Skip to main content

Business startup costs calculator

Startup costs calculator

We've put together some of the typical things you'll need to invest in when starting a business. Fill in the business startup costs below to find out how much money you'll need to get up and running.


How to work out your business start up costs

There’s a lot to think about when starting a business and it’s easy to overlook some of things you’ll need to pay out for. You can get excited thinking about shiny new equipment but forget about the not-so-fun things like utility bills and insurance. 

That’s why we’ve created this simple-to-use startup costs calculator. We’ve collated some of the main costs you’ll need to factor into your initial launch and operational plan. The calculator will add those costs together to give you a realistic idea of your overall costs. In turn, you’ll have a much better understanding of how much revenue you’ll need to generate to break even and turn a profit. 

Why use our startup costs calculator?

Informi is your one-stop shop for all types of business advice. We’re experts in providing guidance on every aspect of starting and running a business – from advertising to filing tax returns. We’ve created this calculator based on years of experience working with accountants and startup businesses. In fact, once upon a time we were a startup business too.  

Types of business start-up costs

One of the most important elements of starting a business of your own is to ensure that you have an accurate idea of what your start-up costs are. This enables you to ensure that you have the money to start your business and keep it running initially, being able to support yourself and anyone else who is involved.

When you are considering your start-up costs, it is important to be as honest as possible about potential costs and leave a little spare for those elements that you have underestimated financially. It can be difficult to remember everything that you might have to pay for when you are starting up a new business, and this is where our start-up costs calculator comes in handy. 

  • Professional costs

    There is a certain amount of legal and formal administration that is required when you are setting up a business. It is important that this is done properly and you may need to pay a professional to carry out some of these duties. For example, registering a trademark can be a complex process and is best navigated by a trained legal professional. Partnership agreements and contracts may also need to be reviewed by lawyers. You’ll also likely need the help of an accountant to support you with your financial reporting and tax returns. 

  • Business start-up insurance costs

    When you are starting a new business, it is essential that you have the appropriate insurance policies set up in case something goes wrong. This will ensure that you can cover costs and are not personally liable should the worst happen. Each business has its own specific insurance costs but some aspects that you should think about include:

    • Employer’s liability insurance – if you employ anybody, you must have employer’s liability insurance which is in place to protect companies against employee claims for physical damage or injuries. Without employer’s liability insurance, a business runs the risk of being fined up to £2,500 per day.
    • Professional indemnity insurance – this insurance is in place to cover the business if a claim is made by a customer about a mistake that has been made at work – such as a copyright infringement or the breaching of a confidentiality agreement.
    • Product and public liability insurance – this covers your business should something happen to one of your customers that is your fault. Product liability insurance refers to any damage or accident that is caused by one of your products, and public liability insurance refers to any accidents that occur to customers on your business’s premises.
    • Building and contents insurance – regardless of whether you rent or own your business premises, you must have building and contents insurance to protect your premises and their contents.
  • Premises costs

    The cost of your business’s premises is more than just the rent or mortgage that you are paying regularly. You should also include service charges and management fees, utility bills (gas, electric, water), and the connection of utilities, for example.

    In this category, you should also add in the cost of fitting out the premises so that it is suitable for your business in the first place if required.

  • Staff and employees

    The issue of who is going to carry out your work is an important thing to think about as the costs of employing staff can be prohibitive. Some small businesses start off without employing anybody else and employ as they grow, whereas others begin with a small group of staff. Depending on the business, you should think about how many people you want to employ (if any) and in what nature. Some of your options include employing full-time staff, employing part-time staff, or contracting a freelancer when you need them.

    If you are looking to recruit, you should also think about the costs that are involved in recruitment – costs such as recruitment agency fees, job advertising fees, and the time that it will take to interview someone and recruit yourself.

  • Office equipment

    Before you start to work, there will likely be an amount of office equipment that you need to get started. This equipment will need to be sourced and comprises of items such as:

    • Accounting system
    • Computers/laptops
    • Computer chairs and ergonomic desks/tables
    • Data storage and back-up
    • First aid kit
    • Internet connection
    • Power cables or extension cords
    • Signage
    • Stationary
    • Telephone
  • Sales and marketing

    It is essential that when you start a new business, you make your potential customers aware that you exist. Depending on the kind of business that you have, there are several different sales and marketing strategies that you can think about.

    For many businesses that are starting out, a very effective marketing strategy is the use of cheap digital marketing channels. Digital marketing gives you a lot more flexibility over budget than more traditional, offline marketing.

    It is essential that you design, create, and maintain a good website as this is the face of your business, and it is recommended that you maintain a good social media presence. You might wish to hire a website designer to help you to do this. You might also wish to hire a social media professional who can help you to maximise your social media presence and engagement with the public.

