and permits you may need include:

  • building licences
  • plumbing licences
  • gas fitting licences
  • electrical licences
  • development applications
  • zoning approvals
  • heavy vehicle licences
  • obtaining a white card
  • water usage or constructing a bore or well
  • connection or work on sewerage/drain
  • carrying out high risk work
  • protecting trees and wildlife
  • fire management and safety
  • use of blasting explosives
  • removal of asbestos
  • use of public land
  • work on heritage properties
  • building energy efficiency
  • disposal of waste
  • handling, storage and use of chemicals or dangerous substances

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS)

Find the licences and permits you need for your building and construction business.

Taxation


The building and construction industry have specific Goods and Services Tax (GST) measures. Know your GST obligations and register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure you can claim your GST credits.

Further taxation measures specific to the building and construction industry include:

  • Personal services income (PSI)
  • Taxable payments reporting

Personal services income

If you’re a consultant or contractor, the income you receive for your skills, knowledge, expertise or efforts may be personal services income The PSI rules affect what amounts you include in your assessable income and what deductions you can claim.

Taxable payments reporting

Businesses in the building and construction industry need to report to the ATO the total payments they make to each contractor for building and construction services each year.

Finance


Recover money owed to you

Security of payment laws apply to building and construction contractors in most states and territories. These laws provide a low cost adjudication process to recover money owed to you.

To find information on security of payment laws relevant to your state or territory:

Find out what to do when you haven't been paid. This information covers:

  • debt collection
  • dispute resolution
  • where to find help and advice
  • legal action

Manage business debt

If your business is in debt and you want to get your finances back on track, read our information on what to do when you're in debt. We provide steps and advice to help you manage and reduce your debt, including:

  • prioritising your debt
  • how to deal with creditors
  • where to find advice and help

Prevent unpaid debt

Simple steps can help you prevent disputes and unpaid debt by your creditors.

Grants


There are very few grants available for the construction industry, unless you:

Search Grants & Programs to find grants that may be relevant to the construction industry.

Employ people


If you employ staff, you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws specific to the building and construction industry.

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for awards specific to your industry.

Workplace Health & Safety (WHS)


All business must comply with general occupational health and safety regulations. The building and construction industry also has state specific WHS requirements. These include:

Visit the Safe Work Australia website for state-specific WHS requirements.

Builders must have accreditation under the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme to enter into a contract with the Australian Government.

Health and wellbeing

Mates in Construction provides suicide prevention training and support to people in the construction industry. If you or your staff need advice or someone to talk to, contact Mates in Construction at information@matesinconstruction.org.au.

You can find more organisations that provide information and support to help you with your health and wellbeing on the ATO website.

Environment


Environmental conditions can dictate certain aspects of a construction project. You can learn to work within these conditions. The main environmental issues that businesses in the building and construction industry should understand include:

  • house energy ratings
  • soil contaminated locations
  • areas infected by a species (animal, plant, insect, or disease)
  • flood prone areas
  • bushfire prone areas
  • tree management
  • trade waste management and reduction

Insurance


Alongside compulsory insurances, the building and construction industry has specific insurances. These insurances include:

  • domestic building insurance
  • professional indemnity insurance
  • public liability insurance
  • structural defects/builders' indemnity insurance
  • vehicle and heavy machinery insurance
  • tools, plant and equipment insurance for tradespeople
  • insurance for loss or damage to property in the course of construction

Government organisations


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