Guidelines for the inclusion of licence numbers on advertising as an electrical contractor


It is a requirement of Regulation 45(1) of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 that an electrical contractor shall ensure that his/her electrical contractor’s licence number appears in any advertisement advertising their electrical contracting business.

What is an advertisement?

An advertisement is generally a public announcement designed to attract public attention or bring in custom. Advertisements include, but are not limited to, newspaper advertisements, radio or television advertisements, handbills or flyers, web pages, business cards, vehicle sign writing, building or directional signs, statements and similar business paper work. It also includes solicited and authorised entries in Yellow Pages, Big Colour Pages, community directories etc. but does not include the identification on small tools for ownership purposes.

Does this include all advertisements/listings in the Yellow Pages?

Yes, however, an electrical contractor has not breached the Regulations if the advertisement (or listing) has been placed in the Yellow Pages without his/her authorisation, acknowledgment or consent. Therefore, electrical contractors must not authorise, or be party to the placement of, an advertisement (or listing) in the Yellow Pages unless the advertisement (or listing) includes the electrical contractor’s licence number. This includes free advertisements (or listings) unless it includes the EC number.

In addition, all advertisements (or listings) in the Yellow Pages (including referrals to advertisements) must also include the electrical contractor’s licence number. This includes free advertisements (or listings) and all multiple advertisements (or listings).

How should the licence number be displayed in an advertisement?

An electrical contractor’s licence is issued bearing the prefix EC and a six-digit number. The EC prefix and active numbers must be displayed with any advertisement e.g. EC 004700. However, leading zeros do not need to be displayed.

It should be clearly understood that the Electrical Licensing Board and not Western Power or Building and Energy issues this licence. There should not be any reference to these organisations in relation to the number (although Building and Energy carries out the preparation and distribution of licences).

It is acceptable to preface the prefix and number with the words “Licence Number” or any diminutive thereof, eg Lic. No. EC 004700 or Lic. No. EC 4700.

What size should the displayed number be?

The regulations stipulate that the electrical contractor’s licence number must be conspicuously displayed in any advertising relating to the contracting business. The size of the lettering will vary depending on the type of advertising; however as a guideline the licence number should not be less than 50% of the largest lettering used in the advertisement.

Where should this number be displayed?

The number must be associated with the main body of the advertisement. For advertising on vehicles, each advertisement, whether on the front, back or sides of the vehicle, must include the licence number. It must not be hidden away in a position that bears no relation to the advertisement.

Is this requirement mandatory?

Yes. The requirements came into force on 1 November 1991. It is an offence under the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991, if the electrical contractor's licence number is not displayed.


Building and Energy
Last updated 19 Jul 2019

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