Employment Agency License in Singapore

All recruitment agencies that operate in Singapore must have to obtain an Employment Agency License (EAL) before beginning their operations. It's required for all types of recruitment companies and is overseen by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of Singapore.


    Note:This form is not for job seekers

    or salary employees.

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    singapore employment agency license

    Singapore Employment Agency License

    Singapore is frequently regarded as the top of the list of nations that have the lowest amount of red paperwork as well as the most effective bureaucracy. 

    With Singapore is encouraging foreigners in the middle and executive to manual workers to come to Singapore for work There are many small and large recruitment agencies and head-hunting firms to assist Singapore companies with their requirements for staffing.

    All recruitment agencies that operate in Singapore must have to obtain an Employment Agency License (EAL) before beginning their operations. This is the fundamental license that is required for all types of recruitment companies and is overseen by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of Singapore.

     The employment agency license elsewhere is called:

    • License for a recruitment agency
    • License for staffing agencies
    • License for a placement agency
    • License for a Manpower agency

    This article gives you the information you need if are thinking about obtaining an employment agency license in Singapore.

    Who requires an Employment Agency License?

    Any entity or individual who is involved in the employment agency business in Singapore needs to apply for the Employment Agency License. 

    This applies regardless of whether the company is based in Singapore or abroad, in any case, and regardless of whether it is dealing with employment in Singapore or elsewhere. Employment agency operations include the following:

    • Contacting prospective candidates about their applications for jobs;
    • Compiling the resumes of prospective candidates looking for work;
    • Sending Singapore Work Visa applications to Authorities on behalf of candidates or employers or candidates; and
    • Facilitating placement of candidates with employers.

    An agency that is not involved in putting candidates on the payroll of employers or has no significant influence on the outcome of employment conditions and terms is not required to hold the Employment Agency License. The types of entities are:

    • Individuals who provide ad-hoc informal or casual job recommendations;
    • Centers or agencies that pair tuition instructors with students;
    • Online job portals, as well as jobs bulletin boards
    • Courier services are employed in job or recruitment operations;
    • The campus placement divisions in Singapore’s universities are autonomous.

    Which employment agency license is right for you?

    If your company is planning to conduct business that requires an employee agency permit, you can select one of the following license categories taking into consideration the specifics of your circumstance:

    Complete License (All): Covers employment for job seekers regardless of nationality.

    Full license (Non-Foreign domestic worker): Covers employment of applicants regardless of nationality. However, it excludes foreign domestic employees i.e. foreigners whose profession stated on their application for an employment license includes “domestic worker”.

    Complete License (Local): It covers only the employment of Singaporeans as well as Singapore permanent residents but does not cover the employment of foreigners.

    Select License: It covers the employment rights of anyone who earns a salary per month that is greater than SGD 4,500.


    Employment Agency License Application Procedure

    1. The application must be submitted to the Commissioner

    To apply for or renew an agency’s license to work, the principal applicant has to fill out the application form and submit it to the commissioner (Ministry of Human Resources) along with the cost of $400 (this can be completed on the internet). Within 7 days, you will be notified of an email with an approval in principle or rejection.

    2. Security bond and banker’s guarantees documents

    Within four weeks of the date of receipt of the approval above, you must put up a security bond -you can purchase the security bond, and submit all the required forms and documents to the commissioner.

    The amount of this security deposit is decided by the Commissioner in the following manner:

    For all Comprehensive Licenses:

    • $60,000 in the first year of operation.
    • Between $20,000 and $60,000 starting in the 2nd year according to the number of workers Permit or S Pass holders enrolled and the number of demerit points previously accrued.

    For Select Licenses:

    • You’ll be requiring $20k in the first year of operation.
    • Between $20,000 and $60,000 starting in the 2nd year dependent on the number of points demerit previously accumulated.

    Within 7 days, you will receive an email of your application being approved, subject to paying to issue the license.

    3. To obtain the permit

    If the Commissioner chooses to issue an extension or renewal to a license another fee of $100 has to be paid. Within 3 days of the payment has been made it will issue the license.

