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Open a Recruitment Company in Ireland

Updated on Tuesday 23rd June 2020

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Open-a-Recruitment-Company-in-Ireland.jpgThe process of recruiting new personnel is very important for any business, regardless of the place where the company was incorporated. The employees are crucial for the outcome of the business; recruitment companies organize their business activity with the purpose of finding the most suitable candidate for a certain job opening.
Foreign investors who want to establish a recruitment company in Ireland should know that the local workforce is highly trained, being recognized as one of the most representative in this sense in the European Union; our Irish company formation specialists can provide assistance for the incorporation of a workforce agency

The main laws that provide for the operations or Irish recruitment agencies

When opening a recruitment agency in Ireland there are various laws to comply with. Apart from the Company Law which provides for the registration of a legal form under which the agency will operate, the following laws should also be observed:
  1. The Employment Agency Law which provides for specific conditions to be respected by such agencies;
  2. The Employment Equality Law which was amended in 2004 and which contains new provisions on hiring foreign workforce;
  3. The Law on Work Permits and the Economic Migration Policy which also provides for the employment of foreign workers;
  4. The Data Protection Law which encompasses provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as imposed at EU level.
Running an employment agency is subject to strict requirements and if you are interested in setting up such operations, we invite you to discuss your options with our Irish company formation agents.
The following video offers a short presentation on the registration of an Irish recruitment company:


Recruitment agencies in Ireland 

Foreign businessmen who want to open a recruitment company in Ireland can run various types of recruitment activities for companies seeking out employees, as well as for candidates applying for job openingsOur team of consultants in company registration in Ireland can assist with advice on how to register a recruitment agency in one of the Irish cities.  
Recruitment agencies can provide training sessions or carrier consulting for persons who are actively seeking to be employed in a company; at the same time, a recruitment company can find the right candidate who can meet most of the criteria established by the employer in terms of work experience, salary, level of qualifications and many others. 
An Irish recruitment agency will carry out a specific selection process performed by persons who are trained in the field of human resources. Another function of a workforce agency is to seek out for international candidates; in this sense, the company will provide assistance to the future employee to accommodate their needs (housing, special permits) when relocating to Ireland; our Irish company formation agents  can provide you with further details on this topic. 
Most of the recruitment companies established in Ireland do not require to obtain a license in order to carry out their business operations; however, certain domains in the field do need special permits. Usually, employment in the field of agriculture, horticulture and food processing activities are regulated by special provisions. Recruitment agencies which employ persons working in the nursing and domiciliary care also require special permits as well. 

What are the main steps in opening an Irish recruitment agency? 

In order to open a recruitment agency in Ireland, several steps have to be completed. The company’s representatives will have to submit a set of papers with the National Vetting Bureau and with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (the latter is in charge with providing a license for the business operator). A valid application should contain the following:  
  • complete the Statutory Form following the regulations of the Employment Agency Act 1971;
  • a proof that the company’s representatives have placed an add in one of the country’s national papers (which announces the intention to obtain a license);
  • pay the fee imposed by the institution and enclose a proof on the matter;
  • provide evidence that the company’s premises respect the regulations prescribed by the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act;
  • offer evidence that the company was registered with the Companies Registration Office
In the case of the businessmen starting a recruitment agency in Ireland who are both foreigners and citizens of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA), it is also necessary to provide a photocopy of the passport or a photocopy of the residency card issued in Ireland
This requirement is necessary for this category of foreign businessmen as it provides sufficient evidence to the local institutions that the applicant does not need to obtain a “Business Permission” to open a company in Ireland; this type of permission is approved by the country’s Department of Justice and our team of consultants can provide more information concerning this matter. 
Please note that when placing the add in the newspaper, the investors must select one of the newspapers that are approved by the local institutions, as not all newspapers are eligible for this procedure. As mentioned above, the issuance of the license is bound by the payment of a fee, which is currently imposed at a fixed value of EUR 500, which must be paid on a yearly basis.  
Provided that all the documents are subscribed correctly and that the institution has approved the application, the recruitment company will be granted with a license, which is valid for a period of one year. Upon its expiry, the investors can request the issuance of another license (which holds the name of Employment Agency License) and this should be done with a month prior to the expiration date.  
As a general rule, it is necessary to know that the license for a recruitment company can be issued in a period of two weeks, but in practice, short delays may appear. In the case of a license renewal, the procedure takes less than two weeks. 
Provided that the license needed for a recruitment agency has expired and that the new license has not yet been issued, the company is legally required to stop its activities, until the new license is available; our team of specialists in company registration in Ireland can provide more details on other regulations that can be applied to recruitment agencies in this country. 

