Apply for a security firm licence

You need a security firm licence if:

  • you are a person, corporation or partnership that provides security firm services
  • you receive payment or reward for providing security services, even if you subcontract the actual security work out to other people
  • you supply staff to provide security services.

You don’t need a security firm licence if you:

  • employ security staff to protect your property
  • operate as a sole trader and do all the security work yourself.

Application for a security firm's licence (PDF, 438KB)


To be eligible for a licence, you or your company will need to be a member of an approved industry association.

You and any partners or corporation officer holders must:

  • be 18 years or older
  • not pose a risk to public safety.

All staff you supply must have licenses for the type of work they are performing.

You are not eligible for a licence if you, or any partners or officers of the corporation, have been convicted of a disqualifying offence in the past 10 years, where a conviction was recorded.

You must also tell us if you, or any partners or officers of the corporation, have been found guilty of a disqualifying offence in the past 5 years, where a conviction was not recorded (this is known as an ‘unrecorded finding of guilt’). We may ask you for further information so we can assess if you are a suitable person to hold a licence.

Types of firm

You can apply to have a class 1, class 2 or combined licence, depending on what services you offer.

You are a class 1 security firm if you supply:

  • bodyguards
  • private investigators
  • crowd controllers
  • cash transit security officers
  • unarmed security officers
  • monitoring security officers
  • dog patrol security officers.

You are a class 2 security firm if you supply:

  • security advisers
  • security equipment installers.


Individuals’ identification

When you lodge the form, you will need to attach 100 points of formal identification. These documents must be either original (if lodged at the counter) or certified copies.

Your identification must include at least 1 of the following 5 documents:

  • Birth certificate or extract
  • Passport
  • ImmiCard
  • A driver’s licence
  • An 18+ card.

You may also need to include some of the following documents to make up your 100 points:

  • Citizenship certificate
  • An ID card
  • A social security card
  • A letter from your employer
  • Any other official letter, card or statement listed on the application form.

You will need to pay certain fees when you lodge your application. These include:

  • the licence fee (as listed on the form)
  • a criminal history check fee of $39.45 per person
  • a fingerprinting fee of $100 per person.


By law, the police need to fingerprint all security providers. This includes all partners and corporation officer holders listed on an application for a security firm licence. We will contact you after you lodge your application form to explain what you need to do.

Criminal history check

To confirm your suitability, we will submit your application for a criminal history check. This will be thorough and may be time consuming.

The criminal history check will apply to each individual named in your application.

If you were born in New Zealand or have a New Zealand passport, you need to get a copy of your criminal history or a letter indicating you have no criminal history from New Zealand. For more information, visit the New Zealand Ministry of Justice website.

You don’t have to pay any fees to get a New Zealand criminal history check. We can only accept original documents dated within one month of the date you send them to us.

Processing time

The processing time is 4–6 weeks. This can take longer if you have not supplied us with the all the information we need or you have not paid the correct fees.


Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to a partial refund if:

  • you withdraw your application
  • we refuse your application.

You may also get a refund on the fees for:

  • fingerprinting
  • your criminal history check.


Your industry association will need to do a compliance audit on each member of your firm. They will:

  • determine how the audit will take place
  • hire a certified accountant to do the work
  • pass any costs onto your firm (at their discretion)
  • repeat the process at least once every 3 years.


You don’t need any training to hold this licence.