Hidden Costs of Startup Businesses

We are a nation of startup businesses, it would seem. According to the latest Office for National Statistics report (ONS) the annual increase in the number of self-employed people in the UK for 2019 was two-thirds larger than the annual increase in the number of employees.

If self-employment is something you are swaying towards, be aware that there is plenty to consider. There are many extras to starting up a business, and these extras don’t come for free. They say you need to spend money to make money, so when beginning to create your innovative business plan, don’t forget to factor in the costs of these business essentials:

Hiring an accountant

While it may be easier to think that you won’t need one, hiring an accountant can in fact save you more money in the long run. Finances are what keep your business afloat, and being a new company is tough. So having an expert on hand to offer you advice on tax issues, VAT, and book-keeping is really a no-brainer.

Having a Web Presence

No modern day business can deny the need for a website. Buying a domain name and hosting is fairly affordable, but it is mainly the design feature that will cost you.  

How many times have you judged the legitimacy of, for example, an online retailer, based on the look of their website? A well-designed, well-laid out website will compliment your brand and impress your potential customers – which ultimately means hiring a designer or developer, especially if you want an online shopping feature where safety and reliability are key.

Safety Training

If you have employees, it’s not just their salaries you’ll need to budget for. It is you, the employer’s, legal obligation to ensure staff are safe on their premises, so you must provide health and safety training, including fire safety and first aid courses. (If required; visit the HSE Government website for advice on what is required for your size of business, and chosen sector).


Social Media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook may cost you nothing to start with. But, it’s a good idea to set some money aside for when you want to move on from post-sharing and blog updates. You might benefit from a paid marketing campaign, such as sponsored posts; making a corporate video to share on social media, and your website; or you might decide flyers and TV/radio ads are the way to go.

Unforeseen circumstances

Startup businesses are not always smooth sailing. Whether it’s an unexpected machinery/office equipment breakdown, or supplies and labour costs coming in over-budget, at some point you may experience a hit to your finances. Avoid the risk by keeping an emergency fund to dodge any disruption of your cash flow.

Administrative Costs

These costs could sneak up on you if you aren’t prepared. You may have taken these items for granted when you worked for someone else, and individually, these items may cost next to nothing. But they are vital.

  • Computers (+ accessories)
  • Software
  • Phones
  • Printers (+ ink)
  • Paper
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Staplers
  • Sticky-notes
  • Filing cabinets
  • Paper clips
  • Office cleaning supplies

And many more…


When you are just getting off the ground, you might not need a lot of insurance. However, as time goes on, and your business grows, the need for multiple insurance policies may increase.

The cost of your insurance is based on numerous factors, for instance; the trade, size of business, industry sector, location(s) of work, revenue, previous issues, present risk factors, number of employees… For a business that’s already operating on a tight budget, these hidden costs can make it difficult to stay on track.

Here at Firth & Scott Insurance Brokers, we can offer you a range of commercial insurance policies perfect for startup businesses. We will work with you to establish the risks to your business, along with your level of affordability. Then we’ll find you the right policy at the right price.

 Get in touch with us to find out more.