Starting a Dental Practice in Singapore

Staff Writer

January 11, 2022

What’s in the article?

How to Open a Dental Clinic

Dentistry is one of the most prolific sectors of the medical industry in Singapore. That’s why many clinics are opened up throughout the country. Basically, the setup of this business is quite similar to that of a traditional clinic. This means the process is quite complicated and requires a lot of licenses. Keep reading to learn how to start a dental clinic in Singapore.

Who is eligible to start a dental clinic in Singapore?

According to regulations, any organisations, societies or individuals with valid medical licenses can start their own dental clinics in Singapore. These businesses are mostly registered under a business entity.

Nevertheless, the first thing you need to do is registering with the ACRA or Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

How to start your dental clinic business in Singapore

Here are a few steps you should follow to start a dental clinic in Singapore:

1. Choose and get approval for a premise

Firstly, you should look for a good location for your clinic which can attract many clients. After, it is necessary to get approval for this premise. If you want to occupy or renovate an existing space, you have to acquire the building permit through the BCA (Building and Construction Authority). After that, you need to get the Temporary Occupation or Statutory Completion Certification before occupying the space.

Some other licenses or permits to acquire for your premise include the Advertisement License for placing business signage and the Certificate of Fire Safety.

2. Get license for dispensing medicinal drugs

For dental clinics which plant to dispense some medicinal drugs, it is necessary to acquire the Pharmacy Registration Certificate from the Health Sciences Authority. Also, an L3 license by the Agency of National Environment is required for using irradiating equipment like X-ray machines.

3. Name your dental clinic

The next step is to get a suitable name for your clinic. It must include the term “Dental Centre” or “Dental Clinic” and mustn’t be identical or similar to other existing licensed clinics. You can include “National” or “Singapore” in the name without approval from the authority. The name of your clinic on the signboard must be the same as the approved one. If you need to include any additional symbol, logo, or words, then it also requires approval.

4. Establish responsibilities with a clinic manager

Next, you need to find a clinic manager who can represent you in the management process. Basically, he or she should be a medical practitioner who registered with the Medical Council of Singapore.

5. Acquire necessary licenses

To legally open and run a dental clinic in Singapore, it is required to acquire the following licenses:

  • Risk-based licensing: This is a new licensing regulation, which encourages licensees of healthcare institutions to comply with licensing requirements. Based on the service nature under RBL, the licenses will be divided into three categories, including low-risk, moderate-risk, and high-risk.
  • All application must be submitted to the Audit, Inspection, and Licensing Department, Ministry of Health, two months before the scheduled date for official commencement.

For dental clinics with multiple branches, it is important to license each branch individually. Here is the overview of licensing fees for a dental clinic in Singapore:

  • S$770 for 1 dentist
  • S$1100 for 2 to 5 dentists
  • S$1500 for 6 or more dentists
  • S$1600 for an X-ray laboratory
  • S$2000 for an X-ray laboratory and clinical

6. Document submission

Within seven working days, you need to submit the following documents to MOH.

  • Certificate of Fire Safety: According to the Fire Safety Act, nobody could use or occupy any buildings if there is no fire certificate which authorizes such use or occupation is first acquired from the Fire Safety and Shelter Department.
  • The new premise’s Floor Plan
  • Corporate regulatory and accounting company profile
  • Letter of authorization for the CEO or director of the company, who are authorized to submit the application for the company.
  • The licensee’s consent letter of your dental clinic. The licensee is the person who agrees to share the premise with your dental clinic. This is only applied to situations where the premise to be licensed is currently shared with other licensees.

7. License issuing

Depending on the kinds of licenses, the process of issuing often takes anywhere from one to two weeks after inspection. These licenses will be valid for 2 years.

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