Applying for and complying with a Domestic Recruitment License in Thailand – An Overview

If an investor wishes to get involved in the domestic recruitment business in Thailand then one of the most important issues which they shall need to consider is obtaining and maintaining a Recruitment License. The key law which covers the requirements for this type of license is the Employment & Job Seeker Protection Act B.E. 2528 (1985) (the “Act”). This article shall discuss several issues relating to Recruitment Licenses, such as qualifications and ongoing compliance requirements.

Qualifications for a Domestic Recruitment Licensee

The Act provides that no person shall be permitted to undertake domestic recruitment services unless they have been granted a domestic Recruitment License from the Central Employment Registrar or the Provincial Employment Registrar (as the case may be). In order to qualify for such License, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must be of Thai nationality if they are a natural person. However, if the applicant is a juristic person such as a company then it must be at least 51% majority Thai owned (by Thai citizens or Thai majority owned juristic persons such as a company);
  2. If the applicant is a natural person then they must be at least twenty years of age;
  3. Must not being a licensee of another Recruitment License;
  4. Must not being under a suspension period in the case where the Recruitment License of a licensee has been suspended;
  5. Must not be a licensee whose Recruitment License has been revoked;
  6. If the applicant is a natural person then they must not be incompetent or quasi-incompetent (unsatisfactory mental capacity);
  7. Must not be, or used to be, a person of disgraceful behavior or defective morals;
  8. Must not be a director, partner or manager of a juristic person who is a licensee of a Recruitment License;
  9. Must not be a director, partner or manager of the juristic person whose Recruitment License has been revoked or is under appeal;
  10. Must not having been sentenced by a final judgment of the Court or any legitimate order to a term of imprisonment for any offense which dishonesty is subjected to the provisions of laws, the element thereof or any offense under the Act;
  11. Must pay money to the registrar as security for the execution of the Act in an amount as prescribed by the Ministerial Regulations which shall not be less than one hundred thousand baht.

Note: If the applicant for a Recruitment License is a juristic person (such as a company limited) then such juristic person must be Thai majority owned and the authorized signing person in the name of company and its appointed representative (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Manager’ who shall be specified on the License) must meet the above qualifications i.e. must be Thai national, at least 20 years of age etc.

Recruitment License Term & Renewal

A Recruitment License, if granted is valid for a period of 2 years from the date of issuance. It is valid for the province which is specified in the applied for license. If the License holder wishes to renew their license at the end of their term then they must submit their renewal application not less than thirty days before the expiry date of the license. After the applicant has submitted their renewal application, they can continue to operate their recruitment business until the Central Employment Registrar or the Provincial Employment Registrar (the “Registrar”) issues an order refusing to approve the renewal application (as may or may not occur depending on the merits of the application). The Registrar’s decision on whether to allow for or reject the renewal must be made within 30 days from the date of them receiving the renewal application provided that such application is correct and has complete details.

Recruitment License Compliance Requirements

The Act sets out a number of compliance requirements which Licensee’s should be mindful of lest they have their Recruitment License suspended or revoked, these requirements include the following:

          a. The Recruitment License (certificate) must be displayed in a conspicuous place in the Licensee’s registered office (for example in the entry foyer of the office in a highly visible place)
          b. The Licensee is not permitted to establish an office at a hotel, dormitory, entertainment place, pawnshop, or any place where gambling has been organized regularly or other places as notified by the Minister responsible for this Act.
          c. If the Licensee wishes to relocate their office or temporally establish an office outside the locality under their license then they must request and be granted permission from the Registrar before being permitted to do so. The Registrar’s decision must be made within 30 days as from the date of receiving the application provided that it is submitted with correct and complete details;
          d. If the holder of a Recruitment License is a juristic Person (such as a company) and it wishes to change its Manager then before it can do so it must receive permission from the Registrar. Moreover, such new Manager must meet the required qualifications otherwise they shall not be permitted to be appointed to such position.
          e. The Licensee must register their employees and agents with the Registrar in accordance with the rules, procedures and conditions as prescribed by the Ministerial Regulations, and they must keep such register in the format as determined by the Director-General of the Department of Employment at their registered office such that it can be examined by job-seekers during working hours.
          f. When the Licensee registers an agent with the Registrar then it must also provide give security for each agent to the Registrar in an amount as prescribed by the Ministerial Regulations, which in any case must not be less than 50,000 baht for each agent.
          g. An employee and agent of a Licensee must not be an employee or agent of another Licensee at the same time.
          h. Employees of a Licensee must meet the qualifications set out above under Qualifications for a Domestic Recruitment Licensee, but the employees don’t need to be Thai nationals nor do they need to be least 20 years of age.
          i. The Licensee must ensure that the Manager, employees or agents shall when carrying out of duties outside the office, present an approved identification (ID) card to all relevant persons. The form of the ID card shall be determined by the Director-General of the Dept. of Employment. The approved ID card is valid for one year from the issuance date and must be renewed annually. If a Manager, employee or agent stops working in that role then they must return their ID card to the Registrar or the Licensee within 7 days from the date that they cease being a manager, employee or agent of the Licensee. If the ID card is returned to the Licensee then it must return the ID card to the Registrar within 7 days from the date of receiving such ID card from the relevant Manager, employee or agent. If an approved ID card is lost or damaged then the Licensee must request for a substitution of the license or identification card, as the case may be, within fifteen days as from the date of knowing such loss or damage.
          j. The Licensee must preparing a registration book, account as well as documents related to the business of the Licensee in accordance with the forms with the required particulars as determined by the Director-General of the Dept. of Employment. Moreover, the Licensee must also prepare and submit to the applicable Registrar the monthly employment report, made in the form as determined by the Director-General within the tenth day of the following month.

Licensee Responsible for Actions of Employees or Agents

The Act provides that any actions related to the recruitment services which are performed by the registered employees or agents of the Licensee are deemed to be the actions of the Licensee.

Hence, given this it is vitally important that the Licensee ensure that its employees and agents are knowledgeable on legal compliance requirements as otherwise their actions could result in the Licensee having its Recruitment license suspended or revoked due to breaches of the Act by its employees/ agents.

Agent Security Deposit

If an agent of a Licensee violates the provisions of the Act and such violation causes damage to a job-seeker & if there are reasonable grounds to believe that such violation was done by the agent, then the Registrar shall notify the Licensee in writing. If the Licensee fails to refute the violation allegations within 30 days as from the date of receiving the notification, then the Registrar has the power to pay compensation from the security deposit to the job-seeker for the actual damage sustained by them. If a compensation order is made by the Registrar and security funds are paid to a job-seeker then the Registrar shall issue an order to the Licensee to pay additional security monies so that the security is paid up to the prescribed amount (i.e. topped up to the required amount). Such extra security money must be paid by the Licensee within 30 days from the date of receiving such order from the Registrar.

Contacting DLO
Should you require any legal support relating to domestic recruitment licenses in Thailand then please contact us at
Dharmniti Law Office Co., Ltd.
2/2 Bhakdi Building 2nd Floor, Witthayu Road, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: (66) 2680 9777
Fax: (66) 2680 9711
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