By Brooke Chaplan
As you prepare to start your new business, you have to anticipate investing quite a bit of money before you make a profit. You know you need enough to cover the costs of renting an office space, paying a staff, and building a large stock of products. But some costs are not as easily anticipated as others. Are you prepared to pay the following fees and expenses as well?
Licensing and Permits
To even run your business, you need to apply for multiple licenses and permits, and application fees vary depending on your location and your industry.
For example, if you plan to start a car wash company, you’ll need to apply for an auto wash license, which falls under a basic business license. And in order to apply, you’ll need a certificate of occupancy for your business location, as well as complete and file a Combined Business Tax Registration Application.
In the District of Columbia, a Category License fee for an auto wash would cost $78, the application fee would be $70.00, and the endorsement fee would be $25. If you plan to expand your business to include other services (such as auto repair), expect additional fees.
Industry Association and Memberships
Networking plays a key role in a successful startup. When you associate with a well-established company, you gain credibility in the eyes of your potential clients and customers.
For example, as a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association, your contracting company would look more professional than your competitors without the membership. Many memberships and associations involve year fees, sometimes upwards of hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every year.
Professional and Legal Consultation
Although you’d like to run your business as professionally and honestly as possible, you’ll still need legal help from time to time, and that help comes at a cost. A paralegal or attorney can ensure that you and your business follow federal and local laws to the letter. And the right advice can help you avoid expensive lawsuits and infringements.
You might save money if you hire an employee with an online paralegal degree but as your business expands, you may want to build an entire legal department to keep your business running smoothly.
Equipment Repairs and Maintenance
You already know you need to spend a large part of your budget in administrative costs. Office supplies, safety equipment, sanitation, and utilities will all come out of your earnings. But if you want to ensure that your new printer and scanner lasts, or that your plumbing stays in top shape, you’ll also need to account for repair and maintenance costs. Ideally, you’ll have a program in place that fixes minor problems before they escalate, but you should also establish a fund specific for office emergencies.
Keep the above costs in mind as you plan your budget for the year. Your startup business shouldn’t have a problem getting off the ground as long as you can plan for and expect to pay these expenses.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.