If you're a commercial agent who has face-to-face contact with customers (known as a field agent), you must hold a licence to collect debts, repossess goods and serve legal documents on behalf of a client.

Commercial agents who are not field agents do not need a licence.

Field agents who already hold a Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents (CAPI) licence, will need a new commercial agent licence before the CAPI expiry date or 1 July 2023, whichever is sooner.

You can apply for a 1, 3 or 5-year licence.

Working in NSW with an interstate licence

Under the Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR) scheme, holders of certain interstate licences can work automatically in NSW but must notify the licence regulator of their intention to work.


To be eligible, you need to:

  • be aged 18 years or over
  • be a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

You are not eligible if you:

  • are an undischarged bankrupt or taking benefit of bankruptcy laws
  • have an exclusion order that prohibits you from carrying out commercial agent activity
  • have a NSW commercial agent licence that is currently cancelled, disqualified or suspended
  • are a controlled member of a declared organisation within the meaning of the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2012
  • have been convicted of a relevant offence within the last 5 years that resulted in a prison sentence or a fine of $500 or more. Relevant offences include violence, harassment, intimidation, weapons, drugs and dishonesty.

What you need

  • a MyServiceNSW Account
    • you can create one when you start your application
    • you may need details from 2 proof of identity documents (such as Australian driver licence, Medicare card, passport)
  • your previous Commercial Agents & Private Inquiry Agents (CAPI) licence number (if applicable)
  • your contact details
  • a copy of your current National Police Check Certificate in PDF, JPG or PNG format
  • a current credit card for payment.

Note: Finger/palm prints are not required to be taken for a commercial agent licence application.

How to apply

  1. Check your eligibility
  2. Gather your supporting documents.
  3. Select the 'Apply online' button.
  4. Log in, or create your MyServiceNSW Account.
  5. Follow the prompts to apply for a commercial agent licence.

NSW Fair Trading will contact you if more information is required.

If your application is successful, you'll be asked to visit a Service NSW Centre to have a photo taken for your licence card. You'll receive your card up to 21 days later.


To apply for a commercial agent licence with NSW Fair Trading, you’ll need to create or log in with a MyServiceNSW Account.

By logging in you consent to sharing your name and email address in your MyServiceNSW Account with NSW Fair Trading, a division of the Department of Customer Service.

The Commercial Agent licences – privacy collection notice explains how your personal information will be handled once it is shared by Service NSW.

More information

  • From 1 July 2022, regulation of the commercial agent industry moved from the NSW Police Force to NSW Fair Trading. For full details, visit the Fair Trading website.
  • Commercial agents who held a current CAPI licence on 30 June 2022, may be eligible for a refund for the remaining period of their licence. The Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate (SLED), NSW Police Force, will contact CAPI licensees.
  • Private inquiry agents (now known as private investigators) will continue to be regulated by the NSW Police Force, under the Security Industry Act 1997
Last updated: 31 May 2024

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