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Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Private Education Business in Singapore

Starting a Private Education Business in SingaporeOver the years, the education system in Singapore has shown tremendous growth. The Global Schoolhouse Initiative, which started in the early 2000s has helped the city-state become a forerunner in the global education market. Besides, the Smart Nation vision by the government has been inspiring the citizens to become more tech-savvy and upskill themselves in the learning process.

With a favourable business climate, Singapore continues to be a popular destination for expatriates. Conducive tax rates, incentives and overall healthy work conditions attract foreigners from all over the world to work in Singapore. With over 1.5 million expatriates, Singapore has thousands of private education institutions to accommodate the growing population. Generally, Singaporeans tend to take education very seriously. The increase of private education institutions in the country has also been helping with the economic growth, all the more with the influx of international students.

If you have a passion for education and teaching others, starting a private education business in Singapore might be the way to go. Aside from being a very fulfilling endeavour, this industry is also a very lucrative one. However, just like starting any other business, it’s essential that you do your thorough research to study the pros and cons before jumping in headfirst.

In this article, we will be focusing on starting a private education business in Singapore. We’ll be exploring what you will need, and where you can find quality help to start as well.  Also, if you would rather have someone else do it for you, try looking up company incorporation services. These incorporation services can be mightily beneficial to you.


What is a Private Education Business?

When a private education business is mentioned, many people automatically assume that the institution must be academically based. However, this cannot be further from the truth. A private education business encompasses both academic and non-academic institutions. Take a look below for the types of education institutions found in Singapore:

Childcare Centres

Pre-nursery and pre-kindergarten children, who are usually under the age of seven, are sent to childcare centres. These centres focus on children’s early education and development. And at any given point, there should be at least six children in a childcare centre. Given how many parents both work in a family, a childcare centre is crucial for parents, just as much as it is for children.


Children learn and further develop themselves and their social skills during their time in kindergarten. This stage prepares a child for their later years. It caters to children who are 18 months up to six years old.

 Academic Schools

These are your traditional schools, where children learn particularly on science, art, mathematics, languages and follow a formalised syllabus. Different curricula, such as the British Curriculum, the American Curriculum, and the International Baccalaureate Curriculum, are offered to diverse students here in Singapore.

Non-Academic Schools

Non-academic schools focus on functional training and self-development. This can be anything from sports, dance, music, martial arts, cooking, robotics, poetry, etc. Through non-academic activities, parents and guardians hope to help their children engage better with their social, emotional and motor skills. Furthermore, sending children to these self-enrichment programmes enables them to improve in other areas of their lives as well.

There is a huge demand for not only academic schools but for non-academic institutions as well. Parents are realising the importance of hands-on training and how it can potentially impact a child’s academic performance. Plus, it also builds character, improves self-efficacy and adds invaluable skills to a child’s life.

The private education industry is undoubtedly a vast field. If you have a vision of what you think schools could be and wish to contribute to education, play your strengths right and choose the right education institution to start. Read more on our guide to company registration in Singapore.


Process for Starting a Private Education Business in Singapore

Before your private education business takes off, you will need to cross several things on your checklist. The first and foremost thing is to register your business entity with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). As the official statutory body responsible for business entity regulation and corporate service providers, registering with ACRA gives your business transparency and credibility. Your clients and customers will be able to look up information about your company in ACRA.

When you register your business, it’s better to outline several aspects including business entity, company name, accreditations, staffing, financing, etc.

Company Structure

In Singapore, there are four business structures, namely, Sole-Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Partnership (LP), and Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). Choosing the right business structure is one of the most crucial business decisions you will ever make. It influences how you run your future business. Therefore, it is imperative that you do your thorough research, study the pros and cons before finalising a structure.

Company Name

Next, you will need a name for your company. Be sure to pick a name that has not been trademarked. You can do so by doing a simple check online to see whether or not the name has been taken. By law, if you use a name that a different company has already trademarked, you may very well be penalised and risk being fined.

Accreditations and Qualification

Moving on, as an educator, possessing the proper credentials and accreditations to your company’s name can make or break your business. Therefore, you might want to check out accreditations such as EduTrust certification and Singapore Quality Class (SQC) certification. These certifications might not be necessary to start a private education business. Still, they will provide you with credibility and demonstrate the education standard in your company.


You will also need to figure out the financing for your company. Starting a private education business may be somewhat costly, as there are many parties involved in the setting up of the company. There’s also lease, materials, staffing and other additional costs to think about. It would be beneficial for you to prepare an estimated budget of the projected costs in the long run.

By preparing a budget, you will get to list down every expense, no matter how big or small they are. This will allow you not to overlook any expenditure, and you can properly allocate the right amount of money needed to start a private education business in Singapore.

Needless to say, with more than 1200 private education institutions in Singapore, the industry is undoubtedly a challenging one to break into. To tilt the odds in your favour, you can also seek a corporate service provider in Singapore to make the process of setting up your business swifter.


Licences You Will Need for Your Business

If you’re going to be starting a private education business in Singapore, the chances that you will be running your business on a premise is very likely. Therefore, you will need to apply for planning permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA). To legally run your education institution within a premise, URA will need to grant you a Class II approval. Once you’ve registered your business with ACRA, you can then move on to getting relevant licences and permits. For more inquiries on URA, click here.

On the subject of premises, if you wish to do renovation works within your space, you must obtain a special permit from the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA). BCA is responsible for ensuring the quality control of a building. Therefore, the site of your future private education business will be thoroughly vetted by the BCA to make certain that it is secure, safe and up to standards. Additionally, you will also need to be certified by BCA before legally occupying the said space.

Depending on how you plan to run your education business, there may be more licenses and permits that you need to get. For example, if you plan to sell food on your premises, you will need a license for that. If you wish to play music, you will need to obtain a music rights license first.


We’ve Got You Covered

If you’re thinking of starting your very own private education business in Singapore, you’ve come to the right place. We are 3E Accounting, a globally renowned firm dedicated to providing comprehensive business solutions. Our team of experts have the right experience and expertise to help you set up, manage and run a private education business. Regardless of your business stage, we can help you make it better.

We understand that starting a private education business is no meagre task. There can be plenty of licenses to apply for and forms to submit, which can be very time and energy-consuming. That’s why we offer our one-stop no-nonsense business solutions for you. Contact 3E Accounting today and find out how we can help you get your business off the ground today!