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Guarantor of a construction company

This page is intended for current and future guarantors. It provides a good understanding of what guarantors are and makes them aware of their responsibilities. It further provides interactive training exercises designed to facilitate learning.

Click on the following links to scroll down to the required information:

What is a guarantor?

Guarantors are responsible for managing activities for a company in the field in which their knowledge or experience has been recognized by the RBQ and must, in that capacity, participate actively and on an ongoing basis in such management. Guarantors are also responsible for all communication with the RBQ.

A guarantor can be:

  • a natural person who owns a sole proprietorship
  • the member of a partnership
  • a director or officer as defined in the Business Corporations Act or, in the case of a legal person, a shareholder holding 10% or more of the voting rights attached to the shares
  • a full-time manager of a partnership or legal person. In that case, they participate in the management, administration, operation or organization of the company’s activities. The guarantor’s working hours correspond to company’s established work day and week

Who can become a guarantor?

Anyone wishing to qualify as a guarantor must, among others:

  • be of legal age
  • pass the exams or successfully complete a training program exempting them from the exams or present their professional file for each field of qualification and subclass for which they have applied, and, if applicable,
  • have obtained a certificate of discharge following a personal bankruptcy.

However, they cannot, for example:

  • in the five years preceding their application, have been convicted of, or served a term of imprisonment for one of the following offences:
    • a violation of a fiscal law or an indictable offence related to the activities they intend to carry out in the construction industry
    • collusion or bid-rigging
    • trafficking, importing, exporting or producing drugs
    • fraud, gangsterism or money laundering.
  • falsify or misrepresent the facts relating to a licence application, or fail to provide information in order to obtain a licence.

Guarantors’ responsibilities

Being a guarantor carries a number of responsibilities. Failure to comply with these can result in the restriction or cancellation of a licence.

Responsibilities common to all guarantors

Probity

A guarantor must:

  • respect and enforce laws and regulations
  • be honest and respectful with clients and other stakeholders
  • establish safety practices on job sites
  • notify the RBQ when they stop being a guarantor
  • comply with judgments rendered against the company and its officers.

A guarantor must not:

  • contravene the clauses of a contract or allow the company to do so
  • allow the company to abandon or stop construction work without a reasonable cause
  • interfere with construction work or allow such nuisance
  • allow the company to use down payments for other than their intended purposes
  • intimidate a client
  • authorize false invoicing.

Maintaining competency

The guarantor is responsible for ensuring that their qualifications are up to date, since they must assure the RBQ and the public that the company possesses pertinent knowledge or experience in the management of a construction enterprise.

Involvement within the company

The guarantor is required to take an active and ongoing part in the company’s management activities. They must not be a prête-nom, also known as a guarantor of convenience. A prête-nom is a person who qualifies as a company’s guarantor without being involved in its management. The company and its management then become accomplices and risk having the RBQ either suspend or cancel their licence. Furthermore, the person who has acted as a guarantor of convenience could be denied a licence since this form of behaviour could compromise their probity, integrity or honesty.

Moreover, anyone who, when applying for a licence or at any time during a licence’s period of validity, acts as a prête-nom, calls on a prête-nom, or has a prête-nom among its directors, is liable to a substantial fine. Go to the Fines [Fr] page for amounts.

Responsibilities related to the field of qualification

There are four types of guarantors, based on the field of qualification. Each of these plays a specific role in the company’s proper operation.

Administration guarantor

The administration guarantor plays a key role in the management of the construction company, its financial soundness and its compliance with administrative obligations. As such, they must assume responsibility for:

  • paying the licence fees and charges
  • keeping the licence and licence security in effect and adhering to the guarantee plan, if necessary
  • displaying the licence number
  • keeping the company’s file with the RBQ up to date
  • making payroll deductions and
  • remitting GST and QST instalments.

Construction site safety management guarantor

The construction site safety management guarantor is required to take the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of workers, subcontractors and anyone else under their responsibility on the company’s job site. They must also ensure that workers are registered with the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST). In addition, they should be in charge of, among others:

  • developing a prevention program
  • enforcing the measures prescribed by the Act respecting occupational health and safety and the CNESST’s Safety Code for the construction industry.

Project and site management guarantor

The project and site management guarantor plans, organizes, conducts and assesses activities relating to construction projects as a whole. To this end, they are in charge, among others, of:

  • submitting tender bids
  • concluding contracts and ensuring compliance
  • enforcing standards and regulations, including provisions of the Construction Code
  • inspecting construction work along with the work provider
  • ensuring the quality of the work.

Construction work guarantor

The construction work guarantor must ensure that the company and its subcontractors fully comply with the standards, regulations and construction techniques specific to the type of construction work covered by their licence subclass, in collaboration with the project and site management guarantor. They also assume:

  • the review of plans and specifications
  • the application of procedures related to the execution of the work.

Interactive training capsules

Each of the three following 20-minute interactive capsules contains learning exercises helping guarantors and aspiring guarantors to understand their role within a company:

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