How Much Does it Cost to Start a Business?

What you can REALLY expect to spend on your new company

Andrew Fisher Andrew Fisher
Apr 27 · 4 min read
You may be surprised how much costs can vary.

What’s stopping your business idea from becoming a reality? For many start-ups, the biggest concern is the cost of starting a business. If you’re wondering whether or not you have the funds you need, Startomatic is here for you. Let’s break down the cost of launching a start-up. Brace yourselves, entrepreneurs and go-getters - it may be more affordable than you expect

The Legal Fees of Starting a Business

Legally forming your company requires documents that often extend beyond the expertise of your average entrepreneur. Specifically, you’ll need to create legal formation documents, documents to manage the company, an EIN application, and potentially an S-corporation application. 

If you’re like most starters (that’s what we call entrepreneurs), you’re definitely not a corporate lawyer. And that means you could be looking at some hefty legal fees if you go the traditional route.

Hiring a corporate lawyer to form your business can cost $1,500 (and up!), and that’s just to prepare and file legal documents. Looking to save on these sunk costs, many founders turn to software solutions like LegalZoom, which will run you $349 for formation document support and an additional $79 for filing an EIN application. But don’t expect a quick turnaround - without paying an additional fee for faster processing, it can take 30 days or more to get your filed documents back.

Providers like LawDepot may be less expensive ($33/month), but they only offer legal document templates and contracts for DIY-ers. You’d still need to invest additional time and money into understanding, completing, and filing these legal documents to ensure your company is formed correctly.

Legal—Collective Costs for Start-Ups

  • Hiring a corporate lawyer—estimated $1500+
  • Do it yourself$461 and 8 hours in opportunity costs.
  • Startomatic$99 per month plus state filing fees (and you get the priceless advantage of practical advice for navigating the legal madness!) No extra charge for EIN or S-corporation filings!

The Cost of Branding a New Business

So you’ve got a great business plan in your head. The first step towards identifying and launching your unique business is branding. Branding agencies and design consultants can cost $500-$1000+. Entrepreneurs looking for a more reasonable option may turn to a site like Canva for design support and logo creation, which costs $12.99 a month. 

The name of your brand is the next challenge to conquer. Is your company name taken? How can you find a suitable company name that is still available? This process often requires start-ups to manually search, research, and develop multiple new brand name options—which takes an average of 18 hours.

Branding—Collective Costs for Start-Ups

  • Hiring a branding and design professional—estimated $500-$1000+
  • Do it yourself—$12.99 and 18 hours in time opportunity cost
  • Startomatic$99 per month

Launching Your Online Presence

The easiest way to get the word out about your business is to create a robust online presence. Registering your domain name costs $12 a year with GoDaddy. As you develop your website, you can expect to pay an additional $12 each month to Squarespace for a basic website.

Social media pages (like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter) are an essential part of developing your online presence, and luckily they’re all free to create. However, you will need to invest some time into learning the ropes if you are not familiar with these processes and platforms. Finally, you can claim your custom company email for $6 per user each month with Google Workspace. 

Online Presence—Collective Costs for Start-Ups

  • Hiring a professional—estimated $500+ per month
  • Do it yourself$12 per year plus $18+ per month, plus  6+ hours in opportunity costs
  • Startomatic$99 per month

Getting Your Team on the Same Page

Communication, file, and task management systems are central to any successful business. These investments help get your team on the same page. Slack—the frontrunner in business communication solutions—costs $6.67 per user each month. 

Project management solutions can help support a seamless workflow and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Basecamp project management runs $99 each month. Dropbox file management runs $12.50 per user each month for sharing and storing your documents. You can also use additional tools to help support your business, like idea boards and company calendars. These collaborative tools are often free to use but some can take ~4 hours to implement and learn. 

Internal Software—Collective Costs for Start-Ups

  • Do it yourself$118+ per month plus 4+ hours in opportunity costs
  • Startomatic$99 per month

Additional Start-Up Costs to Consider

Beyond these foundational investments, there are some additional start-up costs to consider. The final expense of launching your start-up will depend on the unique nature of your business. Service-based businesses may need training, supplies, and certifications. Meanwhile, product-based companies will incur materials, prototyping, and production costs. 

You can budget for these elements of your business by requesting quotes and monitoring price changes. Collectively, this will give you an estimation of how much it will cost to start your business. You should definitely consider leaving a little extra room in the budget for unexpected expenses that may arise along the way. 

Startomatic: Streamlining Your Business Creation

Startomatic is your one-stop software solution for launching your new business. We provide both the tools and insight you need to get your start-up off the ground and maintain your pace forward. Did we mention that Startomatic costs just $99 a month, and there’s no limit on the number of team members? Ideal for small businesses, this provides hundreds (if not thousands) in initial and monthly savings. You can sign up for Startomatic online and get started today!

Startomatic makes it radically easier, faster, and less expensive for starters* to launch and run a company. Starter Flow is your step-by-step guide to plan, brand, and incorporate your new company—complete with automated tasks and practical advice and answers. Learn more
* starter | stär-tər | n.
  1. Someone who acts on the opportunity to create profits using knowledge, skills, and tools.
  2. Like "entrepreneur", but less pretentious—and easier to spell.

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