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Guide to start a Gym in India | Company Vakil

With a recent growth spurt within the realm of fitness, India much alike the rest of the world has seen the rise of many gyms and fitness centers within the nation in the past few years. Some might believe that getting a gym/fitness center started might just involve getting some floor space, weight lifting equipment, and some exercise machines, but in reality there is much more work involved in getting a gym started including the legal work to make sure a gym works successfully and legally. In order to make sure a gym is successfully and legally established it is necessary for an aspiring gym/fitness center entrepreneur to have a business model and to have completed the company registration, trademark registration, and GST registration, to ensure that the gym will not face any difficulties in the future while it is getting set up or has come to functioning.

Having a Business Model :

For an entrepreneur it is essential for them to conduct research and should analyze potential customers and locations which they seek to build their establishment. A target customer group should be sought out within a location where the gym has little to no competition and can be seen as a successful establishment. Entrepreneurs should also do research within the gym business and understand the essential requirements and services needed in a gym for it to succeed such as the main services of proving weightlifting and cardio equipment and the other being exercise services such as Martial Arts, Aerobics, Pilates, and Yoga etc. There will always be a group of customers inclined to the services due to the fit lifestyles this category of people maintain, but a successful gym is able to increase the ambit of its customers by making appealing to the public as a whole.

Finding an ideal location to establish a business/fitness center can be a herculean task due to vast amount of floor space and proper locality required to have it run successfully. However in India, it is mandated by the government and court rulings to have the local police department to provide clearance for the establishment of the gym. This process varies from the state to state departments of police.

Why go through Company Registration for starting a Fitness center/Gym?

An entrepreneur seeking to open up a gym/fitness center in their desired locality is required to first setup and register as a business entity. In order to do so, the aspiring entrepreneur is to go through the process of company registration defined under the contemporary legislation of the Company Act, 2013 and the Companies (Registration Offices and Fees) Rules, 2014. As a business can be set up and registered under different categories in terms of the factors of income, liability, members, directors, etc. Whilst setting up a gym/fitness center it is of the suggestion to set up the business as Private Limited Company (PLC) or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). The intention of registering a gym/fitness center initially as a PLC or LLP is in order to ensure transferability under certain circumstances if necessary. Liability protection is provided in order to ensure the protection of business members in the case of foreseeable liabilities created within the gym/fitness center. A gym should also register itself as a Small Scale Industry (SSI) in order to avail the benefits of being an SSI provided by the government in order to promote and help them prosper.

What is the need for Trademark Registration in opening a Fitness Center/Gym?

A trademark is regarded as a legally protected mark such as a word, phrase, symbol etc. on a process or service which can help consumers identify the business and not allow other entities to misappropriate the mark. The trademark registration process can be deemed essential whilst trying to open up a gym/fitness center as it provides protection to the logo or brand name of the business once the trademark is granted and is legislatively backed by the Trademark Act, 1999. This enables a business to provide a quality of service to their consumers through a manner which they can recognize the business by their distinct trademark. A trademark also makes it easier for a gym/fitness center to further expand into different new localities as their trademark will bring a surety for quality of service found in the other establishments of the business. Through trademark logos and names gyms such as Gold’s Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, Planet Fitness, etc. have been able to scale to a level globally with their logo and brand slogans protected from being misappropriated. The procedure of trademark registration in India is able to be conducted by specific entities being a Registered Trademarks Agent, Advocate or Constituted Attorney.

Is it necessary for GST Registration to start a Gym?

In India with the government bringing in major tax reforms within the nation it has become a mandatory procedure for a business to complete GST registration. With uniformity brought within India on the indirect tax levied, there are two categories of GST registration being the normal category and special category. A business having an annual turnover of over Rs.20 lakhs is required to register for GST under the normal category. Businesses operating within hill areas and within the North East are required to register for GST under the special category with annual turnover limit of Rs.10 lakhs. In some business ventures and industries (such as the gym and fitness industry) it is mandated by the government to register under GST and the noncompliance with this leads to a cognizable and punishable offence levied with a heavy penalty. The process of GST registration can be rendered online through the government’s GST portal even for new businesses seeking to gain a GST number.

Having the goal of getting a gym setup involves a strenuous amount of work upon an entrepreneur and involves a lot of time captivating work especially amidst the legal work of company registration, trademark registration, and GST registration. Luckily, here at Company Vakil we provide all the aforementioned legal services at some of the most nominal prices available in the market. With our team of legal personnel all of which are experts and completely thorough in the different fields of tax law, company law, and Intellectual Property Rights, the service of having a company set up has become easier than ever. With all our services being provided through our online platform, having all the legal work involved in starting a gym allows the entrepreneur to divert all his focus and energy towards his business model and goals of providing accessible fitness to the community.


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