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Submissions – Respond to calls for tenders with the appropriate RBQ license subclasses

Contractors, when you bid in response to a call for tenders, you must ensure that you have all the categories of license necessary to carry out the contract.


If you do not have the appropriate subclasses for the targeted work, your submission may be validly rejected by the client.

You must hold all the licenses necessary to perform a contract before submitting a bid, even if you intend to subcontract some work.

The client does not have the obligation to indicate in his call for tenders which are the precise licenses that you must  hold and it is your responsibility to ensure that you hold the required license (s).

This principle was reiterated by the Superior Court in the decision PE Pageau inc. vs. Quebec Society of Outdoor Establishments .


Short story

In February 2017, the Société des establishments de plein air du Québec (“Sépaq”) launched a call for tenders for the redevelopment of the entrance routes to Parc de la Chute-Montmorency.

The planned works also include the construction of three buildings for the new gatehouses.

In response, PE Pageau inc. (“Pageau”) submits the lowest bid.

However, Sépaq withdraws the tender on the grounds that the latter does not hold one or the other of the two licenses required for the construction of the proposed buildings, either the license of subclass 1.2 (Contractor in small buildings) or that of subclass 1.3 (Building contractor of all kinds).

PE Pageau inc. retorts that its subclass license  1.4 (Road and pipeline contractor) authorizes him to carry out all the work provided for in the call for tenders, since the building construction work constitutes work “similar or related” to those for which he holds a qualification. . PE Pageau inc. specifies that its intention is, in any case, to outsource the construction of these three buildings to a licensed contractor  1.2 or 1.3.

PE Pageau inc.  believes that the contract should have been awarded to him and is therefore claiming from Sépaq the profit it would have made if its bid had been accepted.



The court concludes that Sépaq was right to refuse PE Pageau inc’s bid.  since the license  1.2 or 1.3 was mandatory for the execution of the work, in addition to the license  1.4 owned by PE Pageau inc.

In the court’s opinion, a contractor who does not have the appropriate license at the time of the submission of his tender does not have the legal capacity to enter into the contract which is the subject of the tender. It is moreover impossible to remedy this irregularity.

In addition, the court rejected the argument of PE Pageau inc.   requiring that building construction work be “similar or related” to work covered by the license  1.4, namely works relating to roads and public thoroughfares, sewers, aqueducts, pipelines, railway works and tunnels.

According to the court, works are not related simply because their performance is required under the terms of the contract between the contractor and the client. Indeed, related works are those that are underlying the main works or, at least, which are required to ensure or increase their functionality, quality or durability.

The court also rejected the argument of PE Pageau inc.   that the contract should have been awarded to him since he intended to outsource the construction of the buildings to a licensed subcontractor  1.2 or 1.3.

In the court’s opinion, the licensed contractor is only allowed to have construction work carried out.  included in its own license subclass. Thus, barring exceptions, a general contractor cannot subcontract any kind of construction work, but only those for which he holds a license.

In fact, a general contractor who subcontracts work that he is not himself authorized to organize, coordinate or perform under his license would not have the necessary knowledge to ensure that he is their quality.



Reminder of existing RBQ license subclasses

Annex 3

2.5 Excavation and earthworks
2.7 Site works
3.2 Small concrete structures
4.2 Masonry work no  structural, marble and  ceramic
5.2 Metal structures
6.2 Wood and plastic work
7. Insulation, waterproofing,  covers and upholstery  outside
8. Doors and windows
9. Finishing work
11.2 Equipment and products  specials
12. Cabinets and machined counters
13.5 Special installations or  prefabricated
17.2 Intercommunication,  telephony and surveillance


Annex 2

2.1 Drilled wells
2.2 Non-drilled water catchment structures
2.3 Groundwater pumping systems
2.4 On-site sanitation systems
2.6 Piles and special foundations
2.8 Jumping
3.1 Concrete structures
4.1 Masonry structures
5.1 Metal structures and precast concrete elements
6.1 Timber frames
10. Localized heating systems at  solid fuel
11.1 Industrial or institutional piping under pressure
13.1 Lightning protection
13.2 Fire alarm systems
13.3 Fire extinguishing systems
13.4 Localized fire extinguishing systems
14.1 Lifts and freight elevators
14.2 Lifts for disabled people
14.3 Other types of lifting devices
15.1 Forced air heating systems
15.1.1 Forced air heating systems for certain jobs which are not reserved exclusively for master mechanics in  piping
15.2 Natural gas burner systems
15.2.1 Natural gas burner systems  not reserved for master pipe-mechanics
15.3 Oil burner systems
15.3.1 Oil burner systems for certain jobs which are not reserved exclusively for master mechanics in  piping
15.4 Hydronic heating systems  (Hot water and steam heating)
15.4.1 Hydronic heating systems for certain works which are not reserved exclusively for master mechanics in  piping
15.5 Plumbing
15.5.1 Plumbing for certain work that is not reserved exclusively for master pipe-mechanics
15.6 Propane
15.7 Residential ventilation
15.8 Ventilation
15.9 Small systems of  refrigeration
15.10 Refrigeration
16 Electricity
17.1 Instrumentation, control and regulation


Annex 1

1.2 Small building contractor
1.3 Building contractor of all kinds
1.4 Roads and pipeline
1.5 Structures of  Civil engineering
1.6 Submerged civil engineering structures
1.7 Telecommunications, transport, transformation and distribution of electrical energy
1.8 Installation of petroleum equipment
1.9  Building mechanic
1.10 Ski lifts




Founded in 2000, Formation Construction is the largest provider of preparatory training for passing RBQ exams in Canada.

Thousands of entrepreneurs – from various industries – have taken a course at Formation Construction.

Our 100% online courses are designed by leading specialists in the construction industry.

Throughout your study, the trainers are available to help you, answer your questions and monitor your progress 24/7.

We help you to put together your compliant file, which should be sent to the RBQ.

At each stage of your project, you get  advice from expert professionals to help you ask yourself the right questions and provide you with the essential tools to ensure you start a lucrative business.

You are oriented on the insurance and mandatory guarantees related to your entrepreneur’s license and have access to a panel of services essential to your business launch.


Contact us: 1 866 626-8055

22 August 2023

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