Startup Costs for Your Startup Business

Starting a new business can be an exciting venture. But figuring out exactly how much you'll need to get your business up and running can be a challenge. Here are some costs to anticipate for your startup.

State registration and licensing fees and permits

Each state requires different fees to register or license a business, as well as other permits needed to operate your business. These fees will vary depending on the type of business. Talk to an attorney to find out exactly what's required for your business in your state and local area.

Business agreement

If you're creating a partnership, LLC or corporation, you may need to hire someone to draft an agreement to ensure the rights and privileges of each entity or partner are appropriately covered.

Business insurance

You'll need insurance for your business, including your employees, customers, equipment, inventory and other assets.

Market research

Most startups choose to spend some money on market research so they have a better understanding of what they're getting into. While this may be costly (depending on how granular you get), it may be worth it to gather market intelligence before you launch your business.

Accountant or attorney fees

It's a good idea to hire a trusted accountant or attorney to help with the startup process. This individual can ensure your operation is in line with all laws and requirements of your state and local area.

Inventory costs

How much inventory will you need when you open your doors? Be sure to estimate cost conservatively so you cover any unforeseen events.


The type of business you start will dictate the amount of equipment you need. For example, if you're opening a law firm, you'll need computers, office supplies and printers. But if you're opening a dental office, you'll need much more equipment prior to opening your doors.

As with inventory, it's best to be conservative with your cost estimate in this area so you'll have extra funds just in case something doesn't arrive at your office as promised. You'll also need to determine whether to buy or lease the equipment. It's a good idea to discuss this with your attorney, accountant or lender prior to making this decision.

Online services

Many new businesses outsource the development, launch and maintenance of a company website and other social media channels (such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). If you're experienced in this area, you may be able to cut out (or at least cut down) this cost. Once your website and social media channels are set up, you can start using them to advertise—which may have additional costs.

Operational costs

Another critical startup cost is the money needed for day-to-day business operations including payroll, rent and utilities. These expenses must be paid every month regardless of whether you're making money.

Business loan fees

If you're like most startups, you may need a small business loan to get started. Be sure to include the payments you'll make on this loan in your startup cost calculations.

Miscellaneous expenses

It's always a good idea to set aside some money for unexpected expenses. You'll increase your odds of success if you have funds available to cover any unforeseen cash flow gaps.

Planning for success

Once you've evaluated the information above, you'll have a good idea of your bottom line and what it will take to get your business started. You may need to cut back in one area when you're just starting out, but be sure to incorporate that cost into your business strategy at a later date. The more prepared you are when you launch your business, the more likely you'll experience success.

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The information provided is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. BB&T hopes you find this information useful but we cannot guarantee that it is accurate, up to date, or appropriate for your situation. You should consult with a qualified attorney or financial advisor to understand how the law applies to your particular circumstances or for financial information specific to your personal or business situation.

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