    You should also work on making yourself easily found online. This is known as SEO (search engine optimisation) and involves ensuring that your business is easily found on search engines. SEO specialists can help you with this.

  • Start-up finance

    All businesses need an amount of money to start. You might have applied for a business loan or credit, so it is important to factor in these repayments for when your business begins to make money.

  • Start-up finance

    All businesses need an amount of money to start and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to access a business startup grant. You might have applied for a business loan or credit, so it is important to factor in these repayments for when your business begins to make money.

  • Technology

    There is a certain amount of administration that needs to be done when you are running any kind of business. This is best done using software – for ease, consistency, and time-saving. Some of the software that you should consider getting includes:

    • Small business accounting software
    • Website hosting
    • Email accounts
    • Payment gateways
    • IT support
    • Data storage
    • Mobile phone contracts
    • Third-party integrations or services that you may need


    Some of these might be free of charge, whereas others you will need to pay for.

How to create a business forecast

When it comes to planning the financials of a new business, it is essential that you carry out a business forecast. This is the key to finding out whether you actually have a viable business and will give you an idea about how much money you can expect to make – and how much you have and will need to spend. A business forecast will give you the information that you need to apply for business grants and funds or create business plans.

A business forecast is created through the use of two different sources – qualitative and quantitative sources.

  • Qualitative sources are used to create qualitative forecasting. This is research that is based on the opinions and observations of people. It is made up of market research – the opinions and observations of consumers through surveys and polls, and Delphi research – the opinions and observations of experts through surveys and polls. Qualitative forecasting is a form of short-term forecasting.
  • Quantitative sources are used for long-term forecasting that involves using statistics and patterns from history. It basically uses what has happened in the past to help to predict the future for your business. As you are a new business, you are unlikely to have significant amounts of in-house data, but you can use data from outside sources such as census statistics.

With qualitative data, there are two different approaches that you can use – the ‘average approach’ and the ‘naïve approach’. The ‘average approach’ involves using the mean average of the data collected from the past and applying it to the future.

The ‘naïve approach’ looks at data from industries that are continuously developing – or ‘time series’ data. This means taking only the most recent data to analyse the way that the industry is moving and using this to forecast how your business will develop in the future.

Business startup costs

What information can be gained from business forecasting?

Business forecasting is a useful way to accurately predict the future of your business. There are several pieces of information that you can glean from the business forecasting process, including:

  • Build structured plans – with detailed predictions of the future of your business, you can use the data to build structured plans for revenue growth to ensure that your business is successful as quickly as possible. With a realistic vision of the goals that you are aiming for, you can begin to work towards achieving them.
  • Plan accurate budgets – with a good understanding of where you want to be, and when, with your business, you can then go on to write detailed and accurate budgets in the short and long term. These budgets can enable you to ensure that you have adequate resources, staff, and materials to help you to achieve the goals that you are looking to get to.
  • Analyse market trends – it is important to understand the market that your business is in and understand its trends. This is important to enable you to plan for the future of your business, look at your business objectives, and make realistic predictions.

Creating a business forecast

There are several key steps to creating a business forecast. Click on the dropdowns below to find out more about each step. 

  • 1. Develop the basis

    Business forecasts are based on how your business can develop in the future. It is, therefore, important that you know where you are starting from. This might be ‘0’ if you have not started yet, but it is still an important element to consider. In this section you could look at:

    • Your current industry standing
    • Your business’s current economic status
    • Your business’s current financial standing
  • 2. Long-term projections

    Building on the data that you have collected in the first step, you can then go on to make future projections. These should be long-term goals and are usually based around either or both business expansion and revenue increase.

    You should make projections including:

    • The projections of your industry
    • Your economic projections
    • Your financial projections
    • Long-term revenue projections
  • 3. Measuring and reviewing forecasts

    As your business grows, you should then use the data that you have collected about both your business and the industry as a whole to measure your progress towards your goals and projections, as well as review how they are going and amend your long-term forecasts accordingly.

Share this content

Brought to you by:

AAT Business Finance Basics

AAT Business Finance Basics are a series of online e-learning courses covering the core financial skills every business needs. They draw from AAT’s world-leading qualifications and will quickly build your knowledge on key topics including bookkeeping, budgeting and cash flow.

Visit partner's website

Register with Informi today:

  • Join over 30,000 like-minded business professionals.
  • Create your own personalised account with curated reading lists and checklists.
  • Access exclusive resources including business plans, templates, and tax calculators.
  • Receive the latest business advice and insights from Informi.
  • Join in the discussion through the comments section.