It takes money to make money, but it may take more money than expected. In this article, we’ll share fifteen small business fees and startup costs that small business owners may not be aware of.

Credit card fees for businesses

For better or worse, most customers use credit cards these days. If you plan to make the purchasing experience convenient for your customers you’ll most likely need to accept credit cards. While this can help improve your bottom line by making it easy for the customer to buy from you, it does come with fees associated with processing credit cards. For more information about what credit card merchant fees are, click here.

Accounting small business fees

One of the best consultants to have on your side is an accountant. While accountants can help you minimize your tax liability and consult you on general best practices for your business, they also come with a fee for their services.

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Everyone’s least favorite small business fee: Taxes

While accountants can help you understand and plan for your taxes, it’s important for business owners to keep the cost of taxes in mind. Unlike an employee that has taxes taken out immediately from their pay checks, many business owners feel like they have more money than they actually do because they do not think about their taxes until they are due. Get your money’s worth from your accountant by having them help you make quarterly tax payments (which can also help you avoid tax penalties), and also have them project your yearly tax liability based on your quarterly sales and expenses.

Advertising fees for small business

When it comes to business, the saying “build it and they will come” rarely holds true. To get people to know about your business and purchase from it, you’ll need to market and advertise your business. While there are ways to bootstrap marketing and do it for free, you often get faster success if you invest money into marketing and advertising your business. The catch, of course, is that this comes as an added expense for your business. For more information on launching a marketing campaign for your small business click here.

Website fees

In today’s digital world, most businesses cannot thrive without an online presence. That being said, having an online presence can come with many startup costs including but not limited to the cost of purchasing your domain name, hosting your website, setting up email hosting, and of course, having a website created and maintained if that’s not something you can do yourself. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to setting up a website for your small business, click here for a simple guide to building your small business website.

Depending on the type of business you start, you may incur legal fees as you get your business up and running. To start, you may want to pay a lawyer for a meeting to discuss the legal implications of the various business entity options available to you. If you do decide to incorporate your business or register it as a limited liability company, you’ll need to file articles of incorporation with your state which will come with an additional cost.

Business license fees

Regardless of whether or not you incorporate, you’ll most likely need to apply for licensing and permits within your town and state, and depending on the type of business you start, even the federal government.

Payroll costs

If you plan to hire employees it’s important to keep in mind that there are many additional costs and taxes that get added onto the base cost of having an employee. For example, you’ll need to pay payroll tax, benefits, and insurance. Additionally, if you’re a new business or new to hiring employees, additional startup costs could include equipment that your new employees will need as well as training.

Payroll processing fees

If you don’t want to manage the processing of payroll for your employees you’ll need to hire someone or an outside company to manage this for you. Payroll processing fees will add an additional cost to your business.

Office space

Another cost of running a small business are the costs and fees associated with having an office space. If you own the space, make sure you budget for costs associated with the upkeep and maintenance of the building. If you are leasing a space, you’ll most likely incur common area maintenance fees (CAMs) which the landlord will charge on top of base rent to help maintain the building.


Regardless of whether you have an office space or are working from your home, operating a business will cause your utilities to go up as you’ll be in the space more often and using electricity, as well as your HVAC system to keep your work environment comfortable.

Insurance fees

If you’re starting a business and have any personal assets you want to protect, insurance is an important business cost that you won’t want to do without.

Consulting and contractor fees

There are many skills that are helpful when starting a business. However, it is likely that most people don’t have all the skills necessary to start and grow their business. When there is a gap in the knowledge that the business owner and/or employees have, it’s helpful to hire consultants and contractors to help fill the knowledge gap for a period of time. While consultants and contractors are generally cheaper than long-term employees, they can be a substantial business startup cost that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Equipment, furniture, and supplies

Another expense you need to be aware of for your business is the startup cost incurred to purchase equipment, furniture, and supplies. Additionally, business owners would be smart to plan for future costs associated with replenishing supplies and purchasing new or newer equipment and furniture when their current equipment and furniture become old and obsolete.


If you run a business that sells a physical product, you’ll need to stock up on inventory to ensure you do not run out. In addition to the real cost of inventory, there can also be costs associated with lost, stolen, damaged, or expired inventory. The cost of storing and shipping inventory should also be considered.

While starting a business or dealing with the expenses of running a small business can feel overwhelming, they don’t have to be. Small business fees and expenses can easily be managed with tools like those provided by PaySimple. Let us show you how we can help your business.

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