Cost of Starting Online Business

Cost of starting online business

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Are you trying to get your ducks in a row, so you can start your dream business?  Not sure what it will cost to start this online business.  Cause we know they do not teach this in B – School.  You will learn what are the items and dollars to start your online business.

Permits & Licensing

You might be required to register for sales tax (for example ecommerce biz). Or, you may need a specific profession License (for example project management/pmp) or occupation license to complete your work.

You might also need a general business license. The permits you need will vary by state and district. If you find you need one, it could be a surprise startup cost of hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Equipment & Maintenance

You will need some of the following for online biz:

Laptop – I highly recommend you get a mac for online business.   Prices range from $899 – $2500.  Of course, depending on what you can afford.

Printer (optional) – I highly recommend you get a laser jet printer if you choose to have one or your business needs it.  Prices range from $99 to $400.

Monitor (optional) – You will be on your computer a lot.  But this is not mandatory.  But if you want a monitor, prices range from $119 – $340.

Maintenance for these items – one of the many reasons I recommend a mac, is there very little reason for maintenance.  You do not get those pesky updates that take all day to update your computer.  The updates are quick and easy and can be assigned to run during the evening while you sleep.

Domain Hosting & Email

No matter how you choose to design and build your website, you’re going to need someone to host it. 

My recommendation is


Startup Plan – $11.95/mo. for 1 website, Free email account, 10 GB Web Space, 10,000 visits monthly and more

Grow Big Plan – $19.95/mo. for Unlimited websites, Free email account, 20 GB Web Space 25,000 visits monthly and much much more.


Shared Plan – $7.99/mo.  for 1 website, Easy to use customer dashboard, Free email account, Fully managed solution.

Software & Platforms


My recommendation is:

Mailerlite –  if you have 1-1000 subscribers you can get a Free plan.  And you get a lot of features.  It also includes landing pages, pop ups for your website, embed forms on your website on top of sending emails out.  It has automation, drag and drop feature to build the look of your emails and newsletter.  Seriously you should check it out

Video Conferencing

My recommendation is:

Zoom – if you are just getting started you can use the free option and get a lot done with it.  You can use it for the following task: video or audio coaching calls, masterclass for up to 25 people & record video for YouTube videos.

Business Phone Number

My recommendation is:

Google phone number – can you guess what the price is?  $0, that is right.  You get a phone number, that can receive text, voice mail.  Also, an app on your phone, where you can see all your messages.  You can also have it to forward to any phone you want to.  So, it can ring on your cell phone or home phone.  Also, a neat feature is they will have to say their name.  So, when you pick up, you can determine if you want to answer.

Graphic-design Tool

My recommendation is:

Canva – this is the tools that most of us use.  I do recommend that you get the Canva for Work which is $12.95 per month.  This gives you access to more photos, also you can upload your brand colors, fonts, logo.  Also, templates that you can brand and use for social media.

Pic Monkey – this is another popular one.  You can choose between Basic or Pro plan.

Basic plan is $7.99/mo. The Pro plan is $12.99/mo.  The difference between the plans are Pro you can export PDF file, priority email support and upload custom fonts.

Easil – this is new one on the block.  Definitely worth a look at.  You have three plan options: Free, Plus ($7.50/mo.), & Edge ($59/mo.)

Appointment Scheduler

Acuity Scheduler – if you are just getting started, then you should look at the freebie or Emerging Entrepreneur plan, which is $15/mo.  If you have been in business for 2+ years consider growing business plan which is $25/mo. 

I consider an appointment scheduler as mandatory.  You do not want to have to play Gmail tag, setting up appointments.  Allow them to pick the time that works for them and you get a notice of when to show up.

Utilities & Access

Internet – you do not have to upgrade the wireless plan you currently have.  Unless your plan is not good. 

Electricity – you know your bill.  Nothing special cause you have a home business.

Payment Gateway

Paypal – everyone is used to paying with PayPal.  But to be honest.  I am not a fan of them.  I use them when I must.  That is a whole other video on my rant on PayPal.

But here is the cost for the plans:

PayPal Payments Standard – $0

PayPal Payments Pro – $30/mo.

The difference is for pro you can accept credit cards via phone, fax and mail via a virtual terminal.  And design host your own checkout page.

Stripe – great alternative to PayPal.  Is compatible with most of the software out here that accepts money.  No monthly charges, but fees when you receive money.

Marketing & Advertising

Social Media Ads – it depends on what you can afford.  If you are just getting started in business, I would stay away from doing ads.  You should work on getting people through organic marketing.  If that works, then and only then move into ads.


Generally, rule is for all income you receive take 30% off the top.

Next Steps

Are there any other expenses I missed? Remember this is for when you are just starting out. So we want to keep overhead low, until the business can support itself. Let me know in the comments of any other suggestions.

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Renee Lamb

Renee has over 15+ years of experience in the corporate world. She has had management roles in HR, international healthcare and project management. But the role she loves the most is Job Exit Strategist for her own company, Renee M. Lamb, LLC. Renee is not only passionate for, (well maybe obsessed) being an advocate for helping professionals to gain freedom and wealth via entrepreneurship. She believes her role is to give them wings so they can soar to greater heights on their entrepreneurship journey. She does this by her coaching programs and courses.