Obtaining the Employment Agency License in Singapore

Operating an employment agency in Singapore is a business activity that requires a license. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you get started.

Operating an employment agency in Singapore requires a license. If you're considering starting a new venture into this field, understanding the requirements for obtaining an Employment Agency License is essential. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you get started.

Understanding Employment Agency Licenses

Before diving into the application process, it's important to understand the different types of Employment Agency Licenses available in Singapore. These are categorised into four main types:

1. Comprehensive License (All): Allows the placement of any type of workers, regardless of nationality.

2. Comprehensive License (Local): For agencies focusing on placing local workers only.

3. Comprehensive License (Non-FDW): Permits the placement of local and foreign workers, excluding Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs).

4. Select License (SL): Designed for agencies placing workers earning a monthly salary of more than SGD 4,500.

Each license type caters to different market segments and comes with its own set of requirements and conditions.

Key Requirements and Application Process

To apply for an Employment Agency License, certain criteria must be met, including:

Eligibility: The application must be submitted by key appointment holders such as the owner, managing director, or partner, who must be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, not an undischarged bankrupt, and free from convictions related to dishonesty or human trafficking.

Certification: For all Comprehensive Licenses, obtaining a Certificate of Employment Intermediaries (CEI) is mandatory for key appointment holders and personnel involved in employment agency work.

Security Deposit: A security deposit ranging from SGD 20,000 to SGD 60,000 is required, depending on the license type and other factors.

The application process involves several steps, starting with applying for the CEI (if required), submitting the application via the GoBusiness Licensing portal, and paying the application fee of SGD 400. Following in-principle approval, you'll need to submit security bond and banker’s guarantee documents, and finally, pay the issuance fee of SGD 100 to get your license.

Validity and Compliance

Employment Agency Licenses are valid for 3 years and can be renewed. It's crucial to comply with the Employment Agencies Act and the conditions of your license to avoid suspension or revocation. This includes maintaining proper records, ensuring fair employment practices, and adhering to ethical recruitment standards.


Setting up an employment agency in Singapore requires careful planning and adherence to regulatory requirements. By understanding the types of licenses available, meeting the key requirements, and following the application process diligently, you can establish a compliant and successful employment agency.