A Simple Breakdown of Startup Business Costs

startup business costs

Startup business costs are expenses incurred before the business starts running. It covers all the one-off fees associated with the creation of a new business. Financial experts do not formally acknowledge such a thing as startup business costs. It is important for you, as a business owner, to be aware of all the associated costs with starting up your business.

If you’re looking to start a business, it’s important to understand the costs involved in starting up. There are many different types of business startups and so many different ways to categorize their costs that it’s impossible to get an accurate average cost for every business out there.

However, there are some general guidelines that can help you figure out how much money it will take on average.

Startup business costs can vary greatly

The cost of starting a business can vary greatly, depending on the type of industry you’re entering and what kind of product or service you offer. In general, startup business costs can include:

  • Capital expenditure (equipment and inventory)
  • Salaries for employees
  • Taxes and fees associated with incorporation, registration, legal counsel and insurance coverage.

Startup business costs can be grouped into two; investigative costs and prelaunch costs.

Investigatory costs are costs that are associated with the preliminary stage of the business such as costs incurred for market research, market analysis, consultancy fees, and costs incurred in sourcing for suppliers and distributors.

While prelaunch costs are associated with the costs of setting up before the business starts running.

One way to look at startup business costs is to break them into two simple categories: fixed costs and variable costs.

To determine startup business costs, you need to break them down into two categories: fixed costs and variable costs.

Fixed costs are those that remain steady and don’t fluctuate with your sales volume. Examples include rent, insurance, payroll taxes and utilities—all of which typically stay the same no matter how many products or services you sell at any given time. These items tend to be the largest part of a startup’s budget because they can’t be altered easily (other than by switching locations).

Variable costs change based on how many products or services you sell; they include marketing expenses like advertising budgets or salaries paid to employees who work on marketing campaigns like social media posts or billboards advertising your product line.

Fixed costs

Fixed costs are those that remain steady and don’t fluctuate with your sales volume or number of employees. It refers to costs that must be paid if the business records a profit or loss. These are costs that must be paid regardless of what happens to the business’s day-to-day activities. These costs include rent, office supplies, professional fees, insurance, premises costs, equipment and supplies, stock, marketing, finance, technology costs etc.

startup business costs
Office supplies

These expenses don’t change in relation to the number of customers you serve or the number of products you sell. The only thing that changes is the amount of money coming in each month.

If fixed costs are too high (or if they change too much), then it’s possible to lose money on each sale because there’s usually some overhead involved in running an online business.

On the other hand, if fixed costs aren’t high enough, then you won’t be able to turn a profit until your company reaches scale—and even then it may take time for profits from one type of product line or customer segment (like B2B) to help offset losses from another type(s) like D2C).

Variable costs

Variable costs, on the other hand, change based on how many products or services you sell. It means an increase in production means an increase in associated costs. These costs include individual product costs, delivery, raw materials and direct staff wages etc.

startup business costs

For example, if you have only one client and they require a lot of your time and effort to get them satisfied with your work, then it’s likely that their expenses will be higher than if they were to hire multiple employees at once. This is because there’s no way for your company to know how many potential clients are out there looking for what you’re selling before making any commitments with them.

However, this isn’t necessarily bad news: if these variable costs are lower than average—or even just high relative to other businesses in the same industry—then it may indicate that something else is happening behind the scenes that could improve profitability over time (like increasing demand).

The best way forward here would probably involve finding ways around these particular challenges through better management practices such as outsourcing certain tasks back into the house instead of hiring additional staff within themselves so as not  to miss out on opportunities downstream when things start taking off again.”

Also read: What you should know about Business Insurance

startup business costs
Product company

Product companies with physical goods to sell will have higher upfront startup business costs than companies that provide services.

For example, if you’re selling a book or a video game, the manufacturing process can be more complicated and expensive than making a website where people can sign up for your service.

While it’s not impossible to make an e-commerce site that sells physical products, it takes more time and money than setting up an online store for digital downloads like music and videos.

Furthermore, packaging costs are higher because each box must be individually designed by hand—a process that takes time and money (and usually involves hiring someone else).

This means that if your product requires some sort of custom packaging but doesn’t require much additional work beyond designing the box itself (e.g., packing peanuts), then you may save some money by starting out small instead of going right into full production mode right away!

Service companies will require lower startup costs than retail stores that sell products.

startup business costs
Service company

Starting a company that offers services such as software development, marketing consulting, or website design will require lower startup costs than starting a retail store that sells products.

This is because there are no inventory costs to worry about, no shipping costs and no storage space required.

Additionally, if you have only one employee working at your business then it’s cheaper to hire them than it would be if they were employed by another company with more employees and payroll taxes to pay each month.

Brick-and-mortar versus online

startup business costs
Brick-and-mortar store

If you plan to have an office space for your company, your fixed overhead costs will be higher than if you run an entirely online operation. This is because most brick-and-mortar businesses have to pay for real estate in addition to their other expenses like payroll and supplies (which are typically higher).

On top of this, they’ll also have significant advertising budgets needed to attract new customers or maintain existing ones.

However, if you’re an online business with no physical location at all (for example marketplaces like Etsy), then there aren’t any additional expenses associated with having employees; these could even lead them to losses!

In fact, many people who sell goods through their websites don’t even keep track of how much money comes into their wallets from sales.

Even if you’re running a home-based business, for now, there’s still a time investment involved in starting up your company.

Your startup business costs are not just the money that you put in. There are other costs associated with starting up a business, including time. Time is one of your most valuable resources, so you need to be intentional about how much time you spend on things like answering emails or doing admin tasks.

It’s important not to let unproductive time take over your life—you’ll find that as soon as someone hands off an important task it will start feeling like work and eventually become tedious, which means less effort spent on what matters most: growing your company!

Different startup business costs for different companies

There are so many different types of business startups and so many different ways to categorize their costs that it’s impossible to get an accurate average cost for every business out there.

The problem with this approach is that some types of businesses may have more “typical” startup business costs than others. For example, if you’re starting a software company or an e-commerce store, your typical startup costs won’t be much higher than those of other types of businesses (like restaurants).

However, if you’re starting a law firm or accounting firm, which requires more specialized equipment and software? The answer depends on what type of legal practice your firm will operate in—and how much profit potential it has compared to other industries like entertainment or fashion companies.


We hope you now have a better idea of what to expect when it comes to your startup business costs. The good news is that there are plenty of options for whether or not you want to start a brick-and-mortar or online business, and there are many different ways to cut costs on those fixed overhead costs.

Planning is the key to having a successful business. Having a clear picture of your startup business costs will help you estimate profits, do a break-even analysis, secure loans, attract investors, and possibly save money with tax deductions.