Personnel Leasing & Recruitment Services

Under certain conditions, agencies leasing personnel or procuring recruitment services require a license.

Personnel leasing and recruitment services within Switzerland

The authorizing body in the Canton of Basel-Stadt is the Office of Economy and Labour (AWA). It is responsible for enforcing the Federal Employment Services Act (Arbeitsvermittlungsgesetz, AVG) and the Federal Employment Services Ordinance (Arbeitsvermittlungsverordnung, AVV) in case of personnel leasing and procuring recruitment services within Switzerland. In addition to issuing licenses and supervising licensed agencies, the AWA also monitors the professional activity of such services.

Personnel leasing or recruitment services from/to countries outside Switzerland

If the activity takes place across borders, a permit from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO, Arbeitsvermittlung und Personalverleih (PAVV), Holzikofenweg 36, 3003 Bern) is additionally required. The application for a cross-border permit must also submitted to the AWA. After a positive assessment, the application is transferred from the AWA to the SECO for further processing and issuance of the federal permit.

Legal basis and assistance

The AVG and the associated AVV have already been mentioned. Furthermore, reference should be made to the corresponding directives of the SECO, which explain the legal basis as well as the entire enforcement. The SECO and the cantons maintain a directory/public database of all licensed personnel leasing or recruitment services agencies.

Under, further leaflets, directives, FAQs and model contracts can be found. They should be consulted.

When leasing personnel or procuring recruitment services of domestic help/household assistance in particular 24-hour-care/around-the-clock care, additional requirements must be observed, such as the applicable standard employment contracts of the federal government (Normalarbeitsvertrag Hauswirtschaft Bund) and the canton of Basel-Stadt (Normalarbeitsvertrag Hauspersonal Basel-Stadt) as well as the use of separate, specific contract templates. Further information is also available from the information and advice center CareInfo.

Activities requiring authorization

In particular, the following activities are subject to authorization:

  • recruitment services (art. 2 et seq. AVG und art. 1 et seq. AVV);
  • personnel leasing services in the form of temporary work (german technical term Temporärarbeit and Leiharbeit, not just occasional personnel leasing as so called gelegentliches Überlassen) (art. 12 et seq. AVG and art. 26 et seq. AVV);
  • recruitment/placement including management of musicians and artists (art. 2 para. 2 AVG and art. 4 AVV);
  • model and mannequin agencies;
  • recruitment/placement of sportsmen and sportswomen;
  • personnel leasing/recruitment via platform;
  • personnel leasing and recruitment services in the field of care and household services (especially in the field of 24-hour-care/around-the-clock care).

Licensing requirements

The authorization to personnel leasing and to provide recruitment services is subject to numerous requirements, the most important of which are listed below:

  • The applicant company
    • is registered in the Swiss Commercial Register;
    • has suitable business premises;
    • may not operate any other business that could endanger the interests of job seekers or employers.
  • Responsible Person: The business must be managed by a Swiss citizen or foreigner with a permanent residence permit or an existing cross-border commuter permit, who can guarantee professional recruitment and leasing activities and who is of good repute;
  • A deposit of at least CHF 50’000 must be paid to secure wage claims arising from the personnel leasing (for more information on deposits, see the information sheet on deposits).


Fees are charged in accordance with the Swiss Ordinance on Fees, Commissions and Deposits in the Area of the Federal Employment Services Act (Gebührenverordnung AVG, GebV-AVG). The fee for an initial permit is between CHF 750.00 – 1’650.00 per permit, depending on the amount of work involved. In the case of a cross-border permit, a fee is also charged by the SECO.

Permit applications – required documents

The company must submit the permit application to the AWA in complete form, including all required original documents, declarations and forms (see information sheets below). The application may be submitted by mail to the Amt für Wirtschaft und Arbeit Basel-Stadt, Sandgrubenstrasse 44, P.O. Box, 4005 Basel (with the notation Personalverleih/Arbeitsvermittlung). The documents, which do not have to be submitted in original, can alternatively be submitted by e-mail.

We recommend to consult the following checklists/leaflets before/when submitting the application:

Merkblatt Gesuchsunterlagen Personalverleih (in German)

Merkblatt Gesuchsunterlagen Arbeitsvermittlung (in German)

Merkblatt Gesuchsunterlagen Personalverleih und Arbeitsvermittlung (in German)

The required documents must be labeled and submitted in the order contained in the above mentioned leaflets.

The permit is valued for an unlimited period of time. Any changes, in particular a change of name, a change of domicile or a change of the responsible person, must be notified to the AWA immediately and without being requested to do so.

Note: Collective labor agreement on employment services (GAV)

On 13 December 2011, the Federal Council issued a declaration of universal applicability regarding the collective labor agreement on employment services. This declaration entered into force on 1 January 2012. It must be determined by the applicant in each case whether it must apply the GAV. Further information can be received on the homepage of the Swiss Commission for Staff Leasing (SPKP) or SECO.

Contact for questions

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. The contact details of the AVG officers can be found in the column on the right.

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