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Certificate of classification

A certificate of classification is issued by a building certifier following a final commercial building inspection and once the certifier is satisfied the building, alterations or change of use have been substantially completed. The certificate specifies the classification of a building, which determines the way the building can be used.

Getting a copy of the certificate

Generally, you can obtain a copies of these certificates from Council by selecting item 1 on the Commercial Building and Plumbing Search form [PDF, 0.2MB] and paying the relevant fee.

Your legal requirements (Part 4, Section 114 of the Building Act 1975)

You cannot occupy or use a building until a certificate of classification has been given.  This certificate is required for all commercial building approvals, including commercial and residential units.

As a building owner, you must display the certificate of classification for class 1b–9 buildings as near as practicable to the main entrance of the building.

For premises occupied by multiple tenants (for example: a shopping centre), who have each obtained a certificate for their fit-out or other works, the certificate relevant to the fit-out must be displayed as well as the certificate for the building itself.

Penalties

There are multiple penalties for failing to obtain and display a certificate of classification, including:

  • a maximum of 4,500 penalty units for failing to comply with a condition of a development approval, such as not calling for a final inspection before occupying or using a building (section 164, Planning Act 2016)
  • a maximum of 165 penalty units for occupying or allowing the occupation of a building where a certificate of classification has not been issued (section 114, Building Act 1975)
  • a maximum of 165 penalty units for failing to display a certificate of classification (section 108A, Building Act 1975).

Find out more about building classification certificates from the Queensland Government.