Employment Sector Licensing

The employment sector involves the hiring of workforce for organisations, commonly done through employment agencies. In order to legally work within Singapore, a valid pass is required.

Quick Facts

Any business activity that involves forms of recruitment and / or job placement services for other employers requires a license from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) before the business can commence. Employment agencies can be identified as, head-hunting firms, local and foreign staffing companies, online nanny-placing agencies or even online job portals.

Types of Licenses  

Through the many different types of employment, there are specific types of licenses/permits that are required to enable one to begin working in Singapore or employ others to. To find out the license and requirements specific to you and your situation, click the link below and fill out a brief survey to learn more.

Common Examples

How to Obtain an Employment Agency License

There are four different types of Employment Agency licenses: Comprehensive License (All), Comprehensive License (Local), Comprehensive License (non-Foreign Domestic Worker) and a Select License (SL). Each license has separate eligibility requirements.  

However, upon applying for any license, an application fee of S$400 must be paid. When a license is successfully issued, a fee of S$100 must be paid. For an in-principle approval (IPA) the time taken is approximately 7 working days and for processing documents the time taken is also approximately 7 working days. The license is then issued upon 3 working days upon receipt of documents. All licenses are valid for 3 years time.  

Comprehensive Licenses

When considering applying for a Comprehensive License, you must first identify whether you require a Certificate of Employment Intermediaries (CEI). The CEI ensures that Employment Agency (EA) personnel understand their obligations under the law and are able to correctly advise their clients of their rights and responsibilities.  

The CEI is required for all key appointment holders (regardless whether they perform EA work), all EA personnel doing EA work, Director / Managing Director, Partner / General Partner and owners. The CEI is not required for those EA personnel not performing EA work. For more details about the CEI, click here.  

For all Comprehensive Licenses a security deposit is required, this deposit can range from S$20,000 to S$60,000, depending on the number of Work Permit and S pass holders placed as well as the demerit points accumulated. For new EAs, a security deposit of S$60,000 is required.

Select Licenses

A Select License is suitable for workers earning a monthly salary of exceeding S$4,500. A Certificate of Employment Intermediaries (CEI) is not required for those applying for a Select License. However, a security deposit of S$20,000 to S$60,000 is required. This is dependent on the number of demerit points accumulated. For new EAs, the security deposit required is S$20,000.

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