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Obtain a so-called “general” license from the RBQ (Appendix 1)

As a contractor holding a sub-category from Annex 1,  you can coordinate and organize the work of a construction site (foundation, construction, renovation, modification or demolition…).


What can you work on?

You can choose to perform or have performed the jobs included in one of the following 11 subcategories:

1.2 – Small building contractor

1.3 – Building contractor of all kinds

1.1.1 – Contractor in new residential buildings covered by a guarantee plan, class I

1.1.2 – Contractor in new residential buildings covered by a warranty plan, class II

1.4 – Road and pipeline contractor

1.5 – Contractor in structures of civil engineering works

1.6 – Contractor in submerged civil engineering works

1.7 – Contractor in telecommunications, transport, transformation and distribution of electrical energy

1.8 – Contractor in the installation of petroleum equipment

1.9 – Building mechanic contractor

1.10 – Contractor in ski lifts


Generally, a general contractor does or has performed general work such as building a house or erecting a transmission line.

But it is possible that you do not carry out any construction work and you are satisfied with the organizational part by coordinating the execution of the work by subcontractors (general contractors or specialized contractors). For example, a real estate developer acts this way.

You can subcontract on each of the subcategories of appendices 2 and 3  but be careful, however, the building or work targeted by the work must correspond to the Annex 1 of your license.




Sub-category 1.2: Buildings of all kinds with a maximum height of three floors and a building area of 600 m² or less.

Sub-category 1.3  : Buildings of all kinds, even those over 600 m2 and more than 3 storeys high.

Sub-category 1.1.1: Construction of new buildings covered by a guarantee plan with the aim of being fully resold (single-family detached, semi-detached or row house, owned or not in divided co-ownership;  multi-family building from duplex to quintuplex, not held in divided co-ownership)

Sub-category 1.1.2: Construction of new buildings covered by a guarantee plan for the purpose of reselling condo by condo (multi-family building held in divided co-ownership, comprising at most 4 superimposed private parts)



What are your responsibilities?

Whether for renovation or construction work, you must ensure the smooth running of the sites according to the plans, schedule and budget allocated to the work.

In addition, you are responsible for the end result. You must therefore at all times ensure the compliance of all the work entrusted to you and compliance with the requirements of the codes and regulations applicable to the work of your subcontractors.

Indeed, being responsible for the project as a whole, you will also be responsible for the difficulties encountered on a site, even if the source of the problem turns out to come from another company with which you are doing business.



Jobs you can do yourself

As a general contractor, you can carry out yourself the work of annex 2 mentioned in your subcategory of general contractor 1.2, 1.3, 1.1.1 or 1.1.2 insofar as they relate to the type of buildings , installations or works included in your general contractor’s license (See previous example).


To know :


Example  :

A general contractor holding the sub-category 1.2 – Small building contractor is not required to hold the specialized sub-category 6.1 Contractor – wood frames to carry out work relating to the wood frame of a building covered by subcategory 1.2, since specialized subcategory 6.1 is included in subcategory 1.2.


To remember : 

A general contractor can always bid on contracts covered by his subcategories and have the work carried out by subcontractors, but he cannot always  execute  itself works.

The contractor may perform for another general contractor all the work relating to the sub-categories of appendix 2 mentioned above.

On the other hand, a self-builder cannot hire him for these subcategories since he has the obligation to do business only with specialized contractors.


Exceptions  :

A general contractor may not have work relating to an electrical installation, a plumbing installation or a heating system carried out by the personnel he employs, even if the members of this personnel have the appropriate skills cards in electricity, in plumbing or heating.

Whenever a contract includes electrical or plumbing-heating work, this part of the work must be entrusted to an electrical contractor or a master pipe-mechanic.



Which RBQ exams do you need to take?

To obtain a license general contractor , you must pass the following exams  :

  • Administration 3:00
  • Safety management on construction sites 1h30
  • 3H00 project and site management
  • Execution of construction works 3:00


However, to obtain a general contractor’s license of subcategories 1.4 to 1.7  (civil engineering works), you must pass the following exams  :

  • Administration 3:00
  • Safety management on construction sites (specific to Civil Engineering) 2 hours
  • Project and site management (specific to Civil Engineering) 6:00 a.m.


To note :  The examinations specific to Civil Engineering are totally different from those assessed for subcategories 1.2, 1.3, 1.1.1 and 1.1.2.



What is a surety bond?

The 40,000 license bond  $ required is a mandatory financial guarantee for the general contractor 1.2 or 1.3.

It guarantees the fulfillment of the contractual obligations of the entrepreneur towards his customers.

It aims to compensate any customer who has suffered damage as a result of the non-execution or execution of construction work and resulting directly from the down payments made, the non-completion of the work, poor workmanship and defects discovered in the year following the end of the work.


Only the general contractor 1.1.1 or 1.1.2 does not have to provide the mandatory security since it is the  warranty plan  which will compensate customers in the event of damage.

On the other hand, if it holds any other sub-category in addition to sub-category 1.1.1 or 1.1.2. he will have to provide the bond in addition to being accredited to the guarantee plan.



What is the Guarantee Plan?

The guarantee plan is compulsory for the general contractor 1.1.1 or 1.1.2

Since 1999, most new residential buildings have been covered by a compulsory guarantee plan.

This means that to sell this type of building, you must have registered the future properties that you will build with the GCR (Garantie Construction Résidentielle).

The purpose of this guarantee plan is to ensure the fulfillment of certain legal and contractual obligations on your part.

Thus, as the buildings are covered, your client will benefit from protections and indemnities.




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31 October 2022

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