We love helping new businesses launch, including businesses for friends and lovers! Here’s your guide to starting the next RSVP or meet-up site in Queensland. A business that runs a dating agency is called an “introduction agent”. Introduction agents introduce people to others who are interested in having a personal relationship or attending a social gathering.
Do I need a licence?
Under the Introduction Agents Act 2001 (Qld), an introduction agent must be licensed.
If you work as an introduction agent without a licence, you could be fined up to $22,770.
How do I get a license?
You don’t need any training, but you must be 18 years or older, not insolvent, and you must not have committed certain offences.
There are a number of offences that will prevent you from getting an introduction licence. Some of these include things like drug offences, prostitution offences and gaming and vagrancy offences. If you have been convicted of serious crimes within 5 years prior to your application, you will be disqualified.
What if I’m outside of Queensland?
You will need a licence if you are offering services to clients in Queensland, even if you are based outside of Queensland (including overseas) or are based solely online.
What agreement do I need? Introduction Agency Agreement
You are required to have a signed Introduction Agency Agreement with a client before any service is provided to them.
You will need to include:
- Your licence number
- The names, addresses and telephone number of the parties
- Full description of the service and on what terms the service is offered
- Price of the service and method of payment
- The term of the agreement
There is also a 3 business day cooling-off period. This means that your client can cancel during this period and you must refund all the money paid, less a cancellation fee. You must refund this within 7 days of receiving their notice of cancellation.
We recommend setting all of these rights out in your Introduction Agency Agreement.
What disclosure do I need? Disclosure statement
You are required by law to provide a pre-contractual disclosure statement. This must be given to the client before they sign the Introduction Agency Agreement.
The disclosure statement is to give the client a clear idea of the introduction service and how it works. In a disclosure statement, you are required to include:
- Your name as the agent
- The types and levels of service that you provide, and the prices at each level
- Methods of payment
- What criteria you will be using for introductions and the methods used
- Refund policies
- Complaint procedures
Keeping your licence
Once you get your licence, it is important to continue complying with the law so you can keep it! The Queensland Fair Trading Department can send inspectors who investigate claims made against you, do spot checks, and can take enforcement action for a breach.
You can not only be fined for not conducting your business properly, but there are maximum penalties imposed for hindering an inspector’s investigation or visit.
LegalVision would love to assist you to establish an introduction agency in Queensland. We have a team of great lawyers with online business experience. Please call our office on 1300 544 755 and our Client Care team will happily provide you with an obligation-free consultation and a fixed-fee quote.