Collection Agency Licence

Apply for a Collection Agency Licence. You need the licence to employ people to collect debt in Nova Scotia on behalf of other companies. Businesses collecting their own debt do not need to be licensed as a collection agency.

By law, collection agencies must have a Collection Agency Licence to employ people to collect debt in Nova Scotia on behalf of other companies. Businesses collecting their own debt do not need to be licensed as a collection agency.

You need to become licensed in Nova Scotia before you can collect debts here, even if you’re already licensed in another province. Collection agencies don’t need to have a place of business in Nova Scotia. Collection can take place from outside the province, but must take place from within Canada.

Eligibility

Your company needs to be registered with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies. Your company also needs to collect debt in Nova Scotia on behalf of other companies.

At least 1 of your collectors needs to have passed the manager’s exam with a 75% or better. The application to write the exam is part of the Collector Licence (for individuals) application process.

How to apply

  1. Complete the application form.
  2. Check the application for details on all required supporting documents.
  3. Include payment with your application.
  4. Send your completed application, supporting documents and payment by mail or fax.

How long it takes

It should take 2 weeks to get the licence. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your application hasn’t been filled in correctly.

Cost

Activity Fee
Licence $165.70
Licence renewal $165.70
Manager's exam $49.80

Payment options

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, cheque, money order. A cheque or money order should be made payable to the Minister of Finance. Payment options may vary depending on how you apply.

Before you start

Make sure you have:

  • Registry of Joint Stock Companies number
  • 3-year employment history for you and any partners and officers
  • address and manager’s name for all branches
  • Business Number from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • name and address of the financial institution where your trust account is held
  • name, address, position, and date of birth for you and any partners and officers

If your collection agency is located in another jurisdiction in Canada, you need to provide a copy of the collection agency licence from your company’s province of residence. Include access to your account information and trust account records in Nova Scotia.

You also need to provide details if you or any partner, officer or director has:

  • been licensed under any federal or provincial statute
  • had a licence refused, suspended or revoked
  • been involved in a personal or corporate bankruptcy
  • unpaid judgments outstanding
  • been convicted of an offence and not been pardoned

You need to provide additional supporting documents including:

  • original surety bond in the amount of $20,000
  • recent financial statement or opening balance statement prepared by a licensed public accountant
  • confirmation from a Canadian financial institution that a non-interest-bearing trust account has been set up in the name of the collection agency (the name should be exactly as provided in the application)
  • sample of each form or agreement the agency will use when entering into agreements with its clients, including the fees to be charged
  • sample of each notice or form letter the collection agency will use to collect debt

Renewal

You need to renew your Collection Agency Licence by April 30 each year. You should get a renewal package (including a list of your employed licensed collectors) in the mail before the renewal date. It’s your responsibility to renew on time.

Application form