*BUSTED* My little school is in peril!

That’s true, people do make things up, but this really did happen. And I actually know of similar things happening at other schools from talking to friends. Nothing quite as extreme as turning a kitchen into a garage, but lots of shady things.

OK. I believe that some games might be played when it comes to movable items in a school. I’m skeptical that anyone could bribe the authorities to find out when an inspection is going to occur, for example. But again, the question at hand here is the initial licensing of a school.

There are a lot of regulations that go into getting the initial license, but most of them (e.g. fire safety, alarms, etc) can be brought up to code easily. The tricky ones are when you have a large area that is not up to code or can’t be zoned for a specific purpose. Lots of schools get around the latter issue by simply calling those areas “storage” or a “garage”, using them for the purpose that actually want, and making them look like storage or a garage when inspections occur.

As for bribes, I’m not condoning it, but people all over the world take bribes. They just don’t talk about it for obvious reasons.

Fire safety is generally manageable in my experience, unless your place doesn’t have a viable emergency escape route, but the building codes can be impossible to get around. If your place is on the wrong floor, the wrong kind of street, or has other issues, it may simply be impossible to correct them. What you’re talking about above is moving around movable items to make an area which can’t allowably be used for some purpose temporarily appear as if it is not being used for that purpose. I’m sure that goes on at times. Once again, not what’s being talked about here.

No, they are not.

We had a school for 15 years. And while there might be a LOT of back and forth between the government and your “architect” the word bribe never comes up. Now, if the architect bribes them, that’s different. Schools that pay bribes after getting caught don’t last long, because it just looks like you’re hiding something that could result in twenty dead kids.

So, get an architect, which you would need to go legit anyway, and see if there’s a way to hold on to the place you have. If not, move to one that will pass muster, and get a license. Licensed schools abhor illegal ones and more often than not, your legal neighborhood school will rat you out in a heartbeat. :whistle:


As for bribes, this happens in Taiwan much more than you think. I don’t know about schools however.

Worst comes to worst, move somewhere that can be legally used to run a school. It’s all money anyways and you said you made double what an English teacher makes… just claim it as business loss to save on tax.

At least all you got is a few desks and filing cabinets… you can just rent a truck and have your workers move for you. Try moving my stuff, I got machines that weight more than 1000kg… good luck just renting a truck and having a few friends move for me. I have to rent a forklift and a really large truck to move.

Then stop doubling down on your lack of knowledge as it doesn’t help the OP when someone says, “Just bribe someone.” Schools are not street vendors or breakfast shops. There is a sh8tload of documentation, blueprint assessments, fire inspections, financial auditing, personnel background checks, etc. The fact that the OP has gotten away with it doesn’t make it the norm. And in my honest opinion, I have little respect for illegal schools run by foreign spouses of locals after watching little bodies pile up. They should know better.

After the string of dead kids in the 1990s and 2000s, the rules got much tighter, especially for kindies, and the inspections became routine and real.


people can check your school is registered or not, so this could happen very much.


Why not just act according to the law?
Is it too hard?


2 posts were merged into an existing topic: From school

Mainly because acting according to the law is expensive and time consuming, so most Taiwanese try to avoid it if possible.

If the entire island acted according to every law the Legislative Yuan cooked up to look progressive, Taiwan would need to be completely razed to the ground and rebuilt to Western standards.

It simply isn’t possible in many cases to act according to the law. A lot of businesses would have to shut down. In Taiwan the government have a rule (that they take very seriously) that they are not to deprive their citizen of their livelihood.

I guess schools are an exception, but a lot of those safety rules can be followed easily except for the whole building plan/usage thing. You can install fire suppression system, have those descender thing for evacuations, but you can’t just make it conform to Western standards without rebuilding the whole building.

there are really expensive laws. How many lives were paid for some laws.

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As my mom used to say: “If everyone jumped off a bridge would you?”

OP is not a citizen. Authorities won’t blink an eye before depriving their livelihood.

This is the kind of super lame “don’t blame us, we are just trying to make ends meet on this here ghost island” BS excuse that construction companies, contractors and developers think will get them off the hook when their shitty buildings full of soup-can scaffolding collapse during moderate earthquakes. Don’t worry about the rest of the island… fix your own backyard first! Set the example.


This kind of thinking rhymes with igotry.

Dude, you might want to take a step back and stick to making your wonderful geetars. Your knowledge and opinion of Taiwan are getting knotted up. You profess to know so much about business, business culture and the Taiwanese mindset, yet given your own posts, you seem woefully inadequate at making the best of it, despite these large corrupt easily manipulated loopholes, or even how to negotiate picking up free stuff from a Taiwanese guy. smh :idunno:


I’ve been here decades and know few Taiwanese that don’t fit his description. Circumventing laws for profit is pretty universal but especially so here.

Have you owned and or operated a legal buxiban? I think TL’s gigantic sweeping statements about the innate corruptibility of most taiwanese is easily dismissed as, well…you know.

Yes, and the whole day revolved around skirting laws so that fines could be avoided.

Office time consisted of helping employees and the school itself avoid taxes.


Hat’s off to ya. I did it legal-like and whenever there was an issue it was handled professionally, albeit not always with a great sense of urgency.

Furthermore, if you look for the less than legal way to do business in Taiwan, admittedly, you won’t have to go far. Ah Huang is just around the corner. I just don’t like the broad brush approach by people who are obviously biased. But that’s me. :idunno:

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I own a business in Taiwan and I run it 100% legal. This experience tells me that the law is expensive and time consuming.