Set Up a Maid Agency Business in the United Kingdom
A bite-sized read from the experts at 3E Accounting on how to set up a maid agency business in the UK.
Having your very own maid or butler may seem like something out of Downtown Abbey. However, the domestic staff industry is a lot more mainstream than most people realise. It is not uncommon to have domestic help with the home front, both the live-in and day help type. Not surprisingly, the oldest and largest staffing market is in the United Kingdom. Supplying this type of workforce can be a lucrative business idea for the discerning entrepreneur. Here are a few considerations on how to set up a maid agency business in the UK.
In the UK, household staffing is generally referred to as the domestic help business. This is in contrast with Asian countries, where it is known more simply as a maid agency. Either way, the main aim of this business is the supply of workers. In the UK, this includes:
- Housekeepers or Butlers
- Cooks or Nannies
- Maids or Valets
- Chauffeurs or Estate Managers
When it comes to the supply of workers in general, it is important to distinguish between an agency and a business. The Employment Agencies Act 1973 is supplemented by the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003. It was updated in 2020, and any breach amounts to a criminal offence. Under these regulations:
- Employment Agencies supply workers to be hired or employed, i.e., permanent employment. A worker’s salary and welfare are handled by the subsequent employer.
- Employment Businesses supply workers on an outsource or secondment basis, i.e., temping or temporary work. Here, the worker is paid by the business itself.
If your business model falls under both categories, then you will have to follow the rules for both types. There are further obligations to adhere to under these regulations, including op-out rules, and the UK Government website offers some guidance. It may be advisable to engage company formation experts such as 3E Accounting to handle compliance in such instances.
Your maid agency business does not face any restrictions when it comes to company structures. You can choose to incorporate as a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP). These offer the protection of limited liability for owners. You can also choose to operate as a sole trader or partnership. Both are fast and cost-effective to set up. 3E Accounting offers comprehensive company formation services, including registered business address, opening a bank account, and leasing serviced office space. If you plan to recruit foreign workers, it is mandatory to ensure that they have permission to work in the UK.
Generally, agency businesses do not need any approvals to supply workers, but exceptions arise in certain circumstances. For example, if you supply workers for the following categories, you will need licenses:
- The nursing or care sector, including working in people’s homes – Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)
- Food processing and packaging industry – Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLA).
You may also want to consider registering with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation REC. This trade body offers training, support, and other essential services to members. The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) is another worth checking out.
This quick look at how to set up a maid agency business in the UK is just the tip of the iceberg. 3E Accounting provides bespoke company formation packages that will help you get started quickly and efficiently. Our team of professionals are compliance experts who will make sure all the correct boxes are ticked. You’ll be up and running and fully compliant before you know it. Contact 3E Accounting today to learn more about our fully digitalised, innovative and customisable business solutions.