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Setting Up a School

Setting up a school in Hong Kong involves fulfilling various legal and regulatory requirements. Here's a summary of the key steps and resources to guide you:

Before you begin:

  • Define your school: Determine the type of school (local, international, kindergarten, primary, secondary), target audience, curriculum, and language of instruction.

  • Conduct feasibility research: Understand the market demand, competition, funding options, and legal framework for your chosen type of school.

The Education Ordinance of Hong Kong defines a "school" quite broadly. Based on Section 3(1), it encompasses any institution, organization, or establishment that fulfills the following criteria:

Minimum number of students:

  • 20 or more persons must be present at any one day.

  • OR

  • 8 or more persons must be present at any one time.

Educational purpose:

  • The institution must provide nursery, kindergarten, primary, secondary, or post-secondary education.

  • OR

  • It must offer any other educational course, delivered through various methods like in-person classes, correspondence, or online learning.

This definition is quite inclusive, covering a wide range of educational settings, from traditional schools to more specialized institutions and even private tutoring services that meet the minimum student requirements.

Key steps:

  1. Register your business: Register your school as a company with the Companies Registry.

  2. Secure suitable premises: Find a location that meets safety, space, and accessibility requirements and obtain necessary clearances from relevant government departments (Planning, Fire Services, Buildings).

  3. Obtain licenses and registrations: Apply for a "School Registration Certificate" and "Manager Registration" with the Education Bureau (EDB). This involves submitting detailed information about your school, curriculum, staffing, finances, and premises layout.

  4. Hire qualified staff: Ensure teachers meet relevant qualifications and requirements based on your chosen curriculum and target audience.

  5. Develop curriculum and resources: Design your curriculum aligned with relevant regulations and educational goals. Obtain necessary approvals from the EDB if applicable.

  6. Market your school: Develop a marketing strategy to attract students and build awareness.

Additional notes:

  • The process can be complex and time-consuming. Consider seeking professional legal and educational consultancy to ensure compliance and smooth progress.

  • Specific requirements and procedures may vary depending on your chosen school type and target audience. Always refer to the EDB website and consult with relevant authorities for the latest regulations and updates.


This information provides a starting point for your journey in setting up a school in Hong Kong. The process can be complex and time-consuming. Seek Bestar professional consultancy to ensure compliance and smooth progress.

How Bestar Can Help Setting Up a School in Hong Kong

Here's how Bestar can assist you:

1. Financial planning and budgeting:

  • Develop a comprehensive financial plan outlining your school's projected income, expenses, and funding needs.

  • Advise on cost-effective strategies for resource allocation and budgeting for initial setup and ongoing operations.

  • Help secure financing through loans, grants, or other means based on your financial plan and projections.

2. Registration and tax compliance:

  • Assist with registering your school as a business entity and obtaining necessary licenses and permits.

  • Ensure compliance with all relevant Hong Kong tax regulations, including corporate income tax, payroll tax, and goods and services tax (GST).

  • Prepare and file accurate tax returns to avoid penalties and delays.

3. Accounting systems and bookkeeping:

  • Set up a robust accounting system tailored to your school's needs, ensuring efficient recording and tracking of financial transactions.

  • Provide ongoing bookkeeping services, including managing accounts payable and receivable, payroll processing, and bank reconciliations.

  • Generate financial reports and statements to monitor your school's financial performance and make informed decisions.

4. Budgeting and forecasting:

  • Create realistic budgets for different departments and activities within your school.

  • Develop financial forecasts to anticipate future income and expenses, ensuring financial stability and preparedness.

  • Analyze financial data and provide insights to optimize resource allocation and spending.

5. Grant and funding assistance:

  • Identify potential grants and funding opportunities relevant to your school type and educational mission.

  • Assist with preparing grant proposals and applications, maximizing your chances of securing funding.

  • Manage grant funds effectively and ensure compliance with reporting requirements.

Additional benefits:

  • Bestar's experience with educational institutions can provide valuable insights and industry-specific best practices.

  • Our expertise can help you minimize financial risks, optimize resource allocation, and achieve long-term financial sustainability for your school.

Consulting with Bestar can provide the financial guidance and support needed to navigate the initial setup phase and ensure your school operates on a sound financial footing. 

Feel free to ask if you have any further questions or require more specific guidance.

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