Apply for a motor car trader’s licence

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Before starting your application

Generally, if you deal in four or more cars per year, you need a licence. In some circumstances, you need a licence if you deal in fewer than four cars. For more information, view our Definitions - motor car traders page.

Some employees working in customer service roles do not need a motor car trader's licence. For more information, view our Customer service employees - motor car traders page.

Exemptions

Because they are not considered 'motor cars', you do not require a motor car trader's licence to deal in:

  • tractors
  • a vehicle which has an engine used to drive or operate an agricultural implement which forms part of the vehicle
  • vehicles not (and not intended to be) used on a road.

Some types of transactions do not require a licence:

  • buying, selling, or exchanging motor cars with a licensed motor car trader, a special trader (such as a motor car financier or motor car manufacturer), or an employee
  • selling by a financier of repossessed or returned cars at public auction or by public tender
  • selling by a financier by private sale to buyers introduced to the financier by people that the cars were repossessed from
  • selling or offering to sell a car to someone who has hired or leased it continuously for at least three months before the offer or sale. (Note: This does not exclude rent-to-buy businesses from requiring a licence)
  • buying and selling or offering to buy and sell motor cars at public auction, where the cars were last owned by:
    • a government department or public statutory authority
    • a company that has been wound up and the cars offered for sale by a liquidator
  • selling at public auction, where the motor car is:
    • owned or used by a council within the meaning of the Local Government Act 1989
    • owned by the executor or administrator of a deceased person's estate
    • owned by an insurer of motor cars - if the motor car is sold in the course of that business, and at the time of auction damaged with the reasonable cost of repair being more than $4,000 (or exceeding the value of the car). 

Eligibility

To be eligible for a licence you must be:

  • at least 18 years old
  • likely to continue to have (and currently have) sufficient funds to carry on the business
  • a fit and proper person to be a licensed motor car trader
  • able to show that you have premises from which you can lawfully carry on business
  • likely to carry on business honestly and fairly
  • likely to maintain effective control of the business
  • able to show you have sufficient knowledge of the Motor Car Traders Act 1986 and the Motor Car Traders Regulations 2008 to carry on your business.

Ineligibility

Sole traders, partnerships, partners, companies, and company directors must not:

  • be disqualified from holding a motor car trader's licence (or equivalent) anywhere in Australia or elsewhere, or the subject of an order by any regulatory body disqualifying you from acting as a motor car trader or equivalent
  • be a director or officer of a corporation that is disqualified from holding a licence or have been a director or officer of a such a corporation when it was disqualified
  • be a represented person under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 – this means that a guardian and/or administrator has been appointed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to make legal or financial decisions for you
  • have been a partner, director or a person involved in managing a partnership or body corporate that has had a claim admitted against the Motor Car Traders Guarantee Fund
  • be insolvent or an externally administered company.

Sole traders, partnerships, partners, companies, and company directors are also deemed ineligible, but may apply for permission, if they:

  • within the last 10 years, have been convicted or found guilty and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more for the following serious offences:
    • fraud
    • dishonesty
    • drug trafficking
    • violence
    • have had a claim admitted against the Motor Car Traders Guarantee Fund.

Permission

To apply to the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) for permission for a licence, visit our Disqualifications and permissions page.

Associates

When you apply for a motor car trader licence, the BLA will ask you for information about your ‘associates’ - that is, people you have a close association with who may have significant influence over the business. This will help the BLA determine if you or your company are fit and proper to hold a licence. For more information, view our Associates page.

Records checks

The BLA will conduct checks with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and other agencies to verify the information provided in the application form. Visit the ACIC website.

Providing incorrect information

It is a serious offence for a person to knowingly make a false or misleading statement in relation to a licence application. Significant fines apply.

Unlicensed trading

Unlicensed motor car traders are liable for significant fines.

Fees

The combined application fee and first annual licence fee for 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 is $2,529.30.

This fee must be paid at the time of application. The application fee is non-refundable.

How to apply

Download and complete the appropriate application form:

Lodgement details are on the forms.

Additional documents required with the application

Sole traders

For yourself and all individual persons named as associates in the application form, you must attach the following documents:

For yourself, you must attach the following documents:

Partnerships

For each individual person who is a partner and each director of a company in the partnership, you must attach the following documents:

For the partnership, you must attach the following documents:

  • A completed Motor car traders partnership and company deed of indemnity (Word, 1.2MB) signed by each partner.
  • A copy of the last monthly statement for each bank account held by the partnership confirming the availability of funds.
  • A copy of a current bank statement for any loan account or a loan approval letter from the credit provider.
  • A current copy of the trading statement of the partnership (balance sheet and profit and loss statement - no older than six months from the date of this application.
  • A completed Motor car traders estimated cash flow projection for the first 12 months of trading template (Excel, 23KB) or Motor car traders estimated cash flow projection for the first 12 months of trading template (Word, 116KB). The BLA requires this document to demonstrate you have fully considered the costs of running a motor car business and have a clear view of the kind of profit you are likely to make over your first year of trade.
  • If the partnership or a partner is currently trading in any other business (e.g. panel beating, mechanical workshop or non-motor car related business), a copy of the balance sheet and profit and loss statement for the last financial year. A balance sheet is still required even if the partnership was only recently formed.
  • Unless a licensed motor car trader has occupied the premises within the last six months prior to this application, for each of the proposed trading premises you must provide a current planning permit or a letter from the appropriate local council indicating that you can lawfully carry on a motor car trading business at each premises.
  • Lease agreement or contract of sale (depending on circumstance).

