Tuition agencies largely unregulated

By Gerrard Lai

Tuition centres are required to register with MOE because they operate as schools.

Tuition agencies have to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) under the Business Registration Act.

An Acra spokesman explained: "Any person setting up a business must be registered with Acra unless he comes within the specified exceptions... such as licensed hawkers and taxi drivers (among others).

"Since tuition agencies do not fall into the category of businesses that are exempted from registration, they would have to register with Acra."

When Acra receives feedback on unregistered tuition agencies, they will first inform the owner to register the business.

Failure to do so may result in a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months, or both, said Acra.

However, it can be difficult to police all businesses, which gives rise to the existence of unregistered tuition agencies, such as one run by Ms Tan (not her real name).

Her agency was cited as an example of "unregistered tuition agencies in Singapore" by a reader who wrote to the media, expressing her concerns about the largely unregulated sector.

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