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How to Start a Gym Business from a Scratch in India?

calendar21 Sep, 2021
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Gym business

Being fit has become a life mantra for people serving hectic lifestyles, particularly residing in urban region. Doing a little bit of exercise in a well-equipped gym allows them to refuel their energy and cater to day-to-day chores with improved enthusiasm. This shift has led to an increase in the growth of the fitness chain across the country. Presently, there are thousands of fitness centre operating pan India and charging handsome fees from their client. If are willing to step into the fitness domain as an entrepreneur, then you are on the right track. This write-up will guide on how to start a profitable gym business in India from ground up. 

Viable Checklist for starting a Gym business in India

Following section manifests a detailed checklist that one can refer for establishing a profitable gym business in India

Step 1- Look out for the best locality 

  • A gym’s success heavily depends on the area you are starting your venture at. 
  • Gyms operating in the posh and commercial locations are more likely to earn substantial revenue owing to a massive customer base. 
  • Fitness clubs have yet to gain popularity in rural areas. So starting a gym business in such areas might be a bad idea for startups. 

Step 2- Arrange the required funding 

Procuring a fund to set up a well-equipped gym can be a cumbersome errand compared to other small businesses. A well-furnished gym is outfitted with an array of equipment, shower facilities, and even a swimming pool. As with any small firm, new business owners should invest as much of their capital as possible to stay independent. Given the fund requisite for gyms, it is more likely a third-party investor will be needed. Commence by drafting a thorough business plan to show potential lenders & investors.  

As per the prevailing market scenario, opening a well-equipped gym in a posh locality will cost you around INR 40-50 Lacs. Likewise, the overall expenditure of commencing a gym business in rural areas may cost you around Rs 20-25 lacs. 

Step 3- Get Required Equipment and Machines 

Following are the list of equipment that is part of a common gym setup: 

  • Bench press 
  • Trade mills 
  • Smith Machine 
  • Cable pulley 
  • Abs crunching machine 
  • Stair-master weight benches
  • Bicep curling machine 

To set any standard type of machinery, the cost can range from anywhere between Rs 15 lacs to Rs 20 lacs. 

Step 4- Hire Certified Trainers

The USP of your gym business is defined by the availability of trained and experienced trainers. An experienced & certified trainer shall not only bring reliability but will raise the quality & word of mouth for your gym. The field experts will let you attain a better understanding of the gym business. Consider appointing trainers who have certified from the following institutes: 

  • GFFI (Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute)
  • CBT (Certified Bodybuilding & Gym/Personal Trainer)
  • BFY Sports & Fitness
  • IAFT (Indian Academy of Fitness Training) A trainer’s cost for a well-furnished gyms starts from Rs 15000 & goes up to Rs 1 lacs depending on the experience and qualification. 

Step 5- Obtain All Licenses

Licenses Required for gym Business

Trade license 

A trade license refers to a certificate that enables an establishment to perform business activities within a specific municipal limit for which it is granted. The norms of a trade license is underpinned by the state government to administer & govern various trade undertakings within a city. In some states, trade license is granted by the respective Municipal Corporations to commercial entities and traders, to administer & 

regulate various trade undertakings at the city level. Gym too come under the definition of commercial establishment and hence required to avail trade license from the respective municipal corporation. 

Shop and Establishment License 

Owning a shop or a small entity refers to a small business form and the owners must avail the Shops and Establishments Registration. The entities that fit the legal definition of commercial establishment cited under the Shop and Establishment Act are mandated to avail of this registration. the application for the same can be made through online and offline mode. While dropping the application for this license, the applicant is required to submit the complete detail of it employees and attach the copy of the same. 

SSI Registration 

Small Scale & ancillary units (i.e. business activities with investment in plant & equipment of less than Rs. 10 million) must choose registration with the Director of Industries of the respective State Government. 

SSI Registration, aka Small Scale Registration, are identical to MSME registration in India. SSI registration is granted by the government-backed body, viz Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises via the of Industries of the State Government. The ultimate objective of SSI registration is to administer statistics as well as the role of SSI businesses in India for rendering incentives & support services. 

Each State Government follows the standard registration protocols as per the MSME guidelines. But, some of the states have made certain changes to the same for obtaining the SSI registration. Thus, the procedure for availing of the SSI registration may differ state-wise. 

Consent from the Police Department 

A consent form from the local police authority is mandated to run a gym business in a particular locality. Court rulings have made it compulsory for fitness clubs to avail a license for their functioning this can be applied through an online as well as the offline mode by visiting the police department. The state-wise rules apply to the procedure for the obtainment of Police Department Clearance. 

Franchise : A best option for entrepreneurs with low risk appetite

  • If you are not ready to pour in your precious investment in setting up a gym from scratch, then look no further than a Franchise-based business. 
  • A well-recognized brand ownership will address the aforementioned formalities on your behalf and ensure the hassle-free establishment of a well-furnished gym. 
  • Quality of services has always been a prime concern for business owners willing to set up an independent gym. 
  • Also, if you are short on budget, the risk of being outranked by rivals becomes more prominent for the independent gym owner. A franchise-based gym offers improved flexibility and resilience in this regard.


Although setting up a Gym business may cost you a little bit of fortune in the initial stage, it can ensure long-term and stable growth in the future. Avoid skipping the legal implications mentioned above as it would help you keep hefty penalties out of the equation. 

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