How to Start Private School in Singapore?

How to Start Private School in Singapore?

The education sector being one of the potential developing industries in Singapore plays a significant role in pulling in and fostering talent from across the globe. The Global Schoolhouse initiative was rolled out by the Economic Development Board in 2002, with a goal of changing Singapore into an internationally-renowned educational hub. Currently, there are more than 1,200 private educational institutions and organisations that provide high-quality education services, thus making this country a top name in this sector. Besides academics, the demand is also rising for specific vocational and skill-based courseware in certain niches like grooming, culinary arts, fine arts etc.

This article will help provide a general guideline on how to start an educational institute in Singapore.

As this sector offers many attractive opportunities, the number of professionals and foreign companies who want to tap this market and establish an academic or non-academic private institution, kindergarten or nursery, daycare or childcare centre or other associated service is on a sharp rise. The Singaporean Government has set some guidelines and statutory requirements for the new bees in this sector with a goal of streamlining the education sector and the diverse participants in it.

  • Registering a company or entity
  • Types of business structures
  • Selecting a business structure suiting your requirements
  • Deciding an apt business or company name
  • Company’s official address
  • Requisite approvals from relevant authorities
  • Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority’s (ACRA’s) Pro-business services
  • Information on Taxes, Licenses and CPF

Types of Educational Institutes

Childcare Centres
A childcare centre is a place, which takes cares of over five children, who are below 7 years of age, at a time.
Preschools or Kindergartens
A kindergarten or playschool is an institute, which provides pre-school education in a structured three-year format including nursery, kindergarten 1, and then kindergarten 2. The children here are aged from 3 to 6.
Academic Institutes or Schools
Academic private institutes or schools typically provide theoretical, structured and formal education. The schools which offer certificates, degrees, and diplomas are known as academic private schools. Some Examples are:

Why Singapore’s Single Family Offices (SFOs) are now becoming so Hugely Popular?

Non-Academic Institutes or Schools

Non-academic schools basically offer practical exposure and hands-on learning or experiences. Some examples are:
Basic Steps to Set up a School

A Detailed Plan

Before deciding to establish your educational institute, think through and ensure that you have understood what you are getting into. Review the regulatory necessities as per the type of school you are going to set up. There are some other important things you need to complete so that your new business remains a financially-viable and gainful entity. These tasks are:

  • Study the market thoroughly including the target students
  • Identify tentative locations you would want to open your school in and find out their rentals
  • Calculate the staff requirements and start finding their availability and their salary slabs
  • Gauge the main success factors and potential risks and a plan to mitigate those risks
  • Chart out complete financial projections in best and also worst case scenarios
What are the Licensing Requirements?

The licenses needed completely depend on which type of education institute you are planning to start. The following table provides a clear view of which registration, licenses, and permits you need as per the type you choose.

The main regulatory requirement for organizations in the education sector is that all private companies or establishments giving education to 10 or more people (except non-academic schools) have to register either with the Council for Private Education (CPE) or the Ministry of Education (MOE), depending on the type of establishment. This registration gives the private institutes the right to function when they have met all the statutory requirements successfully.

Childcare Centre Pre-School/Kindergarten Academic Institute Non-academic Institute
Registration of Business Required Required Required Required
Register with the Ministry of Education Required Required Required for some type of academic schools Not Required
Register with Council of Private Education Not Required Not Required Required for some type of academic schools Not Required
Childcare centre license Required If applicable NA NA
Canteen/Food court/ Stall/Coffee shop license If applicable If applicable If applicable If applicable
TV sets in the premises If applicable If applicable If applicable If applicable
Publishing a school or educational magazine If applicable If applicable If applicable If applicable
Importing educational material If applicable If applicable If applicable If applicable
Advertisement of the institute If applicable If applicable If applicable If applicable
EduTrust certification Recommended Recommended Recommended Recommended
Singapore Quality class Certification NA NA Recommended NA
Get Expert Assistance
If you have any queries around how to start private education institutions in Singapore, how to start a private industry in Singapore or need accounting services for small business in Singapore, do get in touch with us at IMC and we will be happy to assist you.

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