How much money do you need to start a business

How Much Money Do You Need To Start A Business?

Elena Hudgens
By Elena Hudgens 15 Min Read

Starting a business is always a challenge. While creating a new business, there are several things to think about and do. You need to find the right legal structure, get an idea of your market, decide on your business model, and invest in marketing. 

However, there are other essential factors to consider when starting a business – like how much money you’ll need to start a successful business. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know while deciding how much money do you need to start a business. Read more

How much money do you need to start a business?

You can start your business with as little as $0. You don’t need to invest in expensive equipment or hire several people – all you need is a computer, internet connection, and some creativity. It takes effort to get your business off the ground – so make sure you put in the work early.

Let’s look at some typical starting costs and possible funding choices to assist you in turning your business idea into a reality.

Tips to determine how much money do you need to start a business

A business plan is the best way to estimate your startup costs. The financial projections section should include estimates for your revenue, expenses, and profit in the next three to five years. It might seem daunting initially but a strategic and structured plan can go a long way in achieving a successful business. 

Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind while you determine how much money do you need to start a business

Start small 

If you have high expectations for your company, it may be a good idea to invest a lot of money too quickly. Unfortunately, blind optimism can lead to the investment being made without consideration for potential repercussions later on. 

The most efficient way to avoid this is by testing your product in a small, inexpensive way that indicates whether customers need and are willing to pay for it- something that is one of the most crucial aspects of successful business development.

Estimation of costs 

According to the Small Business Administration, most microbusinesses cost around $3,000 to start and most home-based franchises cost between $2,000 and $5,000. Although each business has its unique financial requirements, it is always better to keep a general estimation of the amount of money you would need to set up your business.

An entrepreneur should keep ready a minimum of six months’ worth of fixed costs for the business.- this includes expenses like rent, marketing campaigns such as ads and brochures, technological equipment like computers and software, resources for accounting and finance, etc.

On top of that, fixed costs also include the fees for any necessary permits or licenses required by your state or country.

With a well-researched business plan, laying out financial strategies and business costs is not that difficult. You might not know the exact revenue of your business in the future, however, through expert opinions, past experiences, surveys, and secondary data you can estimate your revenue and start-ups costs to a higher degree of accuracy.

Analyze the various kinds of costs 

While thinking about how much money you need to start a business, you need first to know the kind of costs you will incur due to your business. When starting a business, it is important to differentiate between the costs associated with short- and long-term cash flow. You need to identify which manageable expenses to keep your business afloat for the short term while you build up resources for the long term.

The SBA offers a variety of helpful tips when it comes to starting and running your business. You need to know the various types of expenses that can affect your cash flow, so you can properly manage them for the short and long term.

  • One-time costs 

One-time costs,  such as equipment purchases, will generally be more than the money coming in. This means your cash flow will be disturbed that month and you may need to make up for it next month. 

  • Fixed costs 

Fixed costs, such as rent, are always consistent from month to month. Expenses such as utilities are typically paid on a regular basis and include expenses like heating and cooling bills. This doesn’t often fluctuate significantly from month to month.

  • Variable costs

Variable expenses are based upon the direct sale of products or services. This is why it’s important to compare credit card processing providers; processing rates can change frequently, so you’ll want to be sure you’re getting the best deal each time around!

Project your cash flow 

Business experts advise new business owners to project their cash flows for at least the first three months of the business’ life. This is a vital part of keeping your business afloat–especially if other costs become expensive. By knowing how much money you borrowed and the interest rate you will be paying, creating a forecast for your business allows you to maintain financial health if other costs increase. 

It’s vital to explore your funding options before starting a business. Borrowing puts a huge amount of pressure on any business and its owners, so it’s important to do your best to ensure that the amount of stress for your company is achievable. Also, remember that when it comes to small businesses, personal assets are also often on the line.

Factors that play a role in influencing how much money do you need to start a business

Several startup charges come with starting a new business. For acquiring appropriate capital and controlling your cash flow, having a clear notion of what kind of expenses can arise is critical.

Here are some typical startup costs to keep in mind.


Leasing or buying real estate can be an important factor in your business’s startup costs. In order to avoid paying for rent upfront, some businesses must lease space or pay a security deposit. Additionally, businesses that lease space often have to pay for their utilities such as electricity and natural gas. The average monthly utility cost for commercial properties in the United States is $647.61 per square foot according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NRNPL).

