How to Get a Recruitment Agency License from POEA

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is responsible for the issuance and renewal of licenses for recruitment agencies, documentation, and accreditation of Sea-based and Land-based workers. These services were given to recruitment agencies for them to have the authority to operate and recruit workers, thus, making them later licensed.

This article will inform you on how they can get a license by POEA to legally operate in the Philippines. The documentation needed, the fees to be paid, and the processes on how to be a licensed recruitment agency in the Philippines are included in this article.

So, let’s get started!

how to become a poea licensed recruitment agency

What is a Licensed Recruitment Agency?

A Licensed Recruitment Agency (LRA) is an agency that was given a license by POEA to operate and to recruit. This means that POEA has acknowledged the said agency to have an “authority” to recruit Filipino land-based workers for overseas employment.


It is a win-win situation between the job agency and the recruits. The company will operate smoothly without hindrance and Filipinos will have a job. Legal Recruitment Agencies make sure that the safety of the recruits is their priority.


These are the requirements for a manpower/recruitment agency to be licensed by POEA.

  • Written application
  • Applicant Information Sheet
  • Business Registration proof and a minimum of P2 million paid-up capital
  • Financial capacity proof needed for issuance of license are the following:
    • A bank certificate reflecting a balance of at least P500,000 in a savings account deposit
    • A bank certificate containing a balance of P2 million capitalization
    • An agency’s authorized signatory has signed an authorization to inspect bank deposits.
    • Individual Income Tax Returns of the Proprietor, Partners, or Board of Directors, as the case may be, with proof of payment for the last two (2) years.
    • Certificate of Tax Exemption from BIR if you are exempted from tax
    • In case of an existing corporation/partnership, the last two (2) years’ audited financial statements and corporate income tax returns
    • In the event that the petitioner is a corporate investor (s)
      • The Corporate Investor’s Articles of Incorporation
      • Designated Authorized Representative Resolution/Certification Secretary’s
      • Two (2) years’ worth of audited financial statements and corporate income tax returns with proof of payment
  • Proof of marketing capability
  • The Board of Directors/Partners/Proprietor, Officers, and Staff have been cleared by the Anti-
  • Illegal Recruitment Branch, as well as two (2) copies of passport-size photographs, NBI Clearance (if foreigner), and Anti-egal Recruitment Branch Clearance of the Board of Directors, Partners/Proprietor, Officers, and Staff.
  • Individual letters of appointment for workers doing specific tasks
  • The Proprietor/President/Managing Partner or the Chief Executive Officer must have a bachelor’s degree and three (3) years of business experience.
  • The Proprietor/President/Managing Partner or the Chief Executive Officer’s Certificate of Attendance to the Pre-Licensing Orientation Seminar
  • The Proprietor/President/Partners, Incorporators, and Officers must all be named on the notice of application.
  • The address of the office and office space of at least one hundred (100) square meters must be indicated on the contract of lease or proof of building ownership.
  • Human Resource Development Plan
  • Notarize affidavit of undertaking
  • Organizational Chart
  • Duties and responsibilities of officers and staff included in the staffing patterns.
  • An affidavit of undertaking of the Proprietor/President/Partner on deployment of other skills is required for application presenting Overseas Performing Artists as new market.
  • Other conditions and proofs of funding sources that may be questioned at the panel may be asked during the panel interview, including:
    • A certificate of employment with information on pay, allowances, and other advantages
    • Bank statements/passbooks
    • Proof of mortgaged or refinanced properties
    • Real estate deeds, old and new property titles in the event of a sale
    • Copies of the owner’s, partners’, or directors’ registered properties
  • License Fee of P50,000.00 and Filing Fee of P10,000,00

How to be a Licensed Recruitment Agency by POEA

In case you want to know the process to get certified by POEA, please follow the steps below:

1. Prepare a folder with all of the required documents and submit it to the Licensing Branch’s Officer of the Day at Window 9 for proof of filing. Only applications that meet all of the conditions will be considered. Wait for the proposed office to be inspected visually.

2. Return to the Licensing Branch’s Window 9 after five (5) working days to check the results of the evaluation. Only POEA’s authorized representative will be able to follow up with the company or conduct business with it.

3. The applicant will be scheduled for a panel interview if all of the documents are complete and in order. The applicant will be sent a copy of the notice of deficiency together with the documents needed to meet the requirements if the documents are not in order.

4. To get an Order of Payment, go to Window 9, Licensing Branch, once you’ve received your notice of interview. Pay the P10,000.00 Filing Fee to the POEA Cash Division, POEA Bldg., 5th Floor.

5. Attend the scheduled panel interview with the Proprietor/Partners/Board of Directors. Prior to the interview, present an original and a scanned copy of the Official Receipt as proof of payment of the P10,000,00 filing fee to the Evaluator.

6. Comply with the POEA interviewees’ requirements. Wait for the approval of the new license application if it is deemed to be complete.

7. Submit the following after the application has been approved:

a. Three copies of a P1 million escrow agreement with bank certification and proof of the escrow deposit with a reputable bank

b. Original copy of a P100,000.00 surety bond, as well as an official receipt from a bonding company that is acceptable to the POEA; a bonding company’s certificate of accreditation issued by the Insurance Commission, and the Secretary’s certificate of bonding company’s authorized signatory’s or Board Resolution/Certificate. The surety bond must be valid for the duration of the license and must meet the POEA’s requirements.

8. Pay the P50,000.00 licensing fee to the POEA Cash Division, 5th Floor, POEA Bldg., with an Order of Payment from Window 9, Licensing Branch.

9. Get the License Certificate by presenting an original and a scanned copy of the Official Receipt.

Landbased Job Agencies

  • In the event that there is no Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) at the workplace, the Special Power of Attorney and/or Recruitment Agreement must be validated by the nearest POLO or authenticated by the Philippine Embassy.
  • In the absence of a POLO, a manpower request/job order of not less than one hundred (100) personnel must be validated by the POLO or authenticated by the Philippine Embassy.
  • The Pre-Employment Services Office (PSO) has confirmed that the principal(s) is/are a new market.
  • Business registration of the principal
  • In case the principal is a foreign placement agency
    • Manpower request of the direct employers addressed to the foreign placement agency verified by the POLO or authenticated by the Philippine Embassy in the absence of a POLO
    • Certification from PSO that the direct employers are new markets
    • License/Registration of the principal to operate a placement agency

For Sea-based Agencies:

  • Verification of a Special Power of Attorney and/or a Recruitment Agreement
  • Authenticated by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) closest to the jobsite in case that there is no POLO on the job site.
  • The Philippine Consulate have confirmed or authenticated the manning agreement in the absence of a POLO Embassy/Philippine or it is verified by POLO.
  • POLO verifies crew order of 50 or more seafarers or authenticated by the Philippine Embassy in the event that there is no POLO on the area.
  • Pre-Employment Services Office (PSO) Certification that will be a proof that principals and vessels are new markets
  • Principal’s Business Registration

Why Should I get a Licensed Recruitment Agency?

LRA is given authority by POEA so that they can legally recruit and refer jobseekers seeking employment abroad. It is entrusted upon LRA as an agent of the employers and employees in the country and abroad, thus, they must be trustworthy and reliable.

They must also ensure that all standards are met before planning on sending them off to their employers both here and abroad. This is really important as it will determine if you would come out as a successful recruitment agency or not!


For a recruitment agency to be licensed, it must go through a lot of processes and documentation. The applicant will also have to pay a large amount in order for them to be licensed. They should undergo these processes to make sure that they will be legitimate and they don’t have the motive to scam Filipino workers nor do any illegal activities.

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