Employment Agency

Employment Agency License Application Checklist

Who Must Have an Employment Agency License?

You must have an Employment Agency license to provide job assistance for a fee. This includes helping employers find employees and helping jobseekers find work.

If your agency is located in New York City, you must be licensed by the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP). If your office is located in New York State, but not within New York City, please contact the New York State Department of Labor:

Phone: 1-888-469-7365
Website: dol.ny.gov/employment-agencies

You do NOT need an Employment Agency license if you are one of the following types of business:

  • Staffing Agency: You are the employer and you contract out your employees, all of whom receive a W-2 form from you at the end of the year and you meet the criteria of an employer.
  • Theatrical Personal Manager: Your primary business is managing artists. Exception: If your primary business is finding employment or engagements for artists, you are a “theatrical employment agency” and need an Employment Agency License.
  • Certain Executive Search Firm and Employer Fee Paid Agencies: Your agency places only commercial, clerical, executive, administrative, and professional applicants, and never charges the applicant a fee of any kind. If you fit this category, you do not need a license, but you must comply with all sections of the New York State Employment Agency Law relating to Employer Fee Paid Agencies.

This description is only a general explanation of who must have an Employment Agency license.

Quick List of Requirements to Apply for an Employment Agency License

See Requirements section for detailed descriptions. Make sure you provide all requirements; otherwise, your application is incomplete. DCWP can only consider complete applications for license issuance.

Before you file your DCWP license application, you must do the following:

  • Obtain Applicable Business Certificate.
  • Obtain Commercial Space.

When you file your DCWP license application, you must submit the following materials:

  • Basic License Application
  • Business Certificate
  • Employment Agency Self-Certification OR Theatrical Employment Agency Self-Certification (to be completed by Owner)
  • Copy of Surety Bond (or Third Party Bond), properly signed
  • Copy of Contracts
  • Fingerprints and Processing Fee
  • Copy of Fee Paid Letters (if applicable)
  • Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (if applicable)
  • License Fee

Submitting your application does not mean your license is automatically approved.

Important Message about Business Certificate

You must have the applicable Business Certificate based on your business’s legal structure.

Sole proprietors operating under a name other than your own must have a Business/Assumed Name Certificate.

Partnerships must have a Partnership Certificate and, if applicable, an Assumed Name Certificate for your business.

Corporations, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, or Limited Liability Partnerships must register and remain active with the New York State Division of Corporations. You can check your status at dos.ny.gov/corps.


Before You File Your DCWP License Application:

  • Obtain Commercial Space..
    You cannot operate your business in a residential building. If you plan to operate in a building that is both commercial and residential, your agency must be placed in the commercial part of the building. DCWP will verify your premises with DOB to ensure you are operating in a commercial space. Although DCWP does not require submission of DOB documents in order to process your application, DCWP reserves the right to request and examine the documents under section 20-104 of the New York City Administrative Code.

DCWP will deny your application if you do not submit these required documents and information:

When You File Your DCWP License Application:

  • Basic License Application.
    Online submission: After reviewing the requirements, please click the Apply Online link at the bottom of the page to submit your application.
    In-person submission: Download the Basic License Application.
  • Business Certificate.
    See description above.
  • Employment Agency Self-Certification (download) OR Theatrical Employment Agency Self-Certification (download)
    The owner (e.g., sole proprietor, general partner, director, corporate officer, or shareholder owning 10% or more of company stock) must complete the appropriate Self-Certification for your agency:

    Note: If the owner is not also the Employment Agency Manager, then the Employment Agency Manager must complete and certify PART II of the appropriate Self-Certification. The Employment Agency Manager is responsible for directing and operating the placement activities of the employment agency.
  • Copy of your Surety Bond (or Third Party Bond), properly signed
    The bond amount is:
    • $10,000 for applicants that will engage in the recruitment of domestic or household employees from outside the United States or conduct a modeling agency
    • $5,000 for all other employment agency applicants
    The copy of the bond must name the City of New York as the Certificate Holder. Your corporate name, Doing-Business-As (DBA) name (if any), and premises address must be exactly the same on all documents. You must also submit a copy of the bond receipt showing that the bond has been paid in full and does not expire before the end of the licensing period.

