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Responding to a construction company, what are your obligations?

What is a respondent?

A guarantor is a person who vouches for someone.

The same applies to the respondent of a construction company who vouches for it in one or more of the fields of qualification, namely: administration, safety management on construction sites, project and site management, and the execution of construction works.

Under the Regulation respecting the professional qualification of contractors and owner-builders, a respondent is defined by one of the following situations:

  1. a natural person doing business alone
  2. an officer of a company or a legal person

If you are a natural person doing business alone , you are the personal guarantor of compliance with laws and regulations as well as of the general situation of the company.

If you are a manager of a company or a legal person , you are responsible for the company to the RBQ.

Your role is therefore to represent the latter in the performance of your duties.

As such, you must act within the limits of your powers and in compliance with the obligations provided for in laws and regulations, although it is the company in most cases that engages its legal liability (see articles
following 321 and 2130 of the Civil Code of Quebec).

321. The administrator is considered as an agent of the legal person. He must, in the exercise of his functions, respect the obligations which the law, the constituting act and the regulations impose on him and act within the limits of the powers conferred on him. 1991, c. 64, a. 321.

2130. The mandate is the contract by which a person, the principal, gives the power to represent him in the performance of a legal act with a third party, to another person, the agent who, by the fact of his acceptance, is This power and, where applicable, the document which confirms it, are also called power of attorney. 1991, c. 64, a. 2130.

Certain penal provisions provided for in the Building Act may however be applicable to a guarantor (see article 194, more particularly the following paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Building Act).

194. Anyone commits an offense who:

(1) makes a false declaration or fails to provide information in order to obtain a license;

(2) makes a false declaration in a document prescribed by this Act or the regulations or makes use of such a document when he is aware of the falsity thereof;

The notion of guarantor by the RBQ

A company’s sponsor is one of its officers or a full-time manager who applies for a license on its behalf.

He must qualify for this title.

He is responsible for managing activities in the field for which his knowledge or experience has been recognized by the RBQ.

The respondent is, among other things, responsible for all communication made with the RBQ.

In the event of more than one respondent, the license holder designates one of them to assume this responsibility.

The obligations of the guarantor

The role of the respondent of a construction company is to assume responsibility on behalf of the latter for compliance with the laws and regulations in force, as well as for its obligations towards the Régie du bâtiment du Québec.

The respondent guarantees a construction company in one or more of the following fields of qualification:

  • administration;
  • health and safety management on construction sites;
  • project and site management;
  • execution of construction works.

Some of these obligations are common to all respondents and some are specific to the areas for which he vouches. However, it is possible that another respondent or an officer may fulfill specific obligations.

Common obligations

The guarantor of a construction company must:

  • ensure that the company:
    • – respects the laws and regulations in force,
    • – respect its obligations towards the Régie,
    • – adopts an honest and respectful attitude towards its clients and stakeholders in the field,
    • – constructs secure buildings and facilities;
  • keep their skills and knowledge up to date;
  • get involved in the company, that is to say:
    • – be present regularly in offices and on construction sites,
    • – be an employee whose working hours correspond to the usual opening hours of the company, if he is a full-time manager,
    • – delegate its tasks to competent people, if necessary (eg: departure for maternity leave);
    • – actively engage in all decisions concerning the fields of qualification for which he answers.

Obligations of the respondent in administration

This guarantor must in particular ensure:

  • payment of the construction contractor’s license;
  • the transmission of the various opinions, such as those concerning the modification of the structure of the company;
  • updating the file as soon as there is a change (eg: change of address or respondent, modification of a lender or a stakeholder);
  • the display of the license number in the company’s advertising, on its estimate and tender documents and on its contracts and statements of account, with some exceptions;
  • the return of the license to the Régie, if it is suspended, canceled or ceases to have effect due to bankruptcy or for any other reason;
  • the levy of deductions from the wages of employees and their payments to the Commission de la construction du Québec and the Commission des normes, de l’énergie, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail, if applicable;
  • payment to the authorities responsible for collecting the goods and services tax (GST) and the Quebec sales tax (QST), if applicable;
  • the maintenance in force of the license bond or the guarantee plan certificate.

Obligations of the respondent in health and safety management on construction sites

This guarantor must:

  • take all necessary measures to protect, on construction sites, workers or subcontractors under the responsibility of the company;
  • ensure compliance with laws and regulations concerning the health and safety of workers;
  • register the company with the Committee on Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work, if applicable;
  • ensure, if the company is an employer, that a prevention program is developed and that it covers the following activities:
    • – the identification of hazards by different means at each stage of the work,
    • – the elimination of dangers at the source by using safe working methods,
    • – information and training of workers,
    • – monitoring compliance with the measures put in place and the laws and applicable regulations.

Obligations of the respondent in project and site management

This respondent must be responsible for the planning, organization, management, control and evaluation of all activities related to construction projects, in particular by:

  • negotiating an agreement with the client, which takes into account both the latter’s needs and the company’s skill limits;
  • the achievement of a written agreement that is faithful to the verbal agreement, unless it is not possible to do so;
  • compliance with the provisions of the agreement;
  • negotiating contracts with subcontractors who hold the appropriate license subclasses;
  • sending the various declarations of work and the required certificates;
  • quality control of work and post-construction incident management;
  • inspection with the client of all the work;
  • the establishment of a list of work to be completed or corrected if necessary, as well as their schedule, in particular the completion and delivery dates;
  • obtaining written confirmation of receipt of the work.

Obligations of the respondent in carrying out the construction work

This guarantor must ensure:

  • compliance with standards, regulations and construction techniques specific to the work included in the various license subclasses required;
  • examining plans and specifications;
  • the application of the procedures for carrying out the work, in particular:
    • – the technical process for carrying out the work,
    • – the order of operations by the performers,
    • – compliance with health and safety rules;
  • clear communication to employees, sub-contractors and other companies present on the site about the instructions relating to the methods and precautions to be applied and their compliance;
  • compliance with procedures and requirements in terms of communication exchanges and production of documents specific to the contract, such as work modification notices.

Faulty behavior

The respondent of a construction company, since he vouches for it, must ensure that certain behaviors are avoided by the company and by himself.

These include, among others, the following behaviors:

  • non-compliance with the terms of the agreement with a client without serious reason and without notice;
  • interruption or abandonment of construction work without valid reason;
  • an attitude that is harmful to the progress of the work or to those working on the site;
  • the use of deposits paid for purposes other than those provided for;
  • intimidation of a client or of persons participating in the work;
  • the production of false invoices;
  • the use of a guarantor of convenience (also called a nominee, the guarantor of convenience is a person who agrees to qualify as a sponsor for a company, free of charge or in exchange for advantages, without actually participating in the management of this business).

These faulty behaviors can sometimes lead to consequences such as cancellation or suspension of the license as well as criminal penalties. The guarantor of a company found guilty of an offense or a criminal act may be declared disqualified from acting as guarantor of any company for a period of 3 years, just like the directors of the company.

Departure or death of the respondent

When a respondent leaves his duties, he has 30 days to notify the Régie in writing of his departure. When a respondent dies or is declared incapable, the liquidator of the succession, the heir, the legatee by particular title, the legal representative of the deceased, the curator, the tutor or the adviser to the person of full age also has 30 days to notify the Régie in writing. of the situation.

The deadlines for replacing a respondent who has left the company or who has died have been extended:

  • death of a sponsor: 120 days
  • departure of a respondent: 90 days.


Find out more about the qualification of respondents and obtaining an RBQ license

1 (866) 626 8055

22 August 2023

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