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Guide to Starting a Private Education Institute (PEI) in Singapore

This guide’s aim is to set forth overall direction on launching within Singapore a private educational institute.

The field of education is among one of Singapore’s developing growth industries and takes on a fundamental purpose in attracting and nourishing abilities from around the world. In 2002, the Economic Development Board introduced the Global Schoolhouse Initiative, with the aim of remodeling Singapore into a world famous learning center. Currently, you’ll find here more than 1,200 private education establishments that provide a varied combination of top-notch education solutions, making Singapore a reliable leader in this industry. Besides scholastic instruction, there’s recently been a surge in desire for specialised occupational and expertise-based programs including grooming, cooking arts, fine arts and so forth.

Granted the appealing and profitable business possibilities this industry presents, a growing multitude of people and overseas organizations are seeking to engage the sector by establishing scholastic or non-scholastic private educational institutions, kindergartens, nursery schools, daycare facilities and other associated solutions. Considering the objective of optimizing the education sector and its assorted participants, the Government of Singapore has set forth specific rules and legal criteria for newcomers to this market.


Classification of Educational Institutes

Generally, Singapore academic institutions supplying private education are grouped into these categories:

Childcare Centres

A childcare centre is anywhere that takes care of and looks after at least six children, of age less than seven, at a single time.


A kindergarten is a school that delivers a well-designed three-year preschool course of learning comprising nursery school, first kindergarten, and second kindergarten for youngsters of age three to six.

Academic Schools

Academic private schools are those that provide conceptual, organized programs and formalized schooling. Commonly, institutions providing diplomas, certificates or degrees belong to this classification.

Varieties of academic schools encompass:

  • Educational institutions that plan to furnish academic courses ending in GCE exams
  • External system/overseas educational facilities
  • Kindergartens and pre-schools
  • Schools of business
  • Computer training centres or IT institutes
  • Schools of language
  • Schools of fine arts
  • Schools that charge tuition
  • Enrichment facilities supplying certificate programs, degrees and so on.
  • Centres for adult education
  • Centres for distance learning

Non-Academic Schools

Non-academic schools are those that chiefly provide functional, first-hand training activities. Illustrations of non-academic facilities encompass:

  • schools teaching cooking
  • schools teaching grooming
  • schools teaching driving
  • schools teaching hair styling
  • schools teaching dressmaking
  • school teaching the art of massage
  • schools teaching sports activities


Establishing a School – Fundamental Procedures

Step 1: Consider and prepare initially

Prior to implementing your teaching company, ensure that you have analyzed and grasped the assorted legal necessities stated below regarding the sort of facility you’ll be creating. Obviously, prior to beginning your teaching organization, you must consider these essential steps that you need to finish in order that your brand-new endeavor will be a profitable and thriving business:

  • Preparing an industry analysis that includes targeted pupil population
  • Identifying suitable venues, and particularly the likely leasing rates
  • Identifying worker demands and accessibility of expertise, together with their marketplace incomes
  • Recognizing essential factors for success and areas of risk, such the best way to minimize the potential risks
  • Completing budgetary forecasts considering both the very best and most awful scenarios possible

Step 2: Incorporate the business

When you’ve chosen to move ahead, it’s essential to first incorporate the business venture. The most appropriate legal structure for this objective is a private limited Singapore company. In Singapore, the incorporation of such a company is a reasonably direct and brief procedure, even though specific legal criteria pertain. For additional specifics, make reference to the guide about establishing a company in Singapore.

Step 3: Prepare for operations

When your business incorporates, the true efforts can start. There are numerous vital activities you have to perform in order to begin registering pupils. These consist of:

  1. Finding suitable premises
    You’re able to use only properties that have been authorized for academic pursuits by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). This means you’ll want to consult with the landlord to guarantee that the venue you intend to rent may be employed for this objective.  Once you have put your signature on the lease document for the site, it is best to engage a professional licensed contractor to undertake the essential remodeling tasks according to what you need.
  2. Employing the workforce
    The largest portion of your workforce will involve teachers. You have got to ensure they possess the mandatory background to instruct the appropriate classes. You will find yourself having to distinctly express the teacher qualifications as part of your marketing material. Provided your academic institution intends to present training sponsored by the Government, it is vital that you adhere to the extra conditions required by the related regulators.The workforce may include both native and alien staff members. For additional particulars, see the guide to hiring staff.
  3. Submit an application for the required licenses

At this time, you will additionally have to procure the required licenses that can be applied to the kind of instructional facility you’re going to be implementing. For additional information about this, see the following heading entitled Licensing Requirements.

Step 4: Acquire Accreditations

After your educational institution is operational, you ought to really consider acquiring these particular accreditations so that you can generate faith and trust in your prospective pupils:

  • EduTrust certification. EduTrust certification should always be secured prior to enrolling alien pupils. Private teaching organizations can acquire economic assistance and support for EduTrust certification using the latest EduTrust Support Scheme (ESS). The ESS delivers an award as high as S$26,500 to qualified organizations that happen to be considering improving their capabilities.
  • Singapore Quality Class (SQC) certification. SQC certifications don’t just assist in producing an outstanding opinion regarding your educational institution, but additionally helps to facilitate processing of applications for student visas posted by SQC certified learning organizations.


Licensing Requirements

The particular licenses called for are determined according to the sort of schooling organization you intend to create. The table beneath has an overview of the numerous permits, licences and registrations you must have for different kinds of schools.

The essential legal necessity for organizations working in the education industry is that all private firms or establishments supplying teaching to at least 10 students (other than non-academic institutions) need to sign up either with the Council for Private Education (CPE) or the Ministry of Education (MOE), based on the kind of school. Registering with CPE or MOE provides private educational institutions the authority to function after they’ve satisfied legal prerequisites.


Business registration Required Required Required Required
Registration with Ministry of Education Required Required Required for certain types of academic schools Not Required
Registration with Council for Private Education Not Required Not Required Required for certain types of academic schools Not Required
Childcare centre license Required If Applicable N/A N/A
Advertising the establishment If Applicable If Applicable If Applicable If Applicable
Placing TV sets in your premises If Applicable If Applicable If Applicable If Applicable
Publishing an educational/school magazine If Applicable If Applicable If Applicable If Applicable
Importing educational materials If Applicable If Applicable If Applicable If Applicable
Canteen / food court / food stall / coffee shop licence If Applicable If Applicable If Applicable If Applicable
Singapore Quality Class Certification N/A N/A Recommended N/A
EduTrust Certification Recommended Recommended Recommended Recommended