The effect of surfactants on the surface roughness, hardness and microstructure of electroless nickel-phosphorus (ENi-P) coating obtained from an alkaline bath is presented in this paper. In this study the influence of surfactants such as Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS) and Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Bromide (CTAB) on the electroless Ni-P coated samples has been investigated. The variation on surface morphology was examined using Scanning Electron Microscope (HRSEM), surface roughness were measured using a stylus instrument and surface hardness were measured using a hardness tester. It was observed that the surface roughness, surface hardness and surface morphology of ENi-P coating were clearly influenced by the surfactants. Copyright © 2008, Inderscience Publishers.