Securing Private Employment Agency (OFW Recruitment) Permit

You don’t need an economics degree to know that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are one of the biggest contributors to the economy. Indeed, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) says there are some 2.2 million OFWs throughout the world who collectively remit over ₱211 billion back home.

While many Filipinos dream of working abroad, it’s not a matter of simply filling out an application form. Many go through recruitment agencies that supply foreign countries with qualified OFWs. And given the sheer number of people who want to work overseas, recruitment is a promising business venture for savvy investors.

That said, one simply cannot put up a recruitment agency overnight. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has established very strict requirements to ensure that aspiring OFWs are not taken advantage of. These include:

For single proprietorships: 

  • Two copies of the accomplished and notarized application form
  • Certified copy of Certificate of Business Name Registration from DTI
  • At least a two-year office lease contract or owner’s certificate (minimum required office area: 50 square meters)
  • Office address, location map, facade photo of the office building, and pictures of the facilities
  • Latest NBI clearance of applicant/owner
  • Latest organizational structure (must also submit biodata, ID-sized photos, and detailed job descriptions of all personnel)
  • Two most recent income tax returns (ITR)
  • Sworn statement of assets and liabilities (minimum of ₱200,000)
  • List of authorized representatives
  • Surety bond worth ₱100,000 (valid for two years)
  • Total fees: ₱32,000
    • ₱1,000 – Filing fee
    • ₱5,000 – License fee
    • ₱25,000 – Cash bond

For corporations or partnerships: 

If your recruitment agency will be set up as a corporation or partnership, most of the requirements will stay the same, with a few key differences:

  • SEC registration/by-laws/articles of incorporation (must have a minimum paid-up capital of ₱500,000 for corporations and ₱200,000 for partnerships).
  • Latest NBI clearance of partners if a partnership or all officers and board of directors if a corporation
  • Total fees: ₱34,000
    • ₱3,000.00 – Filing fee
    • ₱6,000.00 – License fee
    • ₱25,000.00 – Cash bond

What else should you know?

Your application should be filed at the DOLE regional office that has jurisdiction over your recruitment agency’s office. 

Within seven days of your filing, DOLE representatives will conduct an ocular inspection of your office; it will also conduct an orientation for all your employees.

Three days after the ocular inspection, the regional office will decide either to approve or deny your application. If you get approval, your license will be valid for three years and is subject to renewal.

Possible causes for denial

DOLE carefully evaluates all applications to weed out unscrupulous recruitment agencies. Any of the following will raise red flags that may lead to denial of a license:

  • Misrepresentation of facts and/or submission of falsified documents
  • Probable cause of involvement in illegal recruitment
  • A revoked or canceled Authority to Operate Branch Office

A recruitment agency is an excellent business that also helps Filipinos find better job opportunities abroad. If you need expert advice on starting one, give Duran & Duran-Schulze a call at +632 478 5826 or send an email to

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