It’s safe to say there are thousands of recruiters operating in the UK today, with many experienced consultants working hard to hit targets in the hope of being rewarded commission from their boss.
But what if they could do it themselves? They have the experience and the knowledge to go after new clients so why not create an agency and reap ALL of the benefits of their hard work.
With that said, TBOS list the 10 crucial steps to starting a recruitment agency in the UK…
- Decide on a Company Name
First impressions are important and your company name is going to make a statement to your clients and candidates about what your agency does and perhaps the industry you are going to recruit into. It may be one of the hardest things for you to decide on when starting your agency but it is worth spending some time on as re-branding later down the line can often be costly and cumbersome.
- Register at Companies House
Once you have decided on the company name, it is time to register the company with Companies House. You can do this yourself or pay for a company to set this up for you. This usually takes 24 hours to process provided the registration is completed correctly and compliantly.
- Domain Name Registration
Registering your company domain name for your website and email are very important. These should be the same as each other, simple to spell, memorable and easily accessible online as most of your clients and candidates will need to contact you through email or through your website. It can be somewhat frustrating if it’s a difficult email or web address to spell out over the phone, nevertheless misspelling it during an online search.
- Bank Account Set-up
Choosing the right bank at the very early stages is extremely important and should be chosen on the online banking system and process rather than the charges imposed. Most bank charges for new start-up companies will be fairly standard across the board so it is important that the ability to send, view and receive payments using their online system is simple and easy to use.
- Insurances Required
The only legal requirement for insurance is when the agency employs staff, this insurance is called Employers Liability. However, it is advisable to take out a combined insurance policy with Public Liability insurance at the same time. Some clients may also require you to have additional insurances, such as Professional Indemnity insurance, but you should only get this type of insurance when it is required to keep costs low.
- Legal Contracts & Documentation
Having a robust set of Permanent Terms and Conditions, Client and Candidate Contract Agreements and Internal Staff contracts is important to protect your agency from any legal claims and to ensure that your clients will make payment against the invoices you raise. Acquiring contracts from your previous recruitment employer is definitely not recommended. Professional bodies such as the REC have contract template services or you can obtain these from an employment lawyer.
- Telephone and Internet
The most important tool for a recruiter is their phone. We recommend acquiring a memorable telephone number and having a separate mobile phone for personal use. There are options available to have landline numbers divert calls to your mobile phone, this can appear to your clients and candidates that they are calling an office instead. Furthermore, the power of the internet is increasing the level of competition in recruitment. Ensure you have a good connection at home as well as on your mobile, quick connections to job boards, emails and sites are vital in this fierce industry.
- Data Protection Certificate
As GDPR is an important part of business legislation and your agency will be dealing with candidates’ personal data, it is important to register your company with the ICO (Information commissioner’s Office) to get a Data Protection Certificate. The cost for this certificate is minimal for each year.
- HMRC Registrations
When your company is registered at Companies House, your agency will automatically be registered for Corporation Tax with HMRC, and you will be sent your company UTR number. However, you may also need to register for VAT, PAYE (and CIS if you are working within the Construction Sector) along with ensuring you are registered to submit your intermediary reporting each quarter.
- Back Office and Accounting Support
Acquiring an accountant or back-office company for your agency may slip your mind at the beginning but choosing to set this up later can be a costly exercise. By engaging a provider early on, this will ensure your company is set up correctly, your books and records are kept up to date, you receive financial reporting which ultimately ensures you remain compliant with HMRC. If this is done at a later date you may end up with a large bill to get your books up to date and fines if your HMRC responsibilities are not met.
How TBOS Can Help
TBOS have many years’ experience in setting up new agencies, with over 150 recruitment businesses under its belt. We work closely with new agency directors and advise them the best way to structure their business. We also help with the company formation and registration and provide reputable contacts of suppliers who can help with contracts, insurance and other services.
And we don’t just stop there, we provide on-going support for our clients. Our specialist back-office team look after all the client, contractor and agency queries after the placement has been finalised, managing timesheets, invoicing and credit control. This delivers peace of mind for the new agency director, delivering more time for them to focus on making placements and making the business a success.