Establishing an estate agency

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Estate agency offices

An estate agency must have a principal office or head office from where the business is controlled. If you only have one office then that is your principal office.

Your principal office must be in Victoria or, if you are also licensed in New South Wales or South Australia, it may be in that state but must be within 48 kilometres of the Victorian border.

You must also have a registered office or address in Victoria for receiving documents and communication from the Business Licensing Authority and other authorities. Any other offices where you undertake estate agency work are branch offices.

The address and telephone number of your principal office, the address of your registered office and any branch offices must be recorded on the estate agents public register. For more information, see Public register of licensed estate agents.

You must include the name of your agency in your advertisements, trust receipts and cheques.

Opening a trust account

An agency must have a trust account in an authorised financial institution before any trust money is received, such as:

  • a sales deposit
  • rent
  • money paid in advance by a client for advertising or maintenance.

For more information, see Opening a trust account.

Residential bonds

If you will be managing residential rental properties, you should also: 

  • register with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) as an RTBA Agent 
  • consider signing up as a registered user of RTBA Online and the RTBA Fax Facility, which allows you to send forms to the RTBA by fax in place of mail.

If you receive a cheque for a residential tenancy bond made out to the RTBA, you can forward it directly to the RTBA with the bond lodgment form. 

For more information:

Agency identification

Under the Estate Agents Act 1980, you must:

  • display a copy of your licence where it can easily be seen, at every office where you do business
  • include the name under which you do business in your advertisements.

You may also need to comply with requirements for the use of trading names. For more information, visit the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website.