Documents required to obtain a recruitment agency license in Ireland

There are various documents that need to be filed with the Minister of Trade, Enterprise and Employment when applying for a recruitment agency license in Ireland. Apart from these, there are other requirements that need to be fulfilled. We mention the following:
  • - a prescribed application form must be duly filled and filed;
  • - the form must contain all the particulars of the company and person filing it;
  • - it must be accompanied by the application fee.
It is important to note that in order to issue the license, the Ministry will verify if the agency meet the office space requirements and if the person filing the application passes the fitness test. The applicant must have not been convicted for any offence under the Employment Agency Law in the past 5 years at the time of the application.
If you want to open a company in Ireland and operate it as a recruitment agency, our agents can help you. We can also assist during the licensing phase.

Premises requirements for Irish recruitment agencies

Article 7 in the Employment Agency Law provides for the requisites to be respected by employment agencies in Ireland in terms of premises. While there are no requirements in terms of how large the place must be, the agency representatives must ensure that it has enough room for all persons entering the premises. Also, if interviews are to be conducted there, the Irish company must ensure sufficient seated places and lighting for candidates to sustain tests and interviews.
It should be noted that the location must pass a Safety Assessment test under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Law.

What are the main types of Irish legal entities? 

The incorporation process of a recruitment company follows the same rules and regulations applicable to all types of companies in Ireland. Thus, one of the aspects that have to be decided in the early stages of the procedure of company registration in Ireland refers to choosing a suitable business form. Entrepreneurs can choose to incorporate an Irish company under one of the following legal entities:
  • company limited by shares - it represents one of the most common legal entities incorporated in Ireland, as the company’s founders benefit from limited liability in the case in which the company experiences any type of debt;
  • designated activity company - this business form was created under the Irish Companies Act 2014 and it is defined by the fact that the company’s statutory documents will outline a specific business purpose;
  • company limited by guarantee - the legal entity is generally selected for non-profit purposes;
  • public limited company - when opening a company in Ireland through this business structure, the investors will be allowed to list the company on the stock exchange;
  • unlimited company - the founders of this business form will have unlimited liability for any debts of the company;
  • limited liability partnership - the company’s founders, who have the quality of members and not partners, are allowed to limit their level of liability for the debts of the partnership;
  • Societas Europea company - this type of company can take the form of a subsidiary, a holding company or it can be formed through a merger.

How to choose a legal form for a work placement agency in Ireland

As seen above, there are various business forms that can be employed when opening an employment agency in Ireland. Among them, the private limited liability company remains the choice of both local and foreign investors in Ireland. Apart from the simple incorporation requirements, this legal entity also benefits from a fast registration procedure, it offers limited liability company to its shareholders who can be a local or foreign natural person and who can decide the amount of money to inject in the company.
Foreign recruitment agencies can also operate in Ireland through branch offices or subsidiary companies.
Our company registration advisors in Ireland can assist with the formation of an employment agency under any of the legal forms prescribed by the Company Law. You can also rely on for guidance in choosing a suitable entity.

Hiring foreign employees through a recruitment agency in Ireland

Irish recruitment agencies can hire foreign employees on behalf of local companies, however, it must meet specific requirements with respect to the work permits that need to be secured for non-EU citizens. The agency is not required to ensure work permits on behalf of companies, as it will only act as a mediator between the worker and the employer.
If you are interested in what the legislation says on work permits for Ireland, our local consultants can help you.

The labor market in Ireland

According to statistics, the Irish labor market fluctuates from year to year due to the economic situation of the country. However, compared to other EU states, the unemployment rate is quite low – 5.6% in the last quarter of 2019. For the same period, statistics also indicate that:
  • - the total annual increase of the employment market was 3.5% (nearly 80,000 employees);
  • - full-time employment registered a 2.7% growth (around 49,500 workers);
  • - part-time employment grew by 6.6% or 30,400 employees;
  • - compared to the previous quarter, the increase was of 1.3%.


Businessmen who want to find out more information on the recruitment companies in Ireland can contact our company formation representatives, who can offer assistance for all the stages of the registration process. Our team of consultants in company registration in Ireland can provide advice on the tax system that is applicable to a recruitment company and can inform investors with any other relevant aspects that are related to this type of business activity. 

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Paul Sheridan is one of our company formation specialists. He can help you establish your company in Ireland fast and easy.


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