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Open a Singapore Recruitment Company

Open a Singapore Recruitment Company

Employment agencies in Singapore are established in order to facilitate other company with the recruitment of personnel. Employment agencies may also help Singapore companies to hire personnel from abroad. As the Singapore employment market has expanded a lot during the last years, more and more recruitment agencies have also started to appear. However, there are certain requirements to be met before starting an employment agency in Singapore in 2024. Among these, the recruitment agency must obtain certain business licenses with the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore.

The video below shows the main steps to open a company in Singapore as a recruitment agency:

The Employment Agencies Law in Singapore

Foreign investors who want to open a Singapore company and apply for a staffing agency license must comply with the Employment Agencies Act which was enabled in 1958. The law was last amended in 2012 and provides for all the requirements to start this type of company in Singapore. It also provides for exceptions from applying for a special license related to recruiting personnel in Singapore.

One of the most important provisions of the Employment Agency Law in Singapore refers to key appointment holders who control the recruitment company and must have a certain moral conduct, but most of all a clear criminal record. The employees of the recruitment agency must also have clear criminal records.

Our Singapore company formation agents can offer more information on the Employment Agencies Law.

Recruitment agency license in Singapore

All companies or citizens in Singapore involved in employment agency activities are required to apply for an employment agency license with the Ministry of Manpower. Singapore employment agencies activities mean:

  • interviewing candidates about job applications,
  • collecting resumes of candidates looking for employment in Singapore,
  • submitting employment visa applications on behalf of a company or a candidate,
  • facilitating the placement of employees.

Singapore recruitment agencies may select the type of license it wants to apply for:

  • the select license;
  • the comprehensive license.

Our Singapore consultants in company formation will guide you through the license application procedure with the Ministry of Manpower.

How to open a company in Singapore as a recruitment agency in 2024

The first step when opening a recruitment agency in 2024 is to select the type of Singapore company and register it with the Trade Register. Once the company is registered, a business office must be selected for which an approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore must be obtained. The third step will be the application for the employment agency license. Depending on the type of employment agency license, Singapore recruitment companies are required to pay a security deposit as it follows:

  • for the select license the security deposit is 20,000 S$,
  • for the comprehensive license the security deposit varies between 20,000 $S and 60,000 S$ depending on the placement volume.

Employees of recruitment companies in Singapore must pass the Certificate for Employment Intermediaries (CEI) course. The personnel of Singapore employment agencies must also register with Ministry of Manpower.

The select and the comprehensive licenses in Singapore

Staffing agencies in Singapore can apply for two main types of licenses, as seen above. However, the comprehensive license is divided into the following sub-categories:

  • the comprehensive license for any type of workers (AII);
  • the comprehensive license for local employees (L);
  • the comprehensive license for local and foreign employees (non-FDW).

The select license is available for recruitment agencies hiring employees with a salary above 4,500 SGD per month. All types of licenses have a three-year validity period and can be renewed.

Applying for an employment agency license in Singapore

In order to apply for an employment agency (EA) license, a Singapore company must file the following documents with the Ministry of Manpower:

  • apply for a security bond with a Singapore bank; the amount must cover 15 months of activity;
  • a copy after the ID for nationals, or employment visa for foreign citizens;
  • a copy after the company’s business profile issued by ACRA;
  • a passport-size photograph;
  • a copy of the pre-approval letter issued by the Ministry of Manpower;
  • a copy of the Certificate for Employment Intermediary course which stipulates the applicant passed the test;
  • a checklist issued by the Ministry.

The employment market in Singapore

According to the Ministry of Manpower, the total employment grew by 4,900 new hires in the first quarter of 2024. Most of the employees were Singapore residents. The number of non-resident employees fell compared to the previous year due to a contraction in the construction sector.

With respect to unemployment, numbers indicate that:

  • the rate of unemployment among residents was 3%;
  • the rate of unemployed citizens was 3.1%;
  • the overall unemployment rate was 2.1%.

With respect to recruitment, Singaporeans are reluctant to job changes, as in the 6 months of the year they were more focused on securing their positions.

For recruitment company registration, please contact our specialists in opening companies in Singapore.