Applying for a debt collector's licence
The Debt Collectors Licensing Act 1964 sets out the licensing requirements for debt collectors operating in Western Australia and their duty to handle trust funds responsibly.
Who needs a licence?
Anyone who carries on the business of, exercises the functions of or in any way holds themselves out to be working as a debt collector or performing any of the functions of a debt collector is required to be licensed as specified under the Act. Exemptions are listed in Section 4 of the Debt Collectors Act.
Conducting business as a debt collector without the appropriate licence is an offence. Anyone operating without a licence is not entitled to be paid for their services.
To obtain a licence, you must be:
- a 'fit and proper person' to hold a licence;
- a person of good character and repute; and
- 21 years of age or more.
Your licence application will be referred to the Commissioner for Police who will make enquiries into whether you are a suitable person to hold a licence.
A licence cannot be issued until a security (bank guarantee) in the approved form (proforma) or a fidelity bond in the form prescribed by the Debt Collectors Licensing Regulations 1964 is lodged with the Commissioner. The bond or bank guarantee must be the original and for the sum of:
- $6,000 for a natural person licensee
- $10,000 for a company licensee
Fidelity bonds are accepted from:
- Institute of Mercantile Agents Limited
- White Group (VIC) Pty Ltd t/as White Insurance Brokers
- any entity that is the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence which confers the authorisation to provide general insurance products
Bonds underwritten by Lloyds of London are also accepted.
Should a bond be terminated during the licence period the licence is deemed to be suspended until a replacement bond, that is in force, is lodged with the Commissioner.
Forms (applying for a new licence)
For application forms and other relevant information, refer to the links below.
- Application for a Debt Collector's Licence by a Company or Individual
- Application for Renewal of Debt Collector's Licence by a Company or Individual
- Request for a duplicate licence
- Bank Guarantee - Proforma only
- Proforma reference for licence applications
- Release of Bank Guarantee – Statutory Declaration
Transfer of licence
You may also apply for your licence to be transferred to another person who is qualified to hold the licence.
Find out more information about having your licence recognised in WA if you are registered or licensed as a debt collector (as an individual) elsewhere in Australia or New Zealand.
Be aware the owner/trading entity of the debt collector business needs to be licenced and not those employed by the business.
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