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Service Nova Scotia

Consumer Reporting Agency Licence

Who Needs This Licence?
Any Consumer Reporting Agency operating in Nova Scotia which provides consumer reports for gain or profit. (This includes information about a consumer's identity, personal data, credit history, income / assets, health, and mode of living.) Such an agency is often called a Credit Bureau.

This licence does not apply to Commercial Credit Reporting.

Issuing Department / Agency:
Service Nova Scotia
Where can you get this Licence 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: Maritime Centre (Aliant Building)
9th Floor (North)
1505 Barrington Street (at corner of Spring Garden Road)
Halifax, Nova Scotia    B3J 3K5
  Write: PO Box 1529
Halifax, NS   B3J 2Y4
  Fax: 902-424-0602
  Website: https://www.novascotia.ca/sns/access/individuals.asp
Application Forms & Process:
With this Licence, there are two different ways to submit your application form: 

A) 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 or writing 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.

B) You can fill it out online. To do this, you must be able to pay by Visa, MasterCard or American Express Credit Card. We cannot accept any form of Debit cards at this time. 

If you wish to apply online, click here. Before you begin, make sure you have at hand the information listed below! 

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, address and date of birth for the applicant, partners and officers
  • Three year employment history for the applicant, partners and officers

The completed application is submitted to the Department, along with the applicable fee (see Price below).

The application process includes background checks, a review of the dispute resolution process, and review and approval of the forms used by Consumer Reporting Agencies in their dealings with consumers.  The applicant must submit: 

(a) copies of all consumer-directed forms used by the agency, for approval;
(b) confirmation that they have a place of business in Nova Scotia;
(c) confirmation that they have at least 2 years direct consumer reporting experience;
(d) confirmation that a location exists in the province for private review of a consumer's file.

An inspection of the premises is included as part of the application assessment process.

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 is valid for 1 year from the end of the month in which it was issued. It can be renewed; the Department will send out a renewal notice before the licence expires.
Price: (No tax is charged)
Initial Application: $133.35
Annual Renewal: $33.00

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 or (b) with an already established positive balance account with the Nova Scotia Business Registry. No debit cards are accepted at this time.

Related Requirements:
The business must be registered with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies .
Additional Information:
This licence does not apply to Commercial Credit Reporting.

What is regulated?
1) the process used for resolution of disputes;
2) the forms used by Consumer Reporting Agencies in their dealings with the public;
3) the level of expertise of the licence holder;
4) the information that can be stored, to whom it can be released, and consent / notification requirements.

Legislative Authority:
Consumer Reporting Act, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, Chapter 93

Last Updated: June 2015

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