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Set up a Dental Clinic Business in Singapore

In Singapore, the setup of a dental clinic undergoes the process that is very much similar to that of setting up a traditional clinic. The licensing of medical practices in Singapore is presided by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and applications are made to Central Licensing Branch (CLB) of MOH.



1. Who is Eligible to set up a Dental Clinic in Singapore?

Individuals with approved medical licenses, societies, and organizations are allowed to start a dental practice in Singapore. In most cases, clinics register under a business entity. However, they will first have to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA). You are eligible to apply for a license with the CLB once you have established the business entity.


2. Steps to Establishing a Dental Clinic in Singapore

  1. Find a suitable premise
    Scouting for a strategic location for your dental clinic is one of the important steps after you have registered your business.
  2. Get approval for the premise
    • If you are occupying an existing space and it needs to be renovated, you will need to apply for a building work permit through Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA) as to comply with the regulations.
    • Once the building works complete, you will also need to obtain a Certificate of Statutory Completion and/or a Temporary Occupation Permit from BCA before you can occupy the space (Please note that all renovation works are to be performed by certified or licensed contractors including architects).
    • You need to obtain a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) before you occupy the building (You can get the FSC from Singapore Civil Defence Force through a registered architect or engineer).
    • An Advertisement License from BCA is required if you want to place a business signage on the building.
  3. Get approval for medicinal drugs dispensary
    For dental clinic that will dispense medicinal drugs, a Certificate of Registration of a Pharmacy with Health Sciences Authority is needed for the dispensary purpose. Furthermore, a L3 License from National Environment Agency is required if a clinic plan to use irradiating equipment such as x-ray machines (The license applies to a single machine, and you have to apply for a separate license for each additional machine).
  4. Name the clinic
    • Getting the appropriate name for the dental clinic is another crucial step in setting up a clinic. The word “Dental Clinic or Dental Centre” must be included in the name and it must not be similar or identical to any existing licensed dental clinic.(Please note that any medical facilities cannot have the words ‘Singapore’ and ‘National’ in their names without prior approval from MOH as of June 1, 2009).
      • The clinic name on the clinic signboard should be exactly the same as the approved clinic name and any offensive (or uncouth) words/diagrams/pictorials that are irrelevant to the services are not allowed in the signboard. Approval is needed if you want to include additional words/logo/symbol etc. (which are not part of the approved clinic name) on your clinic signboard. The same rule applies to the clinic stationery, e.g. MC, invoices/bills/receipts, medication labels, etc., which they should also bear only the licensed clinic name.
  5. Appoint a Clinic Manager and Establish Responsibilities
    • The next step is you need to appoint a clinic manager to help you in management. Clinic managers must be a medical practitioner, and must be registered with the Singapore Medical Council.
  6. Obtain Necessary Licenses
    In order to operate a dental clinic legally in Singapore, you will need to obtain the appropriate licenses, as follow.

    1. ‘Risk Based Licensing’: a new licensing framework, which incentivises licensees ofhealthcare institutions (HCIs) to be compliant with licensing requirements. HCLs are categorised ‘high-risk’, ‘moderate-risk’ and ‘low-risk’ based on the nature of services under RBL, all HCIs will be categorised into 3 categories –
    2. All application [for a licence together with the requisite licence fee] must be made to the Licensing, Inspection & Audit Branch, Ministry of Health, at least 2 months before the intended date for commencement of practice.
    3. For institutions with multiple branches, each branch must be individually licensed.
    4. Licensing fees at a glance:
      • 1 dentist: S$770
      • 2 to 5 dentists: S$1100
      • More than 5 dentists: S$1,500
  7. Submission Of The Documents [Where Applicable]
    The following documents have to be submitted to MOH within 7 working days.

    1. Fire Safety Certificate (Under Section 20 of the Fire Safety Act, no person shall occupy or use any building unless a fire certificate authorising such occupation or use is first obtained from the Fire Safety & Shelter Department (FSSD)).
    2. Floor Plan of the new premises (Drawn to scale).
    3. ACRA Company Profile- if the licensee is a company registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
    4. Authorization (letter) from the Company Director or CEO of the company- if you are the authorised person submitting the application on behalf of the company.
    5. Consent letter from licensee of the dental clinic [who has agreed to share premises with the clinic for which this licence application is submitted] – This is applicable only to cases where the premises to be licensed are shared with other licensee.
  8. Issue Of Licence
    1. This will be approximately 1 to 2 weeks (depending on the types of licences) after the inspection.
    2. Licenses are valid for two years.


3. Additional Licenses

  • Medisave Accreditation: The accreditation [under the Medisave scheme] is needed when you wish to allow your patients to make Medisave claims. Application for Medisave accreditation can be done as soon as you have commenced your application for the Medical Clinic License under the PHMC Act.
  • Provision of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT): Considered as a special care service under “Specialised Diagnostic Radiology”, CBCT is the 3rd Schedule of the Private Hospitals & Medical Clinics (PHMC) Regulations. Documents required for the provision of CBCT for new dental clinic application are:
    • Dentist with postgraduate qualification; or
    • Dentist without postgraduate qualification: must have attended CBCT related training course
  • Licence for Irradiating Equipment (such as X-Ray, Laser and Ultrasound Machines): The license Licences will be issued by the Radiation Protection & Nuclear Science Department, National Environment Agency.
  • Hazardous Substances Permit: The application can be submitted online at the National Environment Agency’s Pollution Control Licensing System (PCLS) website and it must be done by a company’s senior executive or any other authorised personnel[of the company].
  • Certificate of Registration of a Pharmacy: This certificate can be obtained from the Health Sciences Authority an application fee of S$500. A pre-approval audit of the clinic’s pharmacy area will be conducted by the Health Sciences Authority’s pharmacy auditors.
  • Medical Advertisements and Sales Promotion Permit: The permit is required if you are advertising pharmaceutical products to patients or visitors of your clinic.
  • Charitable Institution License: The license is required if your clinic is registered as a charity under Chapter 37 of the Charities Act.


Final Note

If you are setting up your dental clinic, it is advisable to engage with professional services firm to help you incorporate clinic and obtain the necessary licenses. Contact us today to know more about our end-to-end service like company incorporation, tax accounting and lots more. Please visit our company services page for further details on how 3E Accounting can assist you in setting up your dental clinic in Singapore.