You’ve decided to start a pest control business, congratulations. Pest control businesses can be lucrative and profitable, generating an estimated $80,000 per year. Before you begin your crusade against rodents and cockroaches in Sydney’s Inner West, it is important first to ensure that your business is compliant with the relevant laws and you have essential business structures and procedures in place. Remember, you will be dealing with potentially harmful chemicals if you don’t appropriately manage your risks. 

Licensing

Every individual pest technician must have a licence issued by the NSW Environment and Protection Authority (EPA). To gain the Pest Management Licence (PMT), you must be over 18 years and have completed training or qualification in pest management from a registered training organisation.

Not only is a licence an essential requirement for government regulations and to receive insurance, it is a way to build trust with your clients.

Compliance with the Law

A large part of having a pest control business or being a pest technician is managing risk. Above all, your must comply with the EPA’s specifications as well as fulfill your responsibilities to protect clients, people and animals exposed to treatment sites.

It is compulsory to notify people if they may have exposure to pesticides.  This is often essential when treating multiple occupancy residential complexes, such as strata properties.

After each pest treatment, pest control businesses or pest technicians are legally required to maintain records detailing the following: 

  • What pesticides were used?
  • Which areas were they applied?
  • What concentration was used?

This is necessary in case of accidental poisoning and to also manage risk.

All pesticides used must have a label and a Material Safety and Data Sheet (MSDS). This sheet enables your pest technician to understand the risks, risk management and product components for the pesticide. The manufacturer must supply these, but it is the pest technician’s responsibility to use them in controlling the risk. Clients often request the MSDS, and it is a requirement to supply the MSDS to commercial clients.

A Safe Work Place

If you run a pest control business, you are responsible for your staff as well as your clients. Having a clearly drafted employee handbook compliant with Safe Work Australia laws will assist with workplace relations and remove the stress from accidents that occur at work, as well as preventing possible workplace related injuries. Dealing with pesticides is a risk that you need to handle appropriately.

Now What?

It is important to have a business structure in place to allow your business to grow and flourish. Ensure that you pack your legal lunchbox with an employee handbook to manage your relationship with your employers, and a client agreement that clearly outlines both parties rights and responsibilities, and limits your liability. And of course, is pest free.

Questions? Get in touch on 1300 544 755.

Sophie Glover

Next Steps

If you would like further information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please get in touch using the form on this page.