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Who should register?
A second-hand dealer is any person or company who carries on the business of buying, selling, exchanging or otherwise dealing in second-hand goods. This applies regardless of where the goods are bought, or whether they also sell new goods.
Second-hand goods are those that have been worn or otherwise used.
You must be registered to trade as a second-hand dealer in Victoria, but there are some instances when you may be exempt from this requirement, even if you deal in second-hand goods. For more information on exemptions, view Exemptions from registration.
If you are exempt, you do not have to register, but you may still be required to comply with other laws that apply to dealing in second-hand goods.
Scrap metal dealer
A scrap metal dealer is a second-hand dealer who buys, sells or disposes of goods containing metal for the purpose of recycling or reprocessing it.
Scrap metal dealers must be registered to trade as second-hand dealers in Victoria.
A pawnbroker is a person or company who carries on the business of advancing money on the security of pledged goods. In other words, they lend money to people who leave something of value with the pawnbroker as collateral.
You can only act as a pawnbroker if the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) has endorsed your second-hand dealer registration, authorising you to carry on business as a pawnbroker.
Before starting your application
Exemptions from registration
You may be exempt from registration as a second-hand dealer. For more information, view Exemptions from registration.
You are automatically ineligible to be registered if you are currently insolvent under administration (bankrupt) or if you are a represented person under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (where a guardian or administrator has been appointed).
If any of the following circumstances apply, you are ineligible to be registered unless you obtain permission from the BLA:
- within the last five years, you have been found guilty of, or convicted of a disqualifying offence involving fraud, dishonesty, drug trafficking or violence which is punishable by imprisonment for three months or more (whether or not a sentence of imprisonment was imposed); or
- you are currently suspended from carrying on any occupation, profession or business in Australia; or
- within the last five years you have had a licence, registration or permission to carry on any occupation, profession or business in Australia cancelled or been disqualified from carrying on any occupation, profession or business; or
- any of your associates is currently insolvent under administration (bankrupt) or under external administration.
If you are currently registered in another state or territory of Australia, you may be eligible to work in Victoria under the Automatic Mutual Recognition scheme without having to apply for a new registration. You may be required to notify the BLA.
A company is automatically ineligible to be registered if the company is currently under external administration or any of its directors is a represented person under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (where a guardian or administrator has been appointed).
If any of the following circumstances apply, the company is ineligible to be registered unless it obtains permission from the BLA:
- within the last five years, the company, any of its director or associates has been found guilty of, or convicted of an offence involving fraud, dishonesty, drug trafficking or violence which is punishable by three months or more in prison (whether or not a prison sentence was imposed), or
- the company, any of its directors or associates:
- is currently suspended from carrying on any occupation, profession or business in Australia, or
- within the last five years has had a licence, registration or permission to carry on any occupation, profession or business in Australia cancelled or been disqualified from carrying on any occupation, profession or business, or
- any company director or an associate of a company director is currently insolvent under administration (bankrupt) or under external administration.
For disqualifying criminal offences, you can still apply for, and may be granted, a registration. Based on the result of background checks, you may be required to apply for permission to be registered. An extra fee applies. If you are able to apply for permission, the BLA will write to you. For more information, view Disqualification and permission.
The BLA considers your associates when assessing your eligibility to be registered as a second-hand dealer or pawnbroker. For more information, view Associates.
If you intend to work in partnership with other individuals or companies, each partner must also be registered and/or endorsed in their own right as a pawnbroker under the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1989 .
Endorsement as a pawnbroker
Any person who wishes to trade as a pawnbroker must first obtain a pawnbrokers endorsement. You can apply for this when lodging your application, or at a later date if you are successfully registered as a second-hand dealer.
The application fee for 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 is $323.10.
The application fee must be paid at the time of application and is non-refundable.
Your application fee can be paid to the BLA by cheque, money order or credit card. Please see further payment instructions on the relevant application form in the table on Fees and forms.
You must submit a consent form and certified copies of the required identity documents as part of your application. For more information, view Records checks.
The correct documents, properly certified, will help your application avoid delays.
The BLA will conduct checks with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and other agencies to verify your eligibility to be registered. Any disputes about the accuracy of the results of the checks will be referred to the ACIC.
How to apply
Complete and lodge the appropriate online application form:
Lodgement details are on the forms.
Additional documents required with the application
For yourself and all individual persons named as associates in the application form, you must attach the following documents:
For each director (and all associates named in the application form), you must attach the following documents:
After you lodge your application
To avoid delays, please complete the form correctly and attach all necessary documents. The average processing time last quarter was 25 days for both individual and company registrations.
When considering your application, the BLA may require you to provide further information. It 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.
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 Information and privacy - BLA.
Withdrawing your application
If you wish to withdraw your application, you must notify the BLA in writing. The application fee is non-refundable.
Refusal of application
If your application is not successful, you will be notified in writing. You can appeal the decision by applying to VCAT within 28 days of the decision.
If the BLA refuses your application, you cannot trade as a second-hand dealer or pawnbroker. If you have been refused previously but wish to reapply, Contact us.
If your application is successful, you will receive a registration certificate. Registration is ongoing unless suspended, surrendered or cancelled. Once you are registered, you should familiarise yourself with your ongoing obligations and requirements.