The business plan startup costs template can guide you in crafting the part of your plan that details the initial financing your business will need. This is one of your most important tasks as a new business owner. It serves as the guide for how you will run your business. A good budget can help you understand the growth of your business and whether adjustments need to be made.

Types of Startup Costs

Startup costs are usually categorized as either one-time or monthly expenses. Common one-time costs include consultant fees, building purchase, and tech and other required equipment. Monthly costs include utilities, lease payments, and salaries. Other fixed costs include one-time and ongoing marketing and/or legal services and initial stock of inventory.

Reserve for contingencies and working capital are typically the most significant portion of your business startup costs. The contingency fund is designed to cover unexpected costs of operating the business.

Working capital lets you keep your business running by paying bills and buying inventory while awaiting customer payment. Lack of working capital is a common cause of failure for growing businesses. To make sure you have enough working capital, leave a realistic buffer between the day a sale is made and the day payment is received.

Using a Startup Budget Template

You can download a basic spreadsheet template to create a startup budget for your business. This can be customized to reflect your business's specific expenses.

  • First, decide on the number of months your startup budget will include. Ideally, you should budget for your monthly costs until you project that your business will be profitable. For example, if you think you'll be in the black after 18 months, create an 18-month startup budget.
  • Next, enter the costs into the appropriate spreadsheet cells.
  • If your spreadsheet has embedded formulas, your totals should populate automatically.
  • When completed, you'll have an itemized list of startup costs to include in your business plan.

For best results, use the most accurate numbers possible when creating your startup budget. This requires online research and may involve calling potential providers and suppliers. You should also comparison shop to get the best price, but don't forget to consider delivery options, reliability, level of service, and available payment terms when choosing a vendor.

Funding Sources

Once you've listed your startup costs, make a list of potential funding sources for your business. This includes savings, credit lines, bank loans, and money supplied by investors. In some cases, it could include asset sales, endowments, or grants.

Compare these funding sources to the amount of startup capital you need to determine whether you have a deficit or surplus of funds. In the case of a deficit, you must decide whether to look for additional funds or cut startup costs where possible. If you have a startup, double check to make sure your numbers are realistic.

When seeking a bank loan, you will need to provide information about assets that can be used as collateral for the loan and estimate their value. You'll need to provide supporting documents for these estimates.

Restaurant Startup Costs

Starting a restaurant is often expensive because of the need for special facilities and equipment. These items can sometimes be leased, which can reduce your initial costs. Don't forget to account for costs like menu creation, supplier sources, cleaning services, and uniforms.

Home Business Startup Costs

Home businesses are often less expensive to run than other types of start-ups. That's because you already pay for utilities, office space, furniture, and internet services. In fact, those who qualify can deduct some of these items on their income tax returns.

Web-based businesses are also affordable, particularly if you can create your own website. However, you may need to budget for custom database creation, hosting services, website design and development, and search engine optimization. Online retail businesses will also need to pay usage fees if they sell through eBay, Amazon, or similar storefronts.

Franchise Start-Up Costs

When making a budget, new franchise owners should also account for monthly franchise dues, fixed franchise fees, and cooperative marketing fees. You can get more information on these costs from the corporate office for your franchise.

If you need help with startup costs for your business plan, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.