You are required to obtain an employment agency licence if you are providing recruitment and placement services to other employers or submitting Singapore Work Visa applications to the authorities on behalf of employers or candidates.

Comprehensive Licence

– Comprehensive Licence (ALL)

Able to place any type of workers.

– Comprehensive Licence (Local)

Able to place local workers.

– Comprehensive Licence (non-FDW)

Able to place local workers or foreign workers, except Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW)

– Employees of Employment Agency under Comprehensive Licences

Key appointment holders and employment agency personnel doing Employment Agency work need to get the Certificate of Employment Intermediaries (CEI).

Fees & validity:

  • $171.20 for the test, payable to NTUC Learning Hub Pte. Ltd. (excluding course fee)

Select Licence (SL)

Able to place workers earning a monthly salary of more than $4,500

Cannot register 78103 (Maid agencies) as one of the business activities

Licence criteria:

  • Company that is registered with ACRA and is the Management Director, Director or Authorised Representative
  • Singaporean / PR / Employment Pass or Personalised Employment Pass holder can apply
  • Must have at least one of the following business activities in ACRA:

> 78103 (maid agencies)

> 78104 (employment agency – exclude maid agencies)

> 78105 (executive search)

  • Not an undischarged bankrupt
  • Not have any previous conviction under Women’s Charter, Children and Young Persons Act, Penal Code, Immigration Act, Employment Agencies Act and Employment of Foreign Manpower Act in Singapore or elsewhere
  • Not have any offence records involving dishonesty or human trafficking
  • Not have been involved in the management of an employment agency whose license had been revoked
  • Need to declare your affiliation with family members if they are also a holding key positions in an Employment Agency.

Fees & validity:

  • An application fee of $400 is payable.
    • Once the submission of the application has been done, you will receive an IPA notification by email or SMS, login to GoBusiness Licensing to download the IPA document. IPA is valid for 4 weeks.
    • After receiving your IPA letter, you will need to buy the security bond (in the form of a banker’s guarantee) from a bank within 4 weeks. The security bond for All Comprehensive Licences will be $60,000 while for Select Licence will be $20,000.
    • Submit the Security Bond form, Banker’s Guarantee form and other required documents by post to the Employment Agency Licensing Branch.
  • A licence fee of $100 is payable upon approval of the licence application, usually 7 working days after the requirement documents have been submitted.
  • Validity period: 3 years from date of issue
  • Processing time: 14 working days

Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices

Effective 1 October 2020, all Employment Agencies are to comply with the fair recruitment requirements stipulated in the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices guidelines for all employers.

The basic Fair Employment principles include:

  • Recruit and select employees on the basis of merit (such as skills, experience or ability to perform the job), regardless of age, race, gender, religion, marital status and family responsibilities, or disability.
  • Treat employees fairly and with respect, and implement progressive human resource management systems.
    Provide employees with equal opportunity to be considered for training and development based on their strengths and needs, to help them achieve their full potential.
  • Reward employees fairly based on their ability, performance, contribution and experience.
  • Abide by labour laws and adopt the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices.

Please refer to the Complete TGFEP Guidelines for more details and explanation regarding the Do’s and Don’t’s.