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Interested in entering the industry in the Northern Territory as a:

  • Collector?
  • Investigator?
  • Process Server?
  • Repossession Agent?
  • Private Bailiff?

Persons in the Northern Territory involved in those occupations must be licensed under the Commercial and Private Agents Licensing Act. Under such Act:

Commercial Agent means a person who, for monetary or other consideration, performs any of the following functions:

  • ascertaining the whereabouts of, or repossessing any goods or chattels that are the subject of a hire purchase agreement or bill of sale;
  • collecting, or requesting the payment of debts;
  • executing any legal process for the enforcement of any judgment or order of a court;
  • executing any distress for the recovery of rates, taxes or monies;
  • obtaining evidence for the purpose of any legal proceedings; or
  • searching for missing persons on behalf of any other person.

Inquiry Agent means a person who, for monetary or other consideration, performs any of the following functions:

  • Obtaining or providing information as to the personal character or actions of any person, or as to the business or occupation of any person;
  • Obtaining evidence for the purposed of any legal proceedings; or
  • Searching for missing persons on behalf of any other person.

Private Bailiff means a person who holds a licence as a private bailiff under this Act - a private bailiff can execute warrants and processes and make arrests.

Process Server means a person who, for monetary or other consideration, performs the function of serving any writ, summons or other legal process on behalf of any other person.

The legislation sets out the requirements for applicants for licences at Part 2 Division 2 Section 7 of the Commercial and Private Agents Licensing Act:

"Section 7 Application for Licences"

Application for licence

  1. A person may apply to the Commissioner for a licence to carry on business as a commercial agent, inquiry agent, private bailiff or process server.
  2. An applicant may be -
    1. an agent applying for a category of licence other than the category the agent holds;
    2. a person who is employed by an agent; or
    3. any other person.
  3. An applicant may apply for one licence or a number of licences of different categories.
  4. An application is to -
    1. be in a form approved by the Commissioner;
    2. contain the information that is indicated by the form or otherwise prescribed;
    3. be accompanied by the prescribed processing fee; and
    4. in the case of an application for a licence to carry on business as a commercial agent or a private bailiff - be accompanied by the bond in the prescribed form and the prescribed security that the applicant would, if the applicant were a commercial agent or a private bailiff, be required to lodge with the Commissioner under Part 5.

As part of the licensing process, commercial agents in the Northern Territory are required to lodge evidence of holding a bond (fidelity guarantee cover) for the following amounts (see Part 5 Section 19 of the Act):

    1. Corporation - $2,000;
    2. where the agent is not a corporation and the agent proposes to carry on or carries on business as an agent in partnership with another person - $1,500; and
    3. in all other cases - $1,000

The Institute of Mercantile Agents issues bonds (fidelity guarantee cover) pursuant to the NT legislation to its members on commercial terms.

Applying for a licence:

The NT Department of Business details that to apply for a licence, applicants should follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill in one of these forms which are available here:

  • to apply as an individual, use the application for a licence by a natural person form
  • to apply as a corporation, use the application for a licence by a corporation form
  • to apply for mutual recognition if you are licensed in another Australian state or territory, use the application for a licence under mutual recognition form
  • if you apply as a corporation, you also need to fill in an application for approval for an agent manager form

Step 2. Check the fees and bonds.

Step 3. Get a police check.

Step 4. Submit your forms, fees and supporting documentation at your nearest Territory Business Centre.

To contact the Department of Business - Northern Territory Government – Licensing NT

Darwin Phone: (08) 8999 1800 Fax: (08) 8999 1888
Katherine Phone: (08) 8973 8810 Fax: (08) 8973 8867
Alice Springs Phone: 08) 8951 5195 Fax: (08) 8951 5112
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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