In Western Australia, 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 Debt Collectors Licensing Act 1964. Conducting business as a debt collector without the appropriate licence is an offence.
The Act defines a debt collector as:
“a person (whether or not he carries on any other business) who on behalf of any other person and for or in expectation of any gain, fee or reward whatever, by whomsoever paid or payable and either on his own account or in conjunction with another, carries on the business of collecting requesting or demanding payment of debts or who advertises or notifies that he carries on that business”
To obtain a licence, you must:
Your licence application will be referred to the WA Commissioner for Police who will make enquiries into whether you are a suitable person to hold a licence.
Debt Collectors in Western Australia are required to lodge evidence of holding fidelity guarantee cover of either $10,000 in the case of a corporation or $6,000 in the case of a natural person. The IMA issues bonds (fidelity guarantee cover) pursuant to the WA legislation to its members on commercial terms.
Application forms for an individual licence or a company licence can be downloaded from the Department of Consumer website. For further details regarding debt collector licensing in WA contact a licensing officer at the Department on 1300 304 054.
Any person (including a company) who carries on business as a Private Inquiry Agent or is employed as a Investigator in Western Australia must be licensed under the Security and Related Activities (Control) Act 1996.
The Act provides the following definitions:
Inquiry Agent is “a person who supplies the services of investigators”.
Investigator is “a person who for remuneration conducts –
Licence application forms are available online.
People wishing to be employed in either of these fields in Western Australia are not required to be licensed under either the Debt Collectors Licensing Act 1964 or the Security and Related Activities (Control) Act 1996, however as a large amount of such work overlaps with private inquiry and collection work the majority of agents choose to hold a licence under the two Acts.