List of small business expenses

Written by jennifer winland
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List of small business expenses
Small businesses have many expenses, including rent, supplies and advertising. (tax time image by Gale Distler from

Legitimate business expenses consist of necessary costs directly related to the business. Typical expenses include advertising, equipment, furniture, a vehicle lease, Internet, office supplies, payroll, rent, telephone, travel and utilities.

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The cost of placing an advertisement varies depending on the venue. A business may advertise in the yellow pages, a newspaper, a magazine, or on the radio. Television, till receipts, buses and hoardings are other options. Sponsorships that count as advertising include support for the local t-ball or baseball team, local school sports leagues, middle school bands or membership with the local chamber of commerce.

List of small business expenses
Advertising is one of many business expenses. (man with newspaper image by Cristian Ilie Ionescu from


Businesses must invest in and maintain equipment, which is any kind of machinery or electronic device other than a vehicle. Equipment may include computers, cash registers, a printer, fax machine, telephone, mobile phone, security television with cameras, a point of sale system's hardware, a small office heater and a small office air conditioner. Some equipment is specific to an industry. A blow dryer, curling iron and razor are needed to operate a salon.


In the first year, businesses must invest in furnishings. Desks, chairs, sofas, benches, tables and bookshelves are common items needed for an office.

New or used furniture is a start-up expense for a business.
New or used furniture is a start-up expense for a business. (cafe image by Gina Smith from

Leased vehicle

Many businesses must allocate funds to buy or lease, as well as maintain, a vehicle.

List of small business expenses
A leased car is a business expense. (Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images)


A computer is an essential business tool that also entails maintaining an account with an Internet service provider.


Small businesses must account for utility costs in their budgets. Utilities include water, waste disposal and electricity bills.

List of small business expenses
Utility bills can be costly for a business. (Clear light bulb image by simbolocoma from

Supplies and other expenses

Office supplies and office expenses are two different categories. Office supplies are directly related to everyday operations. Postage, paper clips, pens, staples, paper and ink are office supplies. Office expenses include bottled water, snacks and coffee for employees or customers.

List of small business expenses
Paper clips must be budgeted with office supplies. (Office Supplies image by Lori Pagel from


The wages you pay employees and the withholding taxes on the wages are payroll expenses. If you pay your child or spouse wages, this is part of your payroll expense. If your child is between 14 and 18, they do not have to pay National Insurance, saving you money.


Mobile phones and land lines are a small business expense, unless they are used for a home business, where a portion may be for personal use.


Out-of-town business meetings are travel expenses. You can use the cost of your meals and entertainment as an expense, or use the per diem rate instead. The total cost of the hotel is also an expense.

Travelling for meetings is an expense.
Travelling for meetings is an expense. (Business briefcase image by Dumitrescu Ciprian from

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