Starting a Manpower Agency (Primer)


The recruitment and staffing industry is a major service business operating in virtually all job markets and geographical areas. It is a wonderful, many-faceted and complex profession; there is a lot more to it than newcomers first imagine. Being aware of this is the first step towards enabling our industry’s entrepreneurs to implement best practice and operating standards from the start – to the benefit of candidates, clients and, ultimately, the recruitment industry itself.

Do you have what it takes?

Running any business can be demanding in the extreme and you will need to have a high number of specific personal qualities, skills and knowledge within your business to ensure it works to its potential. The following checklist (which is not exhaustive) includes some of these:

  • Sales ability
  • Stamina
  • Process-driven
  • Finance skills
  • Staff management skills
  • Patience
  • Relationship-building skills
  • Self-motivation
  • Risk awareness
  • Humility
  • Confidence
  • Reliability
  • Realistic outlook
  • Flexibility
  • Effective communications skills
  • Perseverance
  • Resilience
  • Effective time management skills


The following is a checklist of aspects you should consider when setting up your recruitment consultancy (this list is not exhaustive):

a) Business set up

  • Business plan
  • Market research
  • Sales strategy
  • Marketing strategy
  • Staff management/leadership processes
  • Recruitment (own staff)
  • Financial planning and management
  • Operational processes and procedures
  • Laws and regulations
  • Business structure: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation
  • Staff recruitment and management

b) Finance and accounts

  • Bank account
  • Registration with Internal Revenue
  • Payroll and VAT schemes
  • Accounting systems (management information, reports, measurement of business
  • performance)
  • Management accounts
  • Share and profit share schemes
  • Purchasing and expenses

d) Government agency’s regulations, registrations and licensing

e) Operations

  • Candidate-related processes
  • Client-related processes
  • Advertising
  • Sales procedure
  • Negotiation of rates policy

f) Candidates

  • Registration form
  • Interview techniques
  • Testing
  • Qualifications verification
  • References
  • CV guides

g) Clients

  • Terms of Business (TOB)
  • Client meetings
  • Taking vacancies
  • Working through third parties
  • Sole agency agreements

h) Sales

  • Style of sales and sales methods
  • Advertising
  • Client meetings
  • Tendering for large accounts

i) Systems/IT

  • Email
  • Website
  • Operational software (front and back office)
  • Hardware (PC, laptop and peripherals)

j) Telephone Systems

  • Telephone
  • Mobile phone
  • Fax and data connections/equipment

k) Facilities

  • Office space
  • Furniture
  • Office equipments
  • Service vehicle

l) Marketing and PR


You will need to choose a name for your business and, if you operate as a limited company, you should ensure that the name you choose is not the same or similar to that of a company that is already registered. It is advisable to choose a name that clearly indicates what your business does e.g. XXX Personnel or YYY Employment.

Ensure that your name is not similar to any other agency in your area, as this could lead to an allegation that you are attempting to pass your business off as being connected to the other agency; such activity is actionable as a claim for damages.


Only those who possess the following qualifications may be permitted to engage in the business of recruitment and placement of Filipino workers:

  1. Filipino citizens, partnerships or corporations at least seventy five percent (75%) of the authorized capital stock of which is owned and controlled by Filipino citizens;
  2. A minimum capitalization of Two Million Pesos (P2,000,000.00) in case of a single proprietorship or partnership and a minimum paid-up capital of Two Million Pesos (P2,000,000.00) in case of a corporation; Provided that those with existing licenses shall, within four years from effectivity hereof, increase their capitalization or paid up capital, as the case may be, to Two Million Pesos (P2,000,000.00) at the rate of Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (P250,000.00) every year.
  3. Those not otherwise disqualified by law or other government regulations to engage in the recruitment and placement of workers for overseas employment.


Every applicant for license to operate a private employment agency shall submit a written application together with the following requirements:

  1. A certified copy of the Articles of Incorporation or of Partnership duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in the case of corporation or partnership or Certificate of Registration of the firm or business name with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in the case of a single proprietorship;
  2. Proof of financial capacity: In the case of a single proprietorship or partnership, verified income tax returns of the proprietors or partners for the past two (2) years and a savings account certificate showing a maintaining balance of not less than P500,000.00, provided that the applicant should submit an authority to examine such bank deposit.
  3. In the case of a newly organized corporation, savings account certificate showing a maintaining balance of not less than P500,000.00 with authority to examine the same. For an existing corporation, submission of a verified financial statement, corporate tax returns for the past two (2) years and savings account certificate showing a maintaining balance of not less than P500,000.00 with the corresponding authority to examine such deposit.


Section 1. Before issuance of a license, the Administration shall conduct an inspection of the premises and facilities including the pertinent documents of the applicant. Inspection shall likewise be conducted on the new premises in case of transfer of office.

Section 2. Routine/Regular Inspection. All agencies shall be subject to periodic inspection of offices, studios or pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS) venues by the Administration to determine compliance with existing rules and regulations.

Section 3. Spot Inspection. Inspection may be conducted by the Administration upon receipt of a complaint or report of violation of existing rules and regulation.

View the full provisions and regulations of the recruitment agency here

Download 2002 Revised POEA Rules and Regulations on Overseas Employment of Landbased Workers here

For further inquiries contact:

POEA Information and Assistance Center
Tel: 24-Hour Hotlines: (632) 7221144, (632) 7221155
Email: [email protected]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.