The following responses are based on information provided by the Government of Alberta.
How do I apply for a builder licence?
- Applications are accepted online through the New Home Buyer Protection System Builder's Portal. Builders require access to the portal. Builders who have registered new residential homes previously may already have access. If a builder does not already have access, they must submit a request for access to the system in order to apply for a licence. Home builders can request access to the portal by submitting a NHBPS Access Request. Please refer to the application guide for further assistance in submitting your complete Builder Licence application.
What are the licensing fees?
- An initial application costs $600
- Each renewal application costs $500
How long will it take to get a builder licence?
- The Registrar of the New Home Buyer Protection Office will process licence applications as quickly as possible and in the order they are received. The time to process a licence application will depend on volume of applications and the complexity of applications.
- To ensure timely processing of your application, all builders are encouraged to apply before March 31, 2018, in advance of the coming spring construction season.
How long is the licence valid?
- For one year from the date of issue, unless otherwise stated by the Registrar
What information will I need to provide to apply for a builder licence?
- Applicants must provide information about their business including:
- names and contact information for directors and officers. This should match with what you have listed on the Province’s Corporate Registry System (CORES).
- photocopies of the driver's licences associated with all company directors and officers
- list of associated building companies
- proof of acceptance by a warranty provider
- disclosure of any history of fraud or building-related court proceedings
- any undischarged bankruptcies or arrangements under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act that have not been completed
- disclosure about compliance with safety and consumer protection legislation.
Are there different classes of licensed builders?
- Yes, builders can apply for either a General Contractor or Developer Licence
Do large Developers who aren’t directly involved in the construction of homes but are responsible for sales required to have a licence?
- Yes, holding companies must have a licence in order to sell new homes. These companies often hire general contractors to do the construction but are primarily responsible for the sales.
Can a Developer build small homes?
- A developer will be able to build homes where the Alberta Building Code requires involvement by an engineer or architect.
- A General Contractor will be able to build small homes, where the Alberta Building Code does not require involvement by an engineer or architect.
- A developer will be able to hire a General Contractor to build small homes.
Can a licensed general contractor build large homes and buildings?
- Yes, if a licensed developer is overseeing the project.
How will tracking work – how deep into an organization will builder licensing go?
- Builder licensing will require the names of all directors and officers to be disclosed, along with contact information and driver’s licence number or other acceptable government-issued ID (excluding SIN numbers or Health card numbers).
Does builder licensing apply to the construction of condominiums?
- The construction of condominiums is regulated under the NHBPA, as is any new home construction. Builder licensing will, therefore, apply to condominium developers.
How do the licence fees compare to other jurisdictions?
- The fees are $600 for a new application and $500 for annual renewal.
- Ontario charges $2,500 for a new application and $500 annual renewal (this involves warranty application fees).
- British Columbia charges $600 for a new application and $500 annual renewal.
- Quebec charges approximately $1,000 for a new general applicant and $1,400 for a specialized licence, with a range of renewal fees depending on licence type.
How long is a provisional licence valid?
- Until May 1, 2018.
- All builders are required to have a builder licence to obtain building permits for new homes, including condominiums.
- All builders are encouraged to apply for their licence before March 31, 2018, in advance of the construction season, to avoid processing delays that could impact their business.
Do I need to bring my builder licence each time I apply for a building permit?
- Yes, you will need to present your builder licence each time you apply for a building permit.
Who is exempt from builder licensing requirements?
- Owner Builders constructing their own home are not required to apply for a builder licence but are required to apply to the Registrar for an Owner Builder Authorization.
- Some charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, are exempt from builder licensing. The focus of builder licensing is regulating those in the business of being a builder.
Does builder licensing apply to renovations?
- Only when a residential construction project requires new home warranty coverage will the renovator need to have a builder licence. Other renovation activities do not fall within the scope of builder licensing.
Are builders required to take courses in order to obtain a licence and maintain active licence?
- Courses are not under consideration at this time. Builder licensing will be implemented first and courses will be phased in over the next few years.
- By phasing in training or course requirements, the government will be able to first assess the program, determine strengths and gaps, and better align any required training to address the gaps.
- Both British Columbia and Ontario have had builder licensing in place for some time and have only recently introduced course requirements.
Does builder licensing impact trade sub-contractors?
- Trade sub-contractors are not required to have a builder licence. The builder is responsible for managing the project, including which sub-trades to hire and how much financial risk they will assume. Sub-trades are the responsibility of the builder and are not covered under builder licensing.
Where can I go for more information, or help with my licence application?