What are Business Startup Costs?
Business startup costs are one-time expenditures to launch a business and get it going. These are things you need to spend money on at the time you start your business — not what it costs to run the business once launched.
NOT INCLUDED: Ongoing or recurring operating expenses are not part of startup costs. Exclude annual, quarterly or monthly expenses like rent, employee salaries, marketing costs, insurance premiums, legal and professional fees, advertising, equipment maintenance and repair, and other fixed and variable expenses.
How Do You Calculate Startup Costs?
To calculate business start-up costs, estimate all one-time costs to form and start a business. List what you will need on day one or shortly thereafter. The business calculator above offers suggestions. Enter the numbers and the calculator automatically adds the total.
What are Examples of Startup Costs?
Startup costs examples for a new business include:
- Incorporation or LLC formation fees
- Licenses, permits and application fees
- Domain name
- Setting up a website
- Logo and branding development
- Business cards
- Computers and software costs
- Initial internet set up
- Equipment expenses
- Office furniture
- Security deposit and first month’s rent
- Signage costs
- Initial inventory costs
- Raw materials
This is not an exhaustive list. Costs of starting a business depend on various factors including the business location, the industry you choose, whether you need a physical storefront or office, whether you must purchase inventory, and more. For more advice, the following articles may be of help:
Be thorough enough to estimate all expenses. But also be aggressive with cost savings. For example, you may be able to start out with free software or use garage-sale office furniture. The less you spend at launch, the less outside funding or cash savings you need. This puts you under less sales pressure later.
Keep good records for tax purposes. Startup expenses can usually be deducted up to $5,000 as small business tax deductions in the U.S.
A startup cost calculator is great for people in the early stages of exploring entrepreneurship. A calculator is super for giving a rough estimate of how much capital you will need to get your dream small business going.
However, at some point you should dive deeper. For many people, the next step is to create a business plan. The business plan process requires you to do market research, gather competitor information, and establish a pricing model. A good business startup plan includes such things as a revenue plan, staffing needs, monthly expenses, and a detailed financial and profit forecast. See the seven parts of a business plan.