Starting a Dating Agency
- Price: £5.99
- Published: October 2016
- Type: Business Opportunity Profile
- Format: PDF
- Qualifications and skills
- Key market issues and trends
- Trading, commercial and legal issues
- Further information
Dating agencies provide matchmaking services to people seeking a relationship, romance or simply a casual date. They are usually operated as an introduction agency or online dating agency.
Some agencies operate as traditional face-to-face introduction agencies, which interview and screen clients individually, typically charging relatively high fees for providing a personalised service. However, online dating is now extremely popular and there are reportedly around 1,500 online dating services in the UK that offer a more basic, low-cost service, and one in four of them have more than 100,000 users who are active at least once per month.
In recent years, dating agencies have diversified to provide services for people based on their age, religion, ethnicity, or hobbies, or seek to meet the needs of those looking for an 'adult' relationship or a same sex relationship. Some agencies also organise social events, such as speed-dating events, themed dinners or holidays.
Introduction agencies charge relatively high upfront fees for personalised services. Agency staff usually interview new clients in person, use the information provided to write a dating profile, 'match' them with existing clients and 'advertise' in order to find matches from outside the agency's existing client list. In contrast, most online dating agencies merely provide a platform for clients to create their own dating profile, browse fellow users' profiles, and communicate and arrange dates using private messages and a live chat service.
Typical fees charged by dating agencies range from around £25 per month for membership of an online dating agency to £20,000 for a year's membership of a London-based personal introduction agency. Many online dating agencies allow clients to browse other users' profiles for free, but require payment in order to initiate contact.
This profile provides information about starting up and running a dating agency. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.