Before wondering how much money do you need to start a business, you might have thought of its location. The location of your business is an extremely important consideration when it comes to starting a business. Thankfully, you don’t need to sacrifice space or features in order to get started- rather, you can find a space that is both adequate and affordable. Unfortunately, not every space is ideal for starting a business. 


Every business needs some type of equipment and materials to function. Depending on the type of business, this can range from office essentials like a printer and laptop to heavy-duty manufacturing machines.

Although the equipment is typically a one-time purchase, it might account for a significant percentage of your startup costs. Leasing rather than purchasing more expensive equipment might help spread out your initial expenditures over time, allowing you to save money for other vital needs.

However, supplies may need to be acquired regularly. Purchasing materials in bulk or wholesale can help you save money per unit.


On occasion, startup costs may be necessary in order to keep a business compliant with laws and regulations. For example, if a business is in the agriculture or alcohol industries, they may need to apply for federal permits

Furthermore, certain activities such as producing beer or wine require state and county permits. It can be difficult to select what type of legal structure will work best for your business so it’s important to consult with an attorney beforehand. In addition, the business structure you choose can impact associated registration costs- for example, sole proprietorships might not charge as much as LLCs do when registering with government officials.


You’ve undoubtedly bought insurance for your health, home, and car. Business owners’ assets, employees, customers, and other liabilities can all be protected with business insurance.

Business owners frequently obtain general liability insurance to protect themselves against third-party injury and property damage claims. The industry’s level of risk dictates the cost of insurance.

You’ll have to start paying workers’ compensation insurance after recruiting one or more employees. Business property insurance and product liability insurance are two more typical types of insurance.


Businesses that sell tangible things, such as retailers, restaurants, and manufacturers, typically keep a current inventory of products or raw materials.

Building up an inventory ahead of time can help new firms serve clients and generate cash flow quickly. Maintaining inventory once your firm is up and running is a delicate balancing act that can hurt your bottom line.

On the one hand, a lack of inventory could hamper sales by forcing customers to place backorders. On the other hand, having way too much inventory increases the risk of damaged or expired items and the difficulty of selling low-performing products.

The appropriate inventory level to have in stock depends on various factors, including the industry you’re in, seasonality, previous client demand, and the time it takes to order from suppliers. According to a rule of thumb, small businesses should anticipate spending between 17% and 25% of their budgets on inventory, though you may need to spend more initially.  


Free social media networks like Facebook and Instagram can help you connect with customers and build a brand identity. On the other hand, purchasing a website and domain name may be beneficial for integrating a point-of-sale (POS) system for online transactions and offering more extensive information to consumers and clients.

Remember that e-commerce expansion is a chance for many new firms in need of cash flow to boost their customer base and sell products before purchasing a storefront. E-commerce sales in the retail industry have surged from 0.6% in 1999 to 16.1% in 2020, according to the US Census Bureau.

Other technology, such as accounting software and payroll, is a regular investment that organizations incur to help them run more efficiently.


New businesses often choose to invest in promoting their products or services to attract customers and clients. Small businesses normally spend roughly 1% of their income on advertising. However, some experts advise spending slightly more, especially in the early stages.

Flyers, radio ads, and newspaper adverts are effective ways to get the word out, especially in smaller places. For businesses focusing on specific audiences (age, gender, etc.) or geographic regions, social media ad targeting is another option to explore.

If you do not have the time or expertise to fine-tune your marketing plan, you can hire consultants to help you with more difficult marketing activities like graphic design and website search engine optimization (SEO).

The right marketing approach can help your business grow. You can generate a positive return on ad spend with the proper strategy that benefits your company. 


If one in five businesses fails its first year, it’s important to take steps to prevent this from happening. Planning your business properly can help you do just that by calculating and budgeting your startup costs. 

Many small businesses employ a combination of funding sources, including personal loans, government grants, crowdfunding platforms. They also use personal loans to cover startup costs. 

Now that you know how to determine how much money you need to start a business, it is time to rack your brain and develop a good financial plan.

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Posted by Elena Hudgens
Elena Hudgens is an entrepreneur with 10+ years of experience. She started her journey by building her own e-commerce website on Shopify and turned her $1000 savings to millions in just 2 years. Soon she started different ventures in which she failed and succeeded. And now, she's on a mission to help other entrepreneurs with her life and business lessons.
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