Do I need to be a registered builder?

This publication is for: 

When carrying out ‘builder work’ for another person, in most parts of Western Australia registration as a building contractor is required.

What is ‘builder work’?

‘Builder work’ is building work:

  • for which a building permit is required;
  • is of a value of $20,000 or more; and
  • is carried out in the prescribed area of the state.

When is a building permit required?

In general terms a building permit is required for building work that includes:

  • the construction, erection, assembly or placement of a building or an incidental structure;
  • the renovation, alteration, extension, improvement or repair of a building or an incidental structure;
  • the assembly, reassembly or securing of a relocated building or a relocated incidental structure; or
  • the changing of ground levels and site works associated with one of the above points.

Building permits are granted by local government permit authorities in the area in which the proposed building work is to be carried out. To determine whether a building permit is required you must seek advice from the relevant local government permit authority.

What is the prescribed area of the state?

The area prescribed encompasses 122 of WA’s local governments. In some areas of low population only major town sites are included. Further information is available on our website.


1. Do I need a building permit?
Yes or no? (Confirm with the local government permit authority)
2. Is the value of work over $20,000?
Yes or no?
3. Is the work being carried out within the prescribed area of the state?
 Yes or no?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above questions, registration as a building contractor is NOT required. If you answered ‘yes’ to all of the above questions, registration as a building contractor is required, unless the work is exempt.

Exemptions – Where registration is not required even if you answered ‘yes’ to all of the questions in the checklist. Registration is not required if you are an employee of a registered building contractor and the registered building contractor is named as the builder on the building permit.

Registration is not required by a public authority or an officer or employee of a public authority who as part of their duties supervises builder work. Registration is not required for the following types of building work:

  • Construction of a farm building of a permanent nature on land used primarily for agricultural purposes and where the building itself is to be
  • used for agricultural purposes.
  • Production of a prefabricated or transportable building in a manufacturing yard.
  • Formation of a parking area.
  • Formation of outdoor sporting surfaces including associated fencing and lighting.
  • Construction of walkways, viewing and gathering platforms which do not form part of another building.
  • Construction of a water tank that is not incorporated into the structure of another building.
  • Construction of an incidental structure which is a structure attached to or incidental to a building including a:
  1.  chimney
  2.  mast
  3.  swimming pool
  4.  fence
  5.  free standing wall
  6.  retaining wall
  7.  permanent protection structure
  8.  part of a structure
  • Installation of fire sprinklers, free standing partitioning, safety systems, timber decking or glazing.
  • Cabinet making and installation.
  • Joinery (2nd fixing) work.
Building and Energy
Fact sheet
Last updated 22 Jan 2019

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