Start-up Cost Sheet

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 This information is part of a series of documents about Starting and Growing a Business
New businesses spend money before they ever open their doors or offer product for sale. Start-up expenses are those costs incurred before the business is up and running. Many new entrepreneurs underestimate start-up costs and begin their business in a haphazard, unplanned way. To avoid making this common mistake, use a start-up cost sheet to plan your initial financing.

The following cost sheet consists of typical expenses involved in starting a business.This is not an all-inclusive list but it offers entrepreneurs a place to start in terms of business planning and assessing the feasibility and cost of a new venture.

Please keep in mind that many of the following costs reflect a 1-3 month time frame, meaning that you should have enough funds available to cover these costs for a minimum of one month but ideally for at least three months.
Estimated Start-up Costs
Living Expenses
    Salary for owner / manager
$1-3 months
Land & Buildings
    Building (buy or lease)
$1-3 months
    Furniture & Fixtures
    Decorating & Remodelling
    Outside Signage
Vehicles $ Once
    Cash Register
    Other (Specify)
Office Supplies$1-3 months
Telephone$1-3 months
Internet$1-3 months
Utilities$1-3 months
    Business Cards
$3 months
    Newspaper / Radio Ads
$3 months
Packaging & Labeling $1-3 months
$1-3 months
    Raw Materials
$1-3 months
Licenses and Permits $As Required
Professional Fees
$1-3 months
$1-3 months
    Other (Specify)
$1-3 months
Insurance$As Required
Deposits (utility etc)$Once
Salaries and Wages$1-3 months
Cash Reserve (Petty Cash, Credit Accounts)$1-3 months
Other (Specify)$As Required
Total Cash Required to Start a Business$

Note: A fillable version of the Start-up Cost Sheet is available by downloading the pdf version (209K) which is located on the top right-hand of this screen

Other Documents in the Series

Business Plan Builder - This interactive business planning template from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development is a comprehensive planning tool that will help you assess where your business is going. The business planning template is available as a fillable PDF document - 1187KB. This template can be completed on-line, saved to your hard drive and then printed off or emailed as required.

Note: To use this form you must be using Adobe 8.1 or higher. The latest version of the software is available for free from Adobe).
For more information about the content of this document, contact Kathy Bosse.
This document is maintained by Mary Ann Nelson.
This information published to the web on March 29, 1999.
Last Reviewed/Revised on August 21, 2014.