How Much Money Do You Need to Start a Business?

Some people think that you need hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to start a business. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are a few businesses I have started, and others have started, for less than $1,000.

Blogging or Freelance Business

The owner of this site and I recently spent a weekend together with a few hundred other finance bloggers in St. Louis. The hundreds of people at that conference each have some sort of online business, and none of those businesses require more than $1,000 to start.

When I started my most recent website, the total cost out of pocket didn’t need to be higher than $70. Website hosting? Deals can be found as low as $5 per month. Domain name? I got mine with a coupon for less than $10. That is really all you need to get up and running.

Service Business

Depending on your business, startup costs can be pretty low. When I started my flash mob business, my costs were a website (I already had hosting, so it was $7 for the domain) and one big, loud speaker, which cost $250. I actually used my own personal speakers for the first few events and didn’t spend on a bigger one for a few months.

Most service businesses don’t really need an office or work space to be rented. If you can work out of a home office or do your service on the go, you can save even more.

$100 Startup

In Chris Guillebau’s $100 Startup, he features a long list of businesses that started for a low cost and are able to support a family. Some of my favorites include the husband-wife couple who create high quality artwork including specialized maps and the guy who delivers mattress orders by bicycle in Portland.

There are countless businesses you may be able to start for as low as $100. With only that much at risk, why not give it a try?

I started my first business, which in retrospect was a bad idea (as they say, hindsight is always 20/20), for less than $300. I made about a third of my money back and lost the rest, but the business lessons were invaluable in informing future business ideas.

Just Try It Already

If you are sitting on a great idea or have been afraid to try a business, what are you really waiting for? What is holding you back? Fear? Fear of what? If you limit your financial risk, you may be better off trying it out than always wondering what could have been.

Startup Costs for Your Businesses?

If you feel comfortable sharing, what sort of startup costs have you experienced when starting out? Please share in the comments.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.


  1. In my case nothing. Then I had to ‘enroll’ in a business form and paid the taxes needed, but I was already earning money. I’m a web designer and blogger.

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