Subcontracting for building services

Your obligations as a registered building service contractor when subcontracting for building services

Construction contracts over the value of $20,000 (including GST) with a building service contractor will be required to be made in writing and contain mandatory information. This includes subcontracts.

A “construction contract” means a contract, agreement or other arrangement under which one party undertakes to carry out construction work, or to supply related goods and services, for another party. This includes subcontracts, plant and material supply agreements, equipment hire and professional services contracts.

A “construction contract” and “construction work” are defined very broadly, meaning the Act applies to the vast majority of contracts entered into in the industry, including those for residential, commercial, infrastructure and engineering construction works. There are some exclusions for some types of construction work – for more information see the Overview of the Act fact sheet.

The following mandatory information must be included in a written construction contract: 

  1. Names of the parties in the construction contract;
  2. The registration number of the building service contractor;
  3. A general description of the construction work to be carried out or of the related goods and services to be supplied; and
  4. The amount to be paid for carrying out the construction work or supplying the related goods and services (or how that amount is to be calculated).

Failure by a registered building service contractor to meet these requirements will result in a maximum penalty of $2,000. It is important to note that if a contract does not contain all the mandatory information, it is still a valid contract.

A suggested form of contract for subcontracts between a registered building service provider and a subcontractor for the carrying out of a building service has been provided to assist you in meeting the above requirements.  

Small construction work contract Click here to download the document

Building and Energy cannot provide you with advice on this contract. If you are unsure about any of the terms of the contract, or how to fill out and execute the contract, please consider seeking your own independent advice such as from a construction contracts specialist or lawyer.

Other industry standard terms of contract can be purchased from a range of industry bodies and organisations, including:

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