Updated: Dec 15, 2020
When entering into a building and construction contract in Queensland, it pays to understand who you are and who you are contracting with [in a legal sense]. Getting this wrong might seem insignificant, but the truth is, there can be consequences - including creating confusion, impacting the outcome if a dispute arises and rendering the contract void.
So, what practical steps can you take in the beginning to get this information right?
Understand the legal jargon
If you are unsure about the terminology in any contract, ask a legal professional for clarification. This way, you can be sure the information in your contract is correct and you understand the terms of the agreement before you sign.
Pay close attention to the contracting parties
One common misunderstanding lies around legal entities – who you are and who you are contracting with [in a legal sense]. Contracting parties can fall into one of the following:
A company with a registered trading name
A company as a trustee of a trust
An individual with a registered trading name
An individual as a trustee of a trust
Check your QBCC boxes
Before entering into a contract with a builder or a subcontractor in Queensland, utilise the Queensland Building and Construction Commission’s (QBCC) online, search tool. This can help to confirm:
Their name, registered address and licence classes (what work they are licensed to undertake).
Their disciplinary record, including directions to rectify defective work, disciplinary orders, disqualifications and more.
Check your other boxes
There are a number of other checks you can also complete, including:
Cross referencing your quote with the contract to make sure the names match up.
Conducting a free, Australian Business Number (ABN) Lookup to confirm the name on your contract matches.
Conducting a free search through Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) website (if contracting with a company) to check the name and Australian Company Number (ACN).
Want to know more about building and construction contracts? Visit the QBCC website or stay tuned for our next blog instalment.
Do you need some [legal] help? Get in touch with our team for a confidential discussion about your specific situation.