Legal requirements for opening a school in India

Opening a school in India: Legal requirements

This article on ‘Legal requirements for opening a school in India: All you need to know‘ was written by Amruta Patil, an intern at Legal Upanishad.

“An investment in education returns the best interest-Benjamin Franklin”


The next generation of reformers in India will be impacted by schools’ ability to help children realize their full potential. Parents want their children to attend the best schools, despite the fact that there are few opportunities.

The education system at present is lacking the necessary infrastructure which is needed to meet the growing demands of schools.

All over India, there is a dire need for schools. Everyone who aspires to enroll in the school system should do so right away. It is an investment that pays over time.

While it is possible to start an excellent school, it takes a lot of effort to build a great one. At school, students have access to a variety of opportunities to perfect their skills, discover their passions, and develop their abilities while also enhancing their self-expression and communication.

So if one does want to venture into the education sector how can one do it? Since there are certain legal requirements that are to be met with such as land and building permit, recognitions, certification, and so on.

The following article discusses the legal requirement which is needed for opening a school in India.

Types of Schools in India

Types of schools in India-

  1. Pre-School or Montessori Schools- this includes all the classes before Grade I
  2. Primary Schools- Grade I to Grade VII
  3. Secondary/Higher Secondary- Classes IX-XII

All of these require following a set of legal guidelines in order to run the school successfully. The same is discussed in the following –

The legal requirement for opening a school in India

If one is planning to open a school in India, the following are requirements one needs to comply with.

The key is to decide what kind of school you want to open whether it is a pre-primary, Montessori school, etc which is the school before Class I, which can be easily done by registering as a partnership firm, individual propriety, etc. One needs permission from the local authority or civic authority to do so since running a school is categorized as a commercial activity.

Most states don’t have any specific laws regarding the opening of such schools except a few such as Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, and in some cases, the opening is governed under the Shops and Establishment Act.

Legal requirements for opening a school in India
Legal requirements for opening a school in India

Permission required for opening a school in India


The land for the school can be either purchased or can be leased. A minimum requirement for the land is 8000 square meters in order to get the affiliation, but land with 6000 square meters may also be granted. The land must be given a NOC from the Education Department in the area where the school is located before proceeding further.

 In case the school is being built on a hillside, the minimum land requirement to be met is 2000 -3000 square meters.

  • Building plans or blueprints are to be submitted to the education department.
  • It’s pertinent to mention that once the land is acquired and the certification is obtained from the concerned education department, the construction of the school is to commence within three years after obtaining the NOC, failing which the society or the trust would have to apply for the renewal in order to proceed with the construction of the school on the land.


Education in India is seen as Non-Profit Activity which does not allow private players to open schools in India, one can open schools up to class I but in order to expand further one must associate or register the school as Trust or as a Society under the Society Act 1860 or as a company under Section 8 the Companies Act, 2013.


Once the school has been established, the management must apply for recognition from the appropriate authority. The Municipality recognition is sufficient till Class V. For the higher classes up to Class XII, recognition is provided by the Department of Education.


It is essential for the school to get affiliation. In order to for the students in the particular school to appear for public examinations, the school needs to be affiliated with the boards. In India, there are the following boards to which the schools are affiliated– CBSE, ICSE, and State Board.

Documents for the registration-

There is a list of documents that are required in order to complete the registration process. A brief list is mentioned below-

  • Affidavits that state the relationship between the members of society
  • A list containing the particulars of the society members
  • A memorandum of Association
  • A copy of the Reserve Fund of Rs 2 Lakh from the bank
  • An application for an Essentiality Certificate with a fee of Rs.500 is to be submitted.
  • Ownership documents of the land for the school to be submitted
  • A list of staff and student enrolments are also to be submitted accordingly.

License and Certification –

There are a set of licenses that needed to be obtained along with the certification which is granted by the specific authorities which are required to run an educational institution. Some of them are mentioned below-

  • Essentiality Certificate by the Department of Education(DoE)
  • In case, there is a plan of expansion of the school which to increase the classes beyond class V or class VII, a certification of Upgradation is also to be submitted to the DoE.
  • MCD/DDA certificate to be submitted which states the building plan is approved
  • If the land is rented or leased then, a Land Use Permitted Certificate is to be submitted by the landlord
  • Certificates certifying that the Structural Safety of the building
  • Fire and Hygiene certificates are received after inspection by the respective departments certifying the school has good water and fire safety measures being followed.


A few suggestions which can be pondered upon when opening a school in India-

  • Have a blueprint that would include a five-year plan
  • Start early, once the land is finalized and acquired begin the construction.
  • Recruit procedure of qualified staff
  • Marketing and promotional strategy
  • Since school is a concurrent subject, it’s important to check and follow the mentioned guidelines while constructing the school.


Building a school is a stretched process that demands sacrifice and hard effort, both of which have numerous benefits in later life. In order to create a top-notch school, it’s critical to follow the appropriate procedures.

Quality education prepares students for life’s challenges. It helps enhance the individual’s communication skills, self-confidence, and critical thinking, all of which make them job-ready and enable them to contribute to society. It also contributes to theoretical development, laying the groundwork.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that quality education has a significant impact on future generations’ thoughts.


  1. Mayank Wadhwa “Licenses to Open School: It’s all about Money”
  2. Vinod Kakumanu (2019 Feb 28th) “How to Start a New School in India?”
  3. Aruna Bhayana(2018 April 12th) “Mandatory License required to start a school in India”
  4. Legal window (2021 January 18th) “How to start an educational institution/school in India”
  5. Ipleaders (2016 December 22nd) “School licensing and Registration requirements: Complete Procedure”
  6. Amol Arora (2019 December 09th) “Education for all: A step-by-step guide to open a school in India”