This question has been raised by several of our customers on several occasions. Does my business qualify for Educational/Academic licenses from Microsoft. The short answer is that unless your institution is recognized as or incorprated for the purpose of providing education then, no.
The link below is from the Microsoft Academic licensing site which describes in detail all the different requirements and possibilities for qualification for this program. Throughout this easy to read - non-legal description you will repeatedly see the phrase "qualifying educational institution" in regards to students and teachers. In addition, the qualifying description for institutions is as stated, "Institutionally accredited by an accrediting agency nationally recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education."
If your business does not fit with those descriptions then we highly recommend purchasing standard business licenses either through retail outlets or through your service provider.
Sometimes Academic licenses are confused with the "Home and business" or "Office Home and Student" versions which are actually standard licenses or suits that are legal for home users to purchase but have limited functionality compared to the professional, or business editions. The Microsoft Office 2010 "Office Home and Student" version for instance, does not include Outlook which is a critical business application required for the standard interface with Exchange server and should be the primary email client of any business. This version also allows for installation on up to 3 PC's and can be used by anyone in the same household. It cannot however be used in any "revenue generating activity". A quote from the Microsoft Licensing information.
"HOME AND STUDENT SOFTWARE. For software marked Home and Student edition, you may install one copy of the software on up to three licensed devices in your household for use by people for whom that is their primary residence. The software may not be used for commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating activities."
Here is the link to the Office 2010 suite information: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/buy/office-2010-which-suite-is-right-for-you-FX101825640.aspx
Here is the complete guide to office licensing: http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/6/6/16630C2A-E42E-4A07-BB92-1DB5563634D9/Microsoft%20Office%202010%20xps/officedesktopapplication_eula_rtm_english.xps