    4. Employment agency employees who register for employment

    A company must, prior to permitting employees to perform any work that is specified by the agency be able to apply to the Commissioner for registration of the personnel. The registration fee for each individual will be $160 per employee.

    Participants who have been registered will be issued a registration number and their details are uploaded into MOM’s resources. The process generally takes seven days.

    5. Registration cards are issued

    On the day of registration for any employee of the employment agency and upon registration, the agency must issue a registration card to employees in the form that is prescribed.

    If required, the personnel should present their registration cards to any customer who is seeking a job, and permit that individual to keep the details from their registration cards.

    Employment Agency Setup Key Information & Requirements

    The following essential requirements apply to the establishment of an agency for employment in Singapore:

    Register a Singapore company
    It is necessary to first create the Singapore company, and then choose a business activity code that is suitable for the type of recruitment you’ll be conducting. For information on how you can set up a Singapore firm, read the Singapore Company incorporation guide.

    Create a business office
    The company needs to set up an operational business office. There are many alternatives for office space that you could choose from based on the needs of your business and your budget. 

    It is important to note that you have to obtain permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA) when you are planning to make any modifications or additions to a conservation property. 

    Apply for an Employment Agency License:
    The company must obtain an Employment Agency License, either a Select License or a Comprehensive License which is generated by the Ministry of Manpower Of Singapore. The license can only be issued to legal entities, not individuals.

    Security deposit pay
    Businesses that have been issued the Select License must furnish a Security Deposit of $20,000 in the form of a Banker’s Guarantee as opposed to companies granted a Comprehensive License will have to provide a security amount of S$60,000.

    Certification of personnel from an employment agency
    If an employee wishes to work for an employment and agency or with a comprehensive license, they must be certified with the Certificate for Employment Intermediaries (CEI) course.  Even though the CEO, and CFO, who are holding bigger positions in the firm must have this certification.

    The certification is essential before obtaining approval for an employment agency. 

    Registration of employees from employment agencies
    Every one of the laborers of a company as well as the key individuals who do employment agency-related work pays little attention to knowing whether they are recruited by Comprehensive approved offices, or select authorized offices that ought to be recorded with Singapore MOM and have a standard registration card.

    Registration is not mandatory for key appointment holders or other personnel of the agency when they are not performing the work of an employment agency.

    Employment agency eligibility requirements for employees
    Personnel employed by employment agencies such as important appointment holders have to be either a Singapore citizen, Singapore permanent resident, or an international citizen who has a valid Singapore employment visa.

    Additionally, (s)he is required to be recognized (if appropriate). Additionally, the person must be free of court or bankruptcy judgments.

    The Validity, Suspension as well as the Revocation of a License

    The license is valid for a specific period which is determined in each case and usually is three years. The license can be renewed, in order to do this, you must send to the Commissioner an application for renewal at least three months prior to the expiry date.

    Although you must be prepared to pay the $400 fee at the time you apply, the second fee of $100 after the license is renewed is granted to you.

    The Commissioner is able to suspend or cancel this license at any point in the event that the Commissioner finds there is a violation of the licensing rules by the licensed person.

    • Is in violation of the applicable laws;
    • Isn’t in compliance with the terms and conditions of the license.
    • It acts in a way that could harm the interests of his clients
    • It’s no longer operating the function of an agency for employment;
    • There is no employment agency for an uninterrupted period of six months;
    • Has acted in opposition to the public interest
    • Has committed a criminal offense is a criminal;
    • is no longer an appropriate and qualified person to be a holder of the license



    It is mandatory for employment agencies to have a security bond before a licensing of employment agencies is granted to them. The MOM can submit a request to MOM to determine the deposit amount.

    A basic registration card will be issued to every person. The individuals will only be able to register under only one employment agency at a moment.

    If you have any confusion about your Employment Agency License, we are ODINT Consultancy, here to help you out in each & every step of yours.


    A reasonable timeline based on the entire process that is involved could be 3-4 weeks.

    The Select License requires a security deposit of $20,000 while the Comprehensive License requires a security deposit of S$60,000. The deposit must be in the form of a Banker’s Guarantee.

    The license is valid for 3 years and is able to be renewed at any time after the expiration date.