Starting a private school is a lengthy, complicated process. Fortunately for you plenty of folks have done the same thing you are thinking of doing. You will find much inspiration and practical advice from their examples. You will actually find it extremely useful browsing the history section of any established private school's website. Some of these stories will inspire you. Others will remind you that starting school takes lots of time, money and support. 36-24 months before opening: Determine what kind of school the local market needs. (K-8, 9-12, day, boarding, Montessori, etc.) Ask parents and teachers for their opinions.  Hire a marketing company to do a survey in case you can afford it. Decide how many grades will actually open the school once you determine what kind of school you will be opening. Your long range plans may call for a K-12 school, but it makes more sense to start small and grow solidly. Establish the primary division, then add the upper grades over time as your resources permit. 24 months: Form a small committee of talented supporters to begin the preliminary work. Include parents with financial, legal, management and building experience. Ask for and get a commitment of time and financial support from each member. This important planning work which will demand much time and energy. These people can become the core of your first board of directors.

Starting a private schools

18 months: File incorporation papers with your Secretary of State. The lawyer on your committee should be able to handle this for you. He should donate his legal services to the cause although there are costs associated with the filing. This is a critical step in your long term fund raising. People will give money much more readily to a legal entity or institution as opposed to a person.  You will be on your own when it comes to raising money in case you have already decided to establish your own proprietary school. 18 months: Develop a business plan. This should be a blue print of how the school is going to operate over its first five years. Always be conservative in your projections. Do not try to do everything in the first five years unless you have been lucky enough to find a donor to fund the program in its entirety. 18 months: Develop a budget for 5 years. This is the detailed look at income and expenses. The financial person on your committee should be responsible for developing this critical document. Project your assumptions conservatively and factor in some wriggle room should things go wrong as always. You need to develop two budgets: an operating budget and a capital budget. For example, a swimming pool or an arts facility would fall under the capital side, while planning for social security expenses would be an operating budget expense. If you will be creating your own facility from scratch, locate a facility to house the school or develop building plans. Your architect and contractor committee members should spearhead this assignment.