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Service Nova Scotia

Collection Agency Licence

Who Needs This Licence?

Any company which employs people to collect accounts from debtors in Nova Scotia on behalf of third parties.

Note: Businesses collecting their own debt are not required to be licensed as a Collection Agency.

Issuing Department / Agency:
Service Nova Scotia
Where can you get this Licence and / or further information?
  Contact: Business Licensing Section
Service Nova Scotia
  Telephone: 902-424-5200 (in metro)
  Toll-free: 1-800-670-4357 (within Nova Scotia)
  E-mail: REGLICENSING@novascotia.ca
  Visit: By Appointment Only - 902-424-5552
  Website: http://www.novascotia.ca/sns/access/individuals.asp
Application Forms & Process:
With this Licence, there are two different ways to submit your application form: 

You can send in a hard copy. You can get a form by: 
       1. downloading a form from our website; 
       2. visiting any Access Nova Scotia Centre; or 
       3. calling the office listed above. 

Regardless of the process used to apply for this licence, permit, registration or certificate, you must send in the signed original application containing your signature in ink. If a signed copy is not submitted, you will be requested to do so which may lead to a delay in the issuance process.

Information you will need to fill out your application form:

  • Details are required if the applicant or any partner, officer or director has
  • had a business licence
  • had a licence refused, suspended or revoked
  • been involved in a personal or corporate bankruptcy
  • unpaid judgments outstanding
  • been convicted of a offence under the law and not been pardoned
  • Name and address of the financial institution housing the applicant's trust account
  • Name, address and date of birth for the applicant, partners and officers
  • Three year employment history for the applicant, partners and officers
  • Address and manager's name for all branches

To make application for a Collection Agency License, at least one collector employed by the applicant must successfully pass the collection agency exam. The pass mark is 75%. The application to write the manager's exam is included on the individual collector application.

The completed company application, manager/collector application are submitted to the Department along with the following:

  1. A recent financial statement or opening balance statement audited by a licensed public accountant.
  2. A surety bond, in the amount of $20,000. (A sample surety bond form is in the guide)
  3. Confirmation from a financial institution that a trust account has been opened in the name of the collection agency.
  4. Two copies of each form or agreement that the collection agency proposes to use when entering into agreements with its clients, which must include the fees to be charged.
  5. Two copies of each notice or form letter that the collection agency proposes to use in making demands for the collection of debt.
  6. Collector application (that includes the manager application), for the individual to write the agency exam.
  7. Application Fee. (See price below)

When applying for a Non-Resident (Out of Province) Collection Licence in addition to the items above, the following two items must also be submitted:

  1. Information regarding the arrangements made for access to account records and financial information in Nova Scotia.
  2. Copy of the Agency License issued to the applicant in the province of residence.

NOTE: All companies, whether sole proprietorships, partnerships or limited companies must register their business with the Registry Of Joint Stock Companies. That registration must be obtained before a Collection Agency License may be issued. Further information is available from the the office at 902-424-7770.

If all requirements are met and the application is approved, the Licence will be mailed to the applicant.

Waiting Period:

10 business days
Provided that all the items that must accompany the application have been received
(Please allow several extra days for mail delivery.) "

Expiry & Renewal:
This licence expires annually, on April 30th at midnight. It can be renewed; the Department will send out a renewal notice before it expires.
Price: (No tax is charged)

Agency: $464.75
Note: The Agency permit is considered the first branch location.

Branch: $165.70

If you send in an application form, payment is by cheque or money order made out to the Minister of Finance. No credit or debit cards are accepted at this time. 

If you apply online, payment is (a) by Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card. No debit cards are accepted at this time.

Related Requirements:
  1. The business must be registered with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies.
  2. The owner or manager of the Agency must have 2 years of experience in all facets of collection.
Additional Information:
Agencies are not required to have a place of business in Nova Scotia nor is it necessary for individual collectors to be a resident of this province; collection activity can occur from outside this province.  However, the agency must provide access to its account information and trust account records within the province.

Solicitors who are acting in the ordinary course of their business as a solicitor are exempt.

What is regulated under the Collection Agencies Act,?

  1. The activities of collectors in their dealings with debtors - A code of conduct is contained in the Act.
  2. All forms and form letters used by Collection Agencies for the purpose of collecting debts.
  3. The method by which monies received by Collection Agencies are maintained.
  4. The level of expertise of managers / owners of Collection Agencies.
Legislative Authority:
Collection Agencies Act, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, Chapter 77


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