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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

MA Authorises a self-employed licensee who holds a Class 1 and/or Class 2 licence to provide themselves to perform security activities.
MB Authorises the holder to provide up to 3 licensed persons on any day to perform security activities.
MC Authorises the holder to provide up to 14 licensed persons on any day to perform security activities.
MD Authorises the holder to provide up to 49 licensed persons on any day to perform security activities.
ME Authorises the holder to provide an unlimited number of licensed persons on any day to perform security activities.


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

  • be at least 18 years old
  • be a fit and proper person
  • have Australian work rights
  • 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)
  • a current credit card and sufficient funds for your payment (Schedule of Fees – PDF)
  • 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.
  • if you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident, an original certified copy of one of the following documents:
    • current Australian passport, or one that has expired within the last 2 years
    • full Australian Birth Certificate (not an extract)
    • Certificate of Australian Citizenship.
  • if you're a temporary resident, an original certified copy of one of the following documents:
    • ImmiCard
    • current overseas passport (a visa grant notice is not acceptable).
  • if you're a temporary resident who has spent more than 12 months in a country other than Australia since turning 16, and in the last 10 years, you'll need a police certificate from each of those countries you’ve lived in, and each certificate must:
    • have been issued within 12 months of your application
    • be translated into English (if applicable)
    • be verified by the country's embassy or consulate in Australia.
  • if you've changed your name, a certified 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 in the Land Titles Office.
  • 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.

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

When entering your name, ensure you:

  • enter your given name in the First Name field
  • enter your surname in the Last Name field
  • enter any other names in the Middle Name field
  • if you only have one name, please enter it in the Last Name field.

Note: The minimum timeframe for a complete application to be processed is approximately 6 to 8 weeks and SMS and emails are used to communicate with you throughout the process.

To ensure you don’t miss out on important information it's advisable to:

If your application is incomplete or you have failed to provide the required information, your application will be delayed and may be withdrawn.

More information

  • Documents must be certified by an authorised person such as a:

    • Justice of the Peace
    • Legal Practitioner, or
    • Notary Public.
  • 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 you withdraw your application you'll receive a refund of fees minus the processing fee of $120.00.
  • Once a licence has been issued there are no provisions for a refund of fees.
Last updated: 14 October 2022