Starting A Recruitment Company in Singapore

Expanding a recruitment business overseas can be a great strategy for encouraging growth, demonstrating scalability and ultimately increasing the value of your business. Recruiters are quickly recognising that some of the greatest opportunities lie further afield and seeking new markets can help put your business ahead of the competition.

Why Singapore?

As the gateway to Southeast Asia, Singapore plays a vital role throughout the region. With growing trade and investment relations between Singapore and the emerging markets of Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam, the recruitment industry is expected to grow in the professional services sector, particularly in the construction and data analytics sector. You can read more about business incorporation in Singapore.

Singapore has a simple and low tax regime where the corporate tax rate is 17% of chargeable income. Depending on the nature of the business, qualifying new companies are entitled to tax exemption on the first S$100,000, and a further 50% exemption on the next S$200,000 of the normal chargeable income. (as of 12th May 2016).

Why use to assist with setting up a recruitment business in Singapore?

Understanding local employment legislation, accounting requirements, language barriers and red-tape can often deter businesses from the outset. At our team of professional experts have years of experience and are always available to help guide you through the entire process.

  • We provide expert help and advice in setting up your recruitment business in Singapore from start to finish
  • We will guide you throughout the incorporation process
  • A unique one-stop solution for all your Singapore company formation requirements that you can’t find anywhere else

Services we provide include:

  • Company formation in Singapore
  • Accounting services and payroll (direct introductions or project managed through our sister company)
  • Registering for VAT
  • Recruitment license applications
  • Physical & Virtual Offices
  • Bank introductions
  • Immigration & visas

Requirements for setting up a recruitment business in Singapore

Recruitment companies opening a business in Singapore typically have a choice of trading structures, including sole trader, joint ventures, branch and various types of partnerships. However most companies are registered as a private limited company due to the tax efficiencies of this particular business structure.

  • A minimum of one resident director. A resident is defined as a Singapore Citizen, a Singaporean Permanent Resident, or a person who has been issued an Entrepass, Employment Pass, or Dependent Pass
  • Directors must be at least 18 years of age
  • There is no requirement for the directors to be shareholders
  • A Singapore private limited company can have a minimum of 1 and maximum of 50 shareholders
  • A company secretary
  • The minimum paid-up capital for the registration of a Singapore company is S$1
  • Registered Address.  In order to register a Singapore company, you must provide a local Singapore address

What we require to open your recruitment company in Singapore

In order to commence with the formation procedure, we will require:

  • The company name
  • A description of business activities
  • Shareholder details
  • Director details
  • Registered Address (we can supply this)
  • Company secretary details
  • Constitution

Recruitment Licence

All businesses that are engaged in employment agency activities in Singapore are governed under the Employment Agencies Act and require an Employment Agency Licence (EAL). You’re only eligible to apply for an EAL is you’re a citizen or a permanent resident. Foreigners applying for an EAL must first obtain an Employment Pass.

There are two types of EALs for companies:

  • A select license (workers earning a salary of more than $7,000)
  • Comprehensive license (any type of worker). Employees of comprehensive license will need to attain a Certificate of Employment Intermediaries (CEI) by attending a course and passing a test

Each requires a security deposit ranging between S$20,000 and S$60,000.

You will need an EAL licence whether your agency is based in Singapore or overseas, and if you perform any of the following services:

  • Communicating with prospective candidates regarding their job applications
  • Collating the resume of prospective candidates who are seeking employment
  • Submitting Singapore Work Visa applications to the authorities on behalf of employers or candidates
  • Facilitating the placement of candidates with employers


Companies in Singapore enjoy very attractive tax exemptions and incentives. A company pays less than 9% for the first S$300,000 annual profits and a 17% flat rate after that. There are no capital gains or dividend taxes on Singapore companies (as of 12th May 2016).


A typical timeframe for company incorporation is 1-2 days.

Please contact us for more information or for a free consultation on how to expand your recruitment business to Singapore.