To protect persons i.e. jobseekers from being fraudulently dealt with, Organizations are required to apply and obtain Recruiter license. Companies or Organizations willing to start a recruitment service in Nigeria are required by the Labour Act Cap 198 LFN 1990 (Sections 23, 24, 25 and 71) to apply for registration and obtain the Recruiter's License/Employer's Permit from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

Organizations that are licensed by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity to function as Recruiters or Private Employment Agencies. There are two categories of recruiters licence that can be issued:

  1. Employment Agencies – They render services for matching offers of employment with suitable applications for employment without becoming a party or directly recruiting the applicants.
  2. Labour Contractors – They render services consisting of employing workers with a view to making them available to a third party (whether individual or corporate person) which assigns tasks and supervises the execution of the tasks.


The requirement and process for registering depends on the sphere within which the recruiter wants to carry on business. There are two types of forms recruiters must fill to register for the issuance of a recruiter's license they are either:

  1. Domestic application form – This is used when all the clients are domestic companies.
  2. International application form – This must be used when the recruiter has international companies as clients.

In order to be issued a Recruiters' License, certain documents are required, the following is the list of documents requirements.

  1. Application letter from the company addressed to the state Controller of the Federal Ministry of Labour, Lagos state office.
  2. Properly filled application form (Obtainable from website;
  3. Photocopy of the receipt for the payment of the sum of N5,000 (This payment is through remitta)
  4. Memo and Articles of Association. (The articles and memo must state that the company actually carry out the business of outsourcing man power)
  5. A copy of the management profile to ascertain the competence of the management.
  6. Bank Guarantee/Insurance bond for number of workers recruited.
    For Domestic application: Oil and Gas company should have insurance bond of at least N3,000,000 for 1-100 employees and for over 100 employees N5,000,000, while other businesses should have insurance bond worth N1,500,000 for 1-100 employees to N3,000,000 for over 100 employees.
    For International application: For the other Industry Sector were the number of Employees is between 1-100 would pay N3 Million and for Oil and Gas would pay N5 Million respectively also for the insurance bond
  7. Photocopy of the Certificate of Incorporation.
  8. Evidence of Registration with a Pension Fund Administrator
  9. Copy of contract letter of appointment for both permanent and recruited staff
  10. Copy of contract with client company (ies)
  11. Three Copy of company's Handbook/Conditions of Service (A booklet Form)
  12. Evidence of health insurance bond for number of workers recruited
  13. Names, addresses and telephone numbers of Directors
  14. Evidence of registration with NSITF (Employees Compensation)
  15. Training Policy for employee/recruited personnel
  16. Name(s) of union(s) which workers belong to.
  17. Registration with the Industrial Training Fund(ITF)
  18. Evidence of registration with a regulatory body in sectors of focus
  19. Evidence of payment of Licence fee of N200,000

Please note that non-compliance with the requirement would lead to return of documents until all requirements are met.


  1. After submission of the application letter to the Controller's office, officers will be assigned to the company for the purpose of inspection.
  2. A report of inspection will be prepared by the inspectors and the said report will be sent to the Desk officer.
  3. The file will be sent from the Desk officer to the Minister's office and will be attended to by the Controller for processing.
  4. A letter of confirmation will be sent from the Controller's office stating that the application has been submitted.
  5. The said letter can be used pending the final issuance of licence (If granted).
  6. The documents accompanying the application will be sent to the Controller's office for approval.
  7. A licence fee of N200,000 will be paid and evidence of payment will be forwarded to Controller's office in Abuja for issuance of the Licence.
  8. After which a Recruiter's licence will be issued.


TYPE Application Fees Fees Validity Period
Fresh Application N5000 200,000 2 years
Renewal N5000 100,000 1 years
Renewal N5000 200,000 3 years


TYPE Application Fees Fee Validity Period
Fresh Application N5,000 300,000 2 years
Renewal N5,000 300,000 2 years


The amount of insurance bond to be paid according to the number of employees in the company both domestic and international. The security deposit for both domestic and international placement is essentially for the following:

  1. Unpaid salaries and wages.
  2. Contractual arrears.
  3. Travelling expenses of workers not paid for.
  4. Any expenses which may be incurred by the Government in respect of the worker(s) and families.
  5. Any fine imposed on the employee in the course of carrying out instructions imposed on him/her by the recruiter.
  6. Other contingencies relating to wages and salaries as agreed to by the parties and as may be deemed fit by the Ministry.


Finally, recruiter license is provided by the ministry for essence of protecting jobseekers from being swindled and to establish an employer and employee relationship between the parties so as to hold the employer responsible for his obligation towards the employee when the need arises. As one of the required documents is contract the contract of employment. Obvious, penalties are laid out where this registration is not complied with.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.