Introduction

Any business that employs or subcontracts people to carry out defined security activities (unless exempted by security industry legislation) must hold a master licence. The licence can be held by individuals, corporations or government agencies.

If you're a sole trader master licensee and you're carrying out the security activities yourself, you must also hold a Class 1 or Class 2 security operative licence.

Master licence classifications

Master licences are classified into subclasses that authorise the number of workers that may be provided under that licence, on any given day.

Licence subclass

Maximum number of persons authorised

MAAuthorises a self-employed licensee who holds a Class 1 and/or Class 2 licence to provide themselves to perform security activities.
MBAuthorises the holder to provide up to 3 licensed persons on any day to perform security activities.
MCAuthorises the holder to provide up to 14 licensed persons on any day to perform security activities.
MDAuthorises the holder to provide up to 49 licensed persons on any day to perform security activities.
MEAuthorises the holder to provide an unlimited number of licensed persons on any day to perform security activities.

Eligibility

To be eligible to hold a master licence, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • be one of the following:
    • an Australian citizen or permanent resident
    • a New Zealand citizen
    • the holder of a visa sponsored by a master licence holder, or
    • the holder of a visa for a skilled occupation to which the activities authorised by the proposed licence correspond
  • be a fit and proper person
  • hold a current ABN (ABNs issued to a trust are not acceptable)
  • consent to having your fingerprints taken.

Note: An application for a master licence may be refused if you, or a close associate, at any time in the 3 years prior to your application:

  • were found to be bankrupt or insolvent, or
  • your business was the subject of a winding up order for which a controller or administrator had been appointed.

What you need

You'll need to provide:

  • your personal details (as an individual sole trader, or as the nominated person if you're applying on behalf of a corporation or government agency)
  • 2 proof of identity documents – one must contain your photograph and may require certification
  • a current credit card and sufficient funds for your payment 
  • your current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • the registered business name you wish to trade under (unless you're a sole trader and don't trade under a business name)
  • a completed Close Associate nomination form – PDF for each close associate (a close associate is a person involved in the security business who significantly influences the conduct of the business due to their financial interest or power)
  • public liability insurance cover totalling at least $10,000,000 if you intend providing security activities involving the possession of firearms, or the use of horses or dogs.

In addition: 

If you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen, a copy of one of the following documents to prove your citizenship or residency status:

  • full Australian birth certificate (not an extract), or
  • Australian citizenship certificate (front and back page), or
  • Australian passport (clearly showing your name, date of birth, photograph, passport number and expiry date), or
  • New Zealand passport (original certified copy clearly showing your name, date of birth, photograph, passport number and expiry date). 

If you hold an eligible visa, a copy of the following document(s):

  • an ImmiCard, or
  • a foreign passport clearly showing your name, date of birth, photograph, passport number, expiry date and country of issue and your visa grant notification letter (both of which must be original certified copies), and
  • a police certificate from each country (other than Australia) you have lived in for 12 months or more over the previous 10 years since turning 16 years of age. Each certificate must:
    • have been issued within 12 months of making your application
    • be translated into English (if applicable)
    • be verified as accurate by the country’s embassy or consulate in Australia.

If you've changed your name, a copy of one or more of the following:

  • marriage certificate(s) issued by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages or, if married elsewhere, the marriage certificate issued by the celebrant or church
  • Change of Name certificate issued by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages
  • full birth certificate showing your name at birth and your new name (extracts and Commemorative certificates are not acceptable)
  • divorce decree
  • deed poll registered with the relevant authority
  • instrument evidencing that the change of name has been registered with NSW Land Registry Services.

Proof of identity

Two proof of identity documents are required (one must contain your photograph). They may include:

  • Australian passport – clearly showing your name, date of birth, photograph, passport number and expiry date (may be expired within the last 2 years)
  • Australian driver licence
  • Australian birth certificate (not an extract)
  • Australian citizenship certificate (front and back page)
  • Australian certificate of registration by descent
  • Australian marriage certificate
  • Foreign passport – clearly showing your name, date of birth, photograph, passport number, expiry date and country of issue (original certified copy only)
  • Health Card, Health Care Card or Seniors Health Card
  • ImmiCard
  • Medicare Card
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • NSW Photo Card / Proof of Age Card (original certified copy only)
  • Veteran Gold Card (original certified copy only)
  • Veteran Pensioner Concession Card (original certified copy only)
  • Veteran Seniors Health Card (original certified copy only).

How to apply

  1. Gather all your digital and scanned documentation.
  2. Do not start this application process unless you have all the necessary attachments. You're not able to make any changes once you've submitted.
    • Note: If at any time you need to go back and change something before submitting your application, select the back-arrow button at the top left of each screen.
  3. Check you meet all the eligibility requirements.
  4. Select the appropriate link below:
  5. Follow the prompts to submit your application.

Once you've submitted your application, you'll receive an email confirmation and payment receipt.

Reminder

When entering your name, ensure you enter:

  • your given name in the First Name field
  • your surname in the Last Name field
  • any other names in the Middle Name field

If you only have one name, please put a full stop in the First Name field and enter your name in the Last Name field.

More information

  • Documents must be certified by an authorised person such as a:
    • Justice of the Peace
    • Legal Practitioner, or
    • Public Notary.
  • A master licence is not transferable.
  • The people who are employed or subcontracted under the master licence must hold Class 1 or Class 2 security operator licences.
  • If your application is incomplete, or you fail to provide the required information, your application will be delayed and may be withdrawn. If your application is withdrawn, you'll receive a refund of fees paid minus the processing fee. Once a licence has been issued, there is no provision for a refund of fees.
  • Emails are used to communicate with you throughout the application process. To ensure you don’t miss out on important information, you should:
    • notify SLED if you change your email address
    • regularly check your spam folder
    • add sled@police.nsw.gov.au to your contacts.
Last updated: 10 January 2024