For all individual persons named as associates in this form, you must attach the following documents:

Companies

For each director, you must attach the following documents:

  • A completed Consent to criminal history and other records check (Word, 517KB).
  • Certified copies of 100 points of identification documents. Details are on the Consent to criminal history and other records check form.
  • A completed declaration of personal finances – included in the Motor car traders proposed business plan (Word, 186KB). The BLA needs certain information to determine whether you have sufficient financial resources to trade in motor cars. Your application cannot proceed without it. Each director is required to complete their own declaration of personal finances.
  • A copy of a current bank statement confirming availability of funds for each bank account. The statement must show the account holder's name.
  • A copy of a current bank statement for any loan account including mortgages or a loan approval letter from the credit provider.
  • A copy of the most recent council rates notice for any property held by the director.

For the company, you must attach the following documents:

  • A completed Motor car traders partnership and company deed of indemnity (Word, 1.2MB) signed by each director.
  • A copy of the last monthly statement for each bank account held by the company confirming the availability of funds.
  • A copy of a current bank statement for any loan account or a loan approval letter from the credit provider.
  • A current copy of the trading statement of the company (balance sheet and profit and loss statement) - no older than six months from the date of this application.
  • A completed Motor car traders estimated cash flow projection for the first 12 months of trading template (Excel, 23KB) or Motor car traders estimated cash flow projection for the first 12 months of trading template (Word, 116KB). The BLA requires this document to demonstrate you have fully considered the costs of running a motor car business and have a clear view of the kind of profit you are likely to make over your first year of trade.
  • A completed Motor car traders proposed business plan (Word, 186KB). The BLA needs certain information to determine whether you have sufficient financial resources to trade in motor cars. Your application cannot proceed without it.
  • If the company or a company director is currently trading in any other business (e.g. panel beating, mechanical workshop or non-motor car related business), a copy of the balance sheet and profit and loss statement for the last financial year. A company balance sheet is still required even if the company was only recently incorporated.
  • Unless a licensed motor car trader has occupied the premises within the last six months prior to this application, for each of the proposed trading premises you must provide a current planning permit or a letter from the appropriate local council indicating that you can lawfully carry on a motor car trading business at each premises.
  • Lease agreement and/or contract of sale (depending on circumstance).

For all individual persons named as associates in this form, you must attach the following documents:

After you lodge your application

Processing time

To avoid delays, please complete the form correctly and attach all necessary documents. The average processing times last quarter were 57 days for sole trader, company and partnership licences.

Additional information

When considering your application, the BLA may require you to provide further information. The BLA may refuse your application if you do not provide this within a reasonable timeframe.

Change of information

If there are any changes to the information you provide in your application after you lodge it, you must notify the BLA in writing as soon as possible.

Interview

Once the BLA is satisfied that you have provided all the required information, a licensing officer will contact you for a telephone interview.

The officer will ask you a series of short-answer questions, designed to ensure you are familiar with your basic obligations as a licensed motor car trader.

The questions cover your legal obligations, such as statutory warranties and cooling off periods, as well as some of a general nature. You will also be asked questions about the kinds of activities you plan to engage in, such as retail, wholesale, auctions, motorcycles and wrecking.

To prepare for your interview, view our Running your business - motor car traders section.

Sharing your information

The BLA may need to give your information to:

  • Victoria Police
  • Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • other law enforcement and regulatory bodies.

These organisations will make any enquiries about your application they consider appropriate, and report the results.

For privacy information, view our Information and privacy - Business Licensing Authority page.

Withdrawing your application

If you wish to withdraw your application, you must notify the BLA in writing. Generally, only the first year's licence fee is refundable.

Refusal of application

If your application is not successful, you will be notified in writing. You can appeal the decision by applying to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) within 28 days of the decision.

If the BLA refuses your application, you cannot trade as a motor car trader and you cannot lodge another application for two years, unless you get special permission from us.

If you have been refused previously but wish to reapply, Contact us.

Successful application

If your application is successful, you will receive a motor car trader’s licence certificate, including a unique Licensed Motor Car Trader (LMCT) number, and an information pack explaining your obligations. Your details will also be entered on the Public register of motor car traders.

Your licence is not transferrable, and is ongoing unless surrendered, suspended or cancelled. Once you are licensed, you should familiarise yourself with your ongoing obligations and licensing requirements.

Conditions on a licence

In some cases, the BLA may impose conditions on licensees. Examples of typical conditions include:

  • requiring specified documentation
  • making the licence subject to planning permission
  • limiting a licence to wholesale trading
  • requiring a bank guarantee.

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