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Small Business Tips

How much does it cost to start a business?

Manasa Reddigari

How much do you need to start a business? According to most studies, the figure is approximately $30,000. But start-up costs can vary widely based on industry and scale of business. Read on to learn the average cost of starting a business in your industry.

Average cost to start a business

Administrative or custodial services

In the business of providing cleaning or administrative support to other companies? These services are not only easy to launch but extremely cost-efficient. The average start-up costs come in at over $11,000 according to U.S. Census data.


Construction doesn't include only professionals who work on large-scale residential and commercial building projects. It also extends to small-scale construction businesses such as handymen. For this reason, the average start-up cost of a construction business is $14,000.

Professional and technical services

Are you a writer, web designer or lawyer? Your business falls into the broad niche of professional services. Starting a business in this niche costs an average of $14,000-$18,000. The range is lower because some professional services businesses can be started at home with little or no upfront costs.

Others, like law offices, need a professional setting for everyday business and meeting clients. This requires increased capital. The significant benefit of these knowledge-oriented businesses is that they sell knowledge. This means you can avoid the manufacturing costs that come with producing physical goods.

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Healthcare services

Ready to put your medical expertise to work as a self-employed dietitian, dentist or healthcare provider? Service-oriented healthcare businesses cost $27,000 on average to start.

How much you need to start a business in this niche can vary widely depending on the type and complexity of services. Practitioners who need a permanent office with costly equipment can take on higher costs than those who work from patient sites with little equipment.


From purchasing raw materials to producing inventory, the costs of opening a retail business can add up. But exactly how much do you need to start a business in this niche? The start-up costs of a retail business amount to an average of $32,000. Opening a virtual store can help cut the real estate costs of a traditional brick-and-mortar store.


The financial services sector includes financial advisors, insurance brokers and other money-savvy professionals. If you count yourself one of them and want to operate a business in this sector, you can expect to spend an average of $52,000 in start-up costs.

Real Estate

Want to flip homes or even own your own rental business? The real estate profession is now a popular second career option for many people. Start-up costs can vary depending on which area of real estate you enter, but cost $75,000 on average.


It's no wonder why food services businesses cost an average of $125,000 to start. Despite its popularity as a business venture, a restaurant requires a significant upfront investment.

To reign in the costs of acquiring space and hiring a large staff, consider opening a food truck and then scaling up to a brick-and-mortar business. You can even opt to franchise your business later if it succeeds.

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