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Legality of Private Tutoring (in your apartment)

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Legality of Private Tutoring (in your apartment)

Postby LaurenM » 09 Mar 2012, 09:13

Hello All!

I have been tutoring about 9 different students ranging in age from super young (less than 2 yrs. old) to junior high school students for a few years now. During this time, I've traveled to their homes to teach them. I find this super tiring and not at all cost or time efficient. I'd like to open my own "classroom" ("家教班", right?) by renting an apartment (separate from where I live now) which would just serve as a place to house my private lessons. So, basically, I would be doing the exact same thing as I do in their homes, just much more convenient for me. Also, it would enable me to take on more students since I could put the classes closer together (right now I have up to an hour and a half between classes!). So, here are my questions:

1) Is private tutoring ever legal?

2) Is teaching the kids in an apartment I've rented any less legal than teaching them in their own homes?

3) Some of the parents have told me that I need to lower my fee (which is currently $1000/60+ min.) if I won't be at their houses anymore. But, most of them currently pick me up and drop me off, anyway, so I don't really see it as any less convenient for them to come to the classroom. Also, I’d be providing a much better learning environment for the kids. What do you think?

4) Perhaps most importantly, if I had a classroom, is there any sort of insurance I would need in case, for instance, a student gets injured while in my apartment? Is there any way parents could sue for something like that? What sort of insurance might cover that? Any other legal issues I should be concerned about? If the whole thing is illegal, then I assume I won’t be able to get insurance anyway... should this be a deal-breaker? Is there anything I could have the parents sign to avoid that kind of situation? Obviously, I don’t anticipate this happening, but I just want to be careful.

I don’t have a teaching degree, but I consider myself to be a very qualified (with degrees in Art and Early Childhood Psychology, and 5 years’ experience in Taiwan) and good teacher. I work hard and care about my students and their progress. I just can’t keep traveling from place to place lugging my materials around! Any advice you’d have for me would be super appreciated!!

Thanks in advance!! :)
LaurenM
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Re: Legailty of Private Tutoring (in your apartment)

Postby Feiren » 09 Mar 2012, 09:37

There are many problems with this.

First of all, if you don't have an APRC or marriage-based ARC, it is illegal.

This is risky because your neighbors (or a competitor) may not like your classroom and might report you. You could get deported and/or face a large fine.

It is also a violation of zoning laws since a private school is not a permitted use in a residential neighborhood. You could get fined.

You need a license to open a school, which you don't have, so your business is illegal as well. Fines.

If a child was injured or even worse killed, the parents could and would sue you. They would probably also bring a complaint against you for criminal negligence to force you to settle. You probably can't get insurance because you are running an illegal business that no one would want to insure. Even if you somehow did, I doubt the insurer would pay your claim.

Even though this is a terrible idea, the reality is that you might get away with it for a while, Many people do. I think your chances outside of Taipei would be better.
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Re: Legailty of Private Tutoring (in your apartment)

Postby LaurenM » 09 Mar 2012, 11:43

Thanks for the input, Feiren.

Ugh.... is anything in Taiwan actually legal??
LaurenM
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Re: Legailty of Private Tutoring (in your apartment)

Postby tomthorne » 09 Mar 2012, 11:55

LaurenM wrote:Thanks for the input, Feiren.

Ugh.... is anything in Taiwan actually legal??


It tends to be a grey area :) .

I'm no expert, but I believe you are allowed to tutor a certain number of students in your own home - which makes sense. Obviously, doing it from a rented premises isn't permitted without a school license.
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Re: Legailty of Private Tutoring (in your apartment)

Postby ironlady » 09 Mar 2012, 13:25

If you are on a work visa with a company, I doubt it is legal even for you to tutor a certain number of students in your own home as a paid proposition. You are technically limited to work at the specific location and for the specific employer who got your ARC/work permit.

Very few things are legal for foreigners in Taiwan unless they are married (JFRV visa), have finagled one or more Article 51 work permits, or are on APRC -- or have taken Taiwanese nationality (in which case they're really not "foreigners").
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Re: Legailty of Private Tutoring (in your apartment)

Postby tomthorne » 09 Mar 2012, 16:08

Sorry OP, I assumed you already had open work rights. If you haven't then ignore my post.
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Re: Legailty of Private Tutoring (in your apartment)

Postby LaurenM » 09 Mar 2012, 19:55

What are "open work rights"?

Also, is what I'm planning to do that more illegal than, say, working in a kindy? If it's working-in-a-kindy illegal, then I think I'll take my chances.

It's so frustrating that I couldn't really do this legally if I wanted to. :roll: Any advice on the closest legal equivalent to what I'm doing?

Thanks again for your input!
LaurenM
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Re: Legailty of Private Tutoring (in your apartment)

Postby tomthorne » 09 Mar 2012, 20:56

LaurenM wrote:What are "open work rights"?



The right to work anwhere with pretty much the same restrictions as Taiwanese nationals - JFRV or APRC.
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Re: Legailty of Private Tutoring (in your apartment)

Postby LaurenM » 09 Mar 2012, 21:12

So I would need an APRC to get open work rights, correct?

When you say "anywhere", you don't mean that I could go ahead with this plan if I had open work rights, do you? Would OWR at least keep me from being deported should I be found out?
LaurenM
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Re: Legailty of Private Tutoring (in your apartment)

Postby ironlady » 09 Mar 2012, 22:11

What scares me about this proposition is not the possibility of deportation; it's the liability. Kids are damage-prone beings, and parents are not always rational where their offspring are involved. Add in a possible communication barrier to begin with, and to me this is a recipe for potential disaster. You really don't want to be sued in Taiwan, especially for sums of money you couldn't possibly pay, not to mention legal fees and general psychic wear and tear.

If it were me, I'd scout out some friendly McDonald's locations for "class".
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