To ensure your agency licence remains valid throughout its term, you must, at all times, meet the following obligations set forth in the PSA and its regulations.
Failure to do so may result in penal sanctions (fines) or administrative sanctions (suspension, revocation, or non-renewal), as the case may be. For more details, go to the BSP’s Powers and Investigations and Inspections sections.
Display the agency licence
Your agency must display its licence or an official copy of it at each of its places of business. It must be displayed such that it is legible and readily visible to the public.
Caution: Making a photocopy of the licence for the purposes of displaying it in your places of business is prohibited. You must request an official copy from BSP for each establishment by completing the appropriate form.
Pay the annual fees
Each year, your agency must pay its annual licence fees by the anniversary date of the licence’s issue. To find out the anniversary date, check the validity dates listed on your licence. For example, if the licence reads “Valide : 2017-07-22 au 2020-07-21,” the annual fees must be paid no later than July 22 of each year.
A few weeks before this date, you will receive a payment notice from BSP indicating the annual agency licence fees to be paid. On the back, you will find important reminders and the authorized payment methods.
To consult the rates in effect, go to the Fee Schedule section.
In the event of non-payment, the licence will be suspended for a specific period and administrative charges for late payment will be added to the licence fees. If you do not pay the annual fees and these charges during the suspension period, the licence will be revoked. Your agency will be prohibited from offering private security services during both the suspension and revocation periods.
Tip: add a reminder to your agenda!
Annual security checks
Each year, when you pay the annual fees, you must complete the security check form for any owner, director, shareholder, or partner with a major interest in the agency to confirm or update the information required for the annual security check. The purpose of the security check is to confirm that these individuals continue to meet the following criteria:
- They have never been found guilty of a criminal offence related to the private security activity for which the agency is requesting a licence, unless they have obtained a pardon.
- They are of good moral character, i.e., conduct themselves in accordance with society’s moral and social values.
BSP will send their personal information to Sûreté du Québec (SQ) so that it can perform a security check. SQ will then inform BSP of the results of its verification and give its opinion as to whether each person has met the criteria.
Upon receipt of this information, BSP will determine whether these individuals continue to meet the criminal history and moral character criteria.
Which individuals affiliated with the agency are subject to a security check?
The individuals who must submit to a security check are the owner, any partner or shareholder with a major interest in the enterprise, and any director. A major interest is where a partner owns 10% or more of the shares or a shareholder directly or indirectly owns 10% or more of the voting shares of the enterprise.
For example, the following are subject to a security check:
- In a sole proprietorship: The owner
- In a partnership: Partners who own 10% or more of the shares as well as the directors, if applicable
- In a company (corporation): Shareholders who own 10% or more of the voting shares as well as members of the board of directors
Do not confuse directors with officers! Only directors are subject to a security check.
What if a business owner, shareholder, or partner is a legal entity?
If a business owner, shareholder, or partner is a legal entity, the entity’s shareholders or partners who directly or indirectly own 10% or more of the voting shares or shares, as the case may be, as well as the directors are subject to a security check. The same logic applies if these owners/shareholders/partners are also legal entities.
Here’s a practical tip for a multi-layered corporate structure: Create an organizational chart of the corporate structure and include the names of all partners or shareholders and their interest percentages (shares or voting shares). Add the names of the directors of these entities. Continue doing this until all the names of owners/partners/shareholders/directors are only those of natural persons.
Notify BSP of any change likely to affect the validity of the licence
The criteria under which your agency licence was issued must continue to be met throughout the term of the licence. However, if any changes occur or if such changes are likely to affect the validity of your agency licence, you must immediately notify BSP in writing. Examples:
- The agency’s contact details change.
- Someone affiliated with the agency or the representative is charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence.
- A place of business is added or closed.
- There is a change in legal entity.
- Owners, directors, partners, or shareholders are added or removed.
- The representative is replaced.
- The agency goes bankrupt.
- There is a change in the agency’s insurance or security.
Fees are charged for certain changes. It is therefore important to use the appropriate form and include any required document and payment.
Keep a register of employees who carry on a private security activity
Your agency must create and maintain a register of anyone in its employ who carries on a private security activity.
This register must be kept at the agency’s principal establishment in Québec and list the following information about each person:
- First and last name;
- Private security activity (class) carried on for the agency;
- Date hired; and
- Employment termination date, if applicable;
You may be asked to provide this document during an inspection conducted by BSP inspectors.
IMPORTANT - Do your employees have the appropriate valid licences?
It is imperative that your agency hire agents with the appropriate licences to work in private security. You must also ensure that their licences are valid when they perform private security activities. Otherwise, both the employees and the agency may be subject to penal sanctions.
Your agency’s My Account section allows you to perform a batch verification of all your employees. The batch verification Guide will state the steps to follow in order to process a verification of your employees agent licence's validity.
Not registered yet? Go to the My Account section and follow the instructions.
Notify BSP if your business ceases its private security activities
Has your business stopped offering private security services? Don’t throw out your licences!
When you decide to cease your enterprise’s security activities or to sell, merge, or otherwise transfer your business or its private security activities, you should follow these steps:
Step 1: Complete and send us the Request for the Revocation of a Licence form. BSP will revoke your licence when requested.
Step 2: You must return your agency licence and any official copies of it by mail or in person within 15 days after the revocation date. If you have already ceased offering private security services, you can return your licence and any copies with the revocation form.
An agency licence cannot be transferred
An agency licence is issued in consideration of the specific characteristics of the legal entity that applies for it. It therefore cannot be transferred to another legal entity.
Accordingly, if an agency:
- changes legal form (e.g., sole proprietorship becomes incorporated);
- sells its private security activities to another company, with or without the associated company names; or
- merges with another business, and the resulting entity is a legal entity separate from the licensed agency;
a new licence application must be submitted by the legal entity now offering private security services, even if it is doing business under the same name.
Notify BSP of any change in your business information listed in the Register
You must notify BSP of any change in your enterprise information that appears in the Register of licence holders no later than 30 days after the change occurs, including:
- A change of name of the legal entity;
- A change in the head office’s contact information;
- The addition or modification of a place of business (establishment);
- A change in representative or the representative’s workplace contact information.
Replace your representative at BSP’s request
If the representative appointed by an agency no longer meets the criteria for being appointed representative, BSP may require the individual to be replaced. This might be the case if the representative is found guilty of a criminal offence in relation to the services the agency offers, for example.
Follow all BSP directives
BSP may give your agency directives on the conduct of its activities at any time to protect the public. If you receive such written directives, you must be sure to follow them in accordance with the terms set out.