Estimating Start-up Costs


How much is it going to cost you to start a business? Find out how to make those calculations here.

Dear Janet,

What is the best way to find out how much start-up costs will be?

For example: supplies, insurance, etc. Is there some sort of guidelines for certain types of business I could look in to?



Dear AM:

You can get a list of the types of expenses to consider - and calculate the total - using our start-up cost calculator at


To determine what dollar amounts to use in the calculator, though, you'll need to do a little bit of research. If there is a large bookstore near you, browse through the business start-up titles there. Look for books on the specific type of business you want to start, and books that have start-up information about a variety of businesses. Those should give you some rough guidelines. One good way to get input is to ask existing business owners what it costs to start the type of business you want. You can do that in message boards like the boards we have at Be specific about the type of business you want to start. What you'd need to start a business as a virtual assistant is going to be a lot different than what you'd need to start a gift basket business. Industry groups, trade magazines and suppliers can help, too. Suppliers are often a very good source of information since they can estimate your needs based on their experiences dealing with businesses similar to what you want to start. To determine the dollar cost of insurance, get quotes from several insurance brokers. Be sure they understand what kind of business you want to start. Good luck!

About the author:
Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning  Business Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets.  Follow Janet on Twitter at

Free small business newsletter
Get great business ideas and advice like this sent to you in email twice a week.
Subscribe to the free Business Know-How newsletter. 
Enter your primary email address below


Follow Us and Share