    Download a list of bonding companies. Note: The list is not exhaustive, and DCWP does not endorse or recommend any particular bonding company.
  • Copy of Contracts
    You must submit a sample of all contracts that you require applicants for employment to execute, including for each class of employment your agency offers to secure jobs. Classes of employment include:
    • Class A (domestic household workers, unskilled or untrained manual workers and laborers)
    • Class A1 (non-professional trained or skilled industrial workers or mechanics)
    • Class B (commercial, clerical, executive, administrative, and professional employment; all employment outside the continental United States; and all other employment not included in classes A, A1, C, and D)
    • Class C (theatrical engagements)
    • Class D (nursing engagements)
  • Copy of Fee Paid Letters
    If you will never charge applicants a fee within a class of employment, for each such class a signed “fee paid” letter from a principal of the agency is required stating:

    "None of our [insert class name] applicants will ever be charged a fee. All fees will be paid to this agency by their employer."
  • Fingerprints and Processing Fee.
    All employment agency managers, sole proprietors, general partners, corporate officers, principals, directors, members, and all shareholders owning 10% or more of company stock must be fingerprinted and submit fingerprints for a state and national criminal history record check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
    Anyone required to submit fingerprints must follow these steps:
    1. Contact DCWP’s Fitness Review Unit right away.
      Call (212) 487-4089 or email FRUUnit@dcwp.nyc.gov.

      DCWP will give you “Non-Criminal Justice Applicant’s Privacy Rights.” You must acknowledge receipt.

      After you acknowledge receipt, DCWP will give you instructions on how to schedule a fingerprint appointment online with IdentoGO which performs all fingerprint services for DCWP. 
    2. Schedule fingerprint appointment with IdentoGO.
      Follow the instructions and pay the required fee(s).
  • Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (download)
    Required if someone other than the license applicant will prepare and submit this application.

    Note: The applicant must sign the license application and all related forms.
  • License Fee
    The chart below lists the amount due depending upon when you file your license application and the number of placement employees. License Period: 2 years. | Expiration Date: May 1, Even years.
Employment Agency License Fee Chart
If You File Your Application: Fee for 1-4 Placement Employees: Fee for 5 or More Placement Employees:
From May 2 in an even year to April 30 in an odd year $500 $700
From May 1 in an odd year to October 31 in an odd year $250 $350
From November 1 in an odd year to May 1 in an even year $125 or $625* for a license expiring May 1 of the following even year.
(Valid for at most 30 months.)
$175 or $875* for a license expiring May 1 of the following even year.
(Valid for at most 30 months.)
*If you are applying within six months of the license expiration date, you can pay the prorated fee for the remaining license term plus the full fee to renew the license for the next term. If you pay both fees, you will not need to renew the license until the end of the next license period.

Fee Payments

Pay by:

  • Check or money order payable to DCWP. (In person)
  • Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card only). You will be charged a nonrefundable Convenience Fee. (In person or Online)

Application Filing Process

File Online

  1. Review requirements and gather all materials.
  2. Click the Apply Online button below to login or create an account to start your online license application.

Apply Online Button

Important: If you need to file another license application, return to the Apply for a DCWP License page to read requirements and proceed to the next online application.


File In Person
Schedule an appointment to file in person at the DCWP Licensing Center or NYC Small Business Support Center

42 Broadway, Lobby
New York, NY 10004
By Appointment Only Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Last appointment: 3:30 p.m.

90-27 Sutphin Blvd, 4th Floor
Jamaica, NY 11435
By Appointment Only Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Last appointment: 3:30 p.m.

By Email: LicensingAppointments@dcwp.nyc.gov
By Phone*: Call (212) 436-0441. (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

*This number is to schedule an appointment for in-person service only. For general questions, email onlineappsdocs@dcwp.nyc.gov.

Free Interpretation Services are available on-site. To request a disability-related accommodation, visit our Accommodations page.

Additional Resources for Employment Agencies

  • Employment agencies must maintain a “Register” containing applicant and employer information. Download model register.
  • For resources to help your business open, operate, and grow, visit nyc.gov/business.

Get Voter Information
Note: Whether you apply to register to vote or not, it will not affect the assistance DCWP will provide to you.