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How Much Does it Cost to Start a Web Design Business?

11 Min Read

cost to start a web design business
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Setting up a web design business includes far fewer complications compared to other businesses. However, like every business, you would require an initial investment to start a web design business.

The question that lingers in your mind is: How much does it cost to start a web design business?

Well, we have an answer for you. While you map out your business plan, let us give you a detailed breakdown of web design startup costs.

Not only that, we will discuss in detail the factors influencing the costs and some effective ways to bring down the initial costs.

Let’s get started.

Average costs for starting a web design business

Before we dive into details, check out this web design business startup cost checklist. It will help you plan your startup budget and know how much financing you need to get started.

Item Average Cost
One-time Expenses
Computer & Software $1,500-$4,500
Website & domain $500-$1,500
Office setup $1,000-$1,500
Design & development tools $200-$500
Licenses & permits $500-$1,500
Initial branding and marketing $1,000-$3,000
Annual Insurance $500-$1,500
Networking & events $300-$800
Business cards $200-$500
Total One-Time Expenses $5,700-$15,300
Recurring Expenses (Per Month)
Internet & Hosting $50-$150
Payroll $1,500-$5,000
Software subscriptions $50-$200
Utilities $50-$100
Marketing & Advertisements $100-$300
Website maintenance $50-$150
Cloud storage $20-$50
Total Recurring Expenses $1,820-$5,950
Total $7,520-$21,250

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How to calculate the cost of starting a web design business

You now have a list of potential expenses and a rough estimate of your startup costs. Let’s estimate your actual startup costs using these two proven methods.

The first, traditional method involves using a startup costs calculator to estimate the startup costs. However, the second, the Upmetrics method, is an innovative method that uses Upmetrics financial forecasting tool.

Let’s understand both methods so that you can choose one that suits your requirements the best.

The traditional method—startup costs calculator

The calculator includes categories such as pre-trading, website setup, marketing, operations, and people. You can enter the estimated costs in each field and let the calculator estimate the costs for you.

Remember that many startup costs fall under recurring expenses, so cover those costs monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Calculate your startup costs using this calculator.

The Upmetrics method—financial forecasting tool

It is an intuitive and efficient method of calculating startup costs. Using Upmetrics will not just help you estimate startup costs but also help with financial forecasting.

All you need to do is enter your sales, costs, and other financial assumptions and let the tool calculate monthly/quarterly/ and yearly projections for you.


Check out the financial forecasting tool for accurate financial forecasting. Once you have an accurate estimate of startup costs, you can easily identify funding requirements for your web design business.

Financial Planning to calculate startup costs

Calculate Your Startup Costs

Raising funds for a new startup is certainly a nerve-wracking and time-consuming process, but having a solid web design business plan can make things a lot easier.

Let’s move ahead and discuss the factors that affect your bakery startup costs.

Factors that affect web design Business startup costs

Starting a web design business requires a thorough consideration of various aspects. Let us now understand the factors that can substantially affect web design business startup costs.

1. Location

Location plays a significant role in influencing the startup cost of any business. Compared to calm areas rents are generally higher in well-known areas and corporate neighborhoods.

It is not only about lease or property prices; but also about the salaries, licenses & permits, insurance, and every other factor of the business.

Usually, highly concentrated commercial buildings with corporate offices make the best location choice for a web design business.

2. Office setup

There are two options for you to set up your office for a website design business; you can go low with a home-based office or start by leasing a commercial space.

Setting up your web design business office in a commercial space will cost you rent, which can vary depending on the location and size of the office.

If you want a small space for your web design business office, then around 200-300 square feet can cost you around $1,500-$2,500 of monthly rent with the furnishing costs around $1,000-$2,500.

However, the average monthly rent can be around $3,000-$4,500 for 500-800 square feet of large office space.

Expect to pay around $1,500-$3,500 per month with security deposits of around $1,500-$7,000 if you plan to set up your office in a commercial space.

While a home office is a good option because there are no rental costs, you still have to buy furniture and equipment for setting