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Business startup costs That you need to know before its too late.

Table of Contents

13 Business Startup Costs that you need to know before its too late

Starting a business is an exiting time, you start to think about how much money you are going to make, and the impact you will have on your community. But, too many business forget about the hidden startup costs that can cost you your business before you even get started. I will show you the 13 business startup costs you need to be aware of before its too late and you run out of money. 

undraw Business startup costs

Every business has startup cost that are that need they need to be aware of before its too late and you do not have enough saving to take care of these costs. These are hidden costs that you are going to have to pay no matter if you make money or how many customers you bring in. 

Startup Costs are the expenses that are incurred during the start up phrase of the business. Some of these expenses are considered pre-startup which means before your doors open for business, and some of them are considered post-startup which means expensed incurred after you open for business. 

Table of Contents

The 13 business costs for startups.

1. Office Rent

Rent is going to be one of the biggest recurring costs that can get our of control if not managed correctly. This is going to be strait overhead and will not matter how much business you have done this month. 

Starting a business can be overwhelming, especially when it comes time to find an office space. Renting office space often requires an initial chunk of capital, but with thoughtful consideration of your needs and the associated costs you can save money in the long-term. Identifying a convenient location is key – some locations may require more capital to rent than others – so it’s important to take into account factors like availability, transportation access and even nearby competition. 

Comparing rental prices at multiple choices should help you identify your best option. Make sure that any expectation you have for amenities or services is included in the contract; otherwise this could lead to additional fees down the line. 

Try not to lock yourself into a contract that you cannot reasonably expect to pay each month. You should budget based on what you expect your worst month in revenue to cover not your best. 

2. Business Insurance

Business insurance can be a hidden cost that can sneak up on you when your are budgeting your startup costs. Not having business insurance could potentially sabotage your business before it even gets off the ground if something were to happen and you did not have the insurance to cover it.

Purchasing business insurance isn’t always an easy or inexpensive task, and costs can vary wildly depending on the size and nature of the business. For example, a small mom-and-pop store may only have to pay for basic liability coverage, whereas a large corporation with multiple buildings and divisions may need a much more comprehensive plan. 

The best thing to do when it comes to finding the right coverage is to shop around and compare options from different providers. Put time into checking out quotes and evaluating each company’s policies, so you can find one that fits both your budget and your needs. You’ll also want to do research before signing any contract — make sure you understand everything that’s included in the policy to ensure there won’t be any surprises later on.

employee payroll for startup costs

3. Employee Payroll

Payroll is one of those expense you will always need to cover no matter what. If your employees do some work for you they are going to expect to be reimbursed for that work. 

Calculating employee payroll costs can be a complicated and time-consuming task, but with the right tools and processes in place, it doesn’t need to be a challenge. An effective way to begin is to accurately establish the hours worked by employees, as this will have tax implications when paid out in wages. 

The earnings should then be calculated per paycheck, taking into consideration any overtime payments, benefits or deductions such as insurance coverage for certain employees. 

Making sure that all taxes are accounted for; particularly federal taxes, state taxes and local taxes, will ensure accuracy when making employee payroll calculations. Systems should be established to allow for efficient organization and tracking of employment data over time. 

4. Licensing and Permits

Most business are going to need licensing and permits based the industry they are in and the town they are operating out of. There may be fire permits needed for warehousing and a yearly safety inspection for office space. 

Obtaining a license or permit can be an expensive and complex process for small businesses. Depending on the area and regional regulations, entrepreneurs may be subject to fees, taxes, deadlines, fines, inspections and more. 

Government offices are usually the go-to authority for answers to any questions related to business licensing requirements; however, it’s important to plan ahead so you aren’t stuck without the necessary paperwork in hand when facing a deadline. 

A good way to start is by researching similar businesses around you first and speak with other professionals in your industry. Leveraging resources like online forums to access business owners who’ve gone through the licensing process can help you strategize the best way to prepare for associated costs.

5. Telephone Bills

Most businesses are going to need a telephone operation system and a way for customers to reach them. Telephone bills can add up quickly if you are not ready for the bills. 

It is always best to start off with the bare minimum and upgrade as needed. This way you can ensure that your expenses will not outpace your revenue. 

You should only upgrade your phone lines or system when it can be proven that your current system is costing you money and their is notable benefit to upgrading. 

6. Utility Bills

Utility bills are going to be things like electric, gas, internet, and water. These bills can add up quickly especially if you are not ready for them. 

For example if you start a business in the northern part of the united states in the middle of winter. You are going to be faced with a very high heating bill that you may not expect. If you start in the summer months you heating bill will lower. 

7. Equipment

No matter how much you plan ahead there is always equipment that you will need that is not budgeted for. It could be miscellaneous screws or hardware, or it could be something expensive like a central processing unit for a server. 

Best practice is to to make sure have this built into the budget. A small amount like 10% of your overall equipment budget should be enough to cover any unforeseen expenses.

receipt for fees

8. Incorporation Fees

Incorporating a business can be a complex process and there are numerous fees associated with the filing. Depending on where your business is located, incorporation fees vary, but they generally range between the hundreds and lower thousands. 

In addition to these upfront costs, ongoing expenses like accounting services and legal advice may also be necessary in order to properly set up and maintain your business structure. It’s important to do your research and consult an expert when considering incorporating; not only will you need to understand all of the associated costs, but it is also crucial to select the correct entity for your specific venture in order to avoid any potential hassles down the road.

9. Marketing Costs

Every business needs to invest in marketing when it first starts up. While you don’t have to invest a lot into marketing you will give your business a much greater chance of success if you start of marketing your business correctly. 

Attracting new customers and keeping existing ones satisfied can be expensive for any business, but the cost of marketing is an essential factor that should not be overlooked. Different businesses have different needs when it comes to marketing expenses, including web design/maintenance, advertising campaigns and staff expenses. Each of these areas can be incredibly expensive and time consuming, so it pays to do your homework before deciding which ones need to be invested in. 

By understanding where you should invest your resources you can make sure you are getting a return on your investment while also protecting important budget areas that may play a more significant role in the overall success of your organization.

10. Website

Building a website can be expensive, but there are many factors to consider when determining the cost. Factors include the complexity of your design, the size of your website and the inclusion of any custom features or add-ons. Additionally, you will need to factor in hosting costs as well as any maintenance or support fees you may incur on top of the initial cost of building. Choosing an Agency to build a website with can initially appear more costly than doing it yourself but ultimately be a better value for money if you lack web design experience. It is important to understand all elements contributing to the high cost of websites so that you can make an informed decision about what services and options fit within your budget.

The cost of building a website can vary significantly depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the site, the number of features and functions it has, the design and layout of the site, and the type of content it will contain. Here are a few of the main factors that can affect the cost of building a website:

Design and layout: The design and layout of a website can have a big impact on its cost. A simple, straightforward design with minimal graphics and a basic layout is likely to be less expensive than a more complex, interactive design with lots of graphics and special features.

Features and functions: The more features and functions a website has, the more expensive it is likely to be. Some common features that can increase the cost of a website include e-commerce functionality, social media integration, and custom forms or applications.

Maintenance and updates: Ongoing maintenance and updates can also add to the cost of a website. If you want to keep your site up-to-date with new content and features, you’ll need to budget for ongoing development and maintenance

Overall, the cost of building a website can range from a few hundred dollars for a simple, static site to tens of thousands of dollars for a complex, feature-rich site with custom design and functionality. It’s important to carefully consider your budget and your needs when planning the development of a website, and to work with a reputable web design and development company to ensure that you get the best value for your money

11. Office Furniture

Furnishing an office with the proper furniture can be a high-cost endeavor – especially if you are furnishing a large office space. It is important, however, to not sacrifice quality for cost when it comes to office furniture. Investing in durable, quality products will save money in the long run as they are less likely to need to be replaced or repaired often. 

Researching the marketplace before purchasing and looking for sales and discounts can also help bring down costs while still getting the furniture needed. Finding secondhand deals through online or local sources may also be an option, depending on what type of furniture you are looking for. 

12. Office supplies

Starting a business often comes with significant upfront costs – one of which is the cost of office supplies. To help keep the initial outlay low, it’s important to start with only the necessary tools to get your business up and running. To start off, aim for basic stationery items such as paper, pens, pencils and staplers, plus a few small office appliances like printers or computers that will assist in everyday tasks. Bulk ordering where possible will also be beneficial in terms of cost efficiency; not only do you get discounts on large orders but you’ll find it easier to stock up on all those must-have office items with just one purchase. With careful consideration during the purchasing process, an optimal balance can be established between keeping costs low while still having enough resources to ensure smooth operation.

13. Taxes

Paying attention to business taxes is important for any startup, but it can also be a major financial cost. As businesses grow, the complexity and associated costs of taxes can increase as well. Without a good plan in place to manage tax compliance, startups could find themselves facing costly financial and legal liability. Understanding the current regulations around business taxes is essential to keeping costs low and protecting your company in the long run. Investing in proper advice or resources now can help guard against future expenses and keep the most stressful tasks of managing a business off your plate.

How to calculate the cost of a business startup

Starting a business isn’t cheap; there are a variety of costs to consider when calculating how much it will cost to get your business up and running. 

The best way to calculate the cost of your business startup expenses is with a business plan or with the SBA business calculator at

After accounting for initial capital investments, other important costs that must be estimated include office space and equipment, insurance, professional or legal fees, marketing expenses, staff costs and more. Make sure to also factor in potential losses or any interruptions in operations such as pandemics or natural disasters to make sure your business stays afloat no matter what comes its way. Planning ahead and doing research can help prevent any surprises when crunching the numbers so that you have a clear idea of the cost of starting a new business before getting started.

Different types of business cost

Running a business involves meticulous budgeting and forecasting of costs. Learning the difference between recurring costs and fixed business expenses can help inform decisions around budgeting, cash flow and planning for the future. 

Recurring or variable business costs are those that change in total over time, like payroll and other personnel-related spending. 

Fixed costs are those that remain consistent on a monthly basis, like rent, loan payments and insurance premiums. Knowing which are which can help to plan cash flow better during times of uncertainty or disruption in the market, ensuring businesses remain financially sound as much as possible.

How to save on business startup costs?

Starting a business can be a significant financial undertaking, and it’s important to be mindful of your budget and to look for ways to save money where you can. Here are a few strategies you might consider to save money when starting a business:

Keep overhead costs low: One of the biggest expenses for many businesses is overhead, which includes things like rent, utilities, and other fixed costs. To keep overhead costs low, consider working from home or finding a shared workspace instead of renting your own office. You may also be able to negotiate lower rates for utilities or other services by shopping around or bundling your services.

Outsource non-essential tasks: It can be tempting to try to do everything yourself when you’re starting a business, but this can be inefficient and costly. Instead, consider outsourcing tasks that are not central to your business to save time and money. For example, you might hire a virtual assistant or use a freelancer for tasks like bookkeeping or social media management.

Use free or low-cost marketing and advertising: Marketing and advertising can be expensive, but there are plenty of low-cost or even free options available. Consider using social media, content marketing, and email marketing to reach potential customers, and take advantage of free or low-cost advertising opportunities like Google AdWords or sponsored posts on social media.

Seek out grants and financing: There are many organizations that offer grants and financing to help small businesses get started. Look for opportunities that match your business and your needs, and be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions of any financing you receive to make sure it’s a good fit for your business.

Are business startup costs tax deductible?

In many cases, business startup costs can be tax deductible. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows businesses to write off many of the costs associated with starting a business as business expenses on their income tax return.

According to the IRS, start-up costs are “amounts paid or incurred in connection with creating an active trade or business.” These costs can include expenses like market research, advertising, consulting fees, and travel expenses.

There are limits on the amount of start-up costs that can be written off in the year the business is started. For tax years beginning in 2021, the limit is $5,000, with any excess being amortized (deducted gradually) over 180 months. However, if the total start-up costs for the business are $50,000 or less, a special election can be made to write off up to $5,000 in the year the business begins and to amortize the remaining start-up costs over a 15-year period It’s important to keep good records of your start-up costs and to consult with a tax professional to ensure that you are taking advantage of all available deductions.

The bottom line

With a little bit of planning and foresight you can make sure that none of these hidden costs cost you a successful business. 

Troy Watson

Passionate about helping businesses grow their bottom line using marketing, software, and optimization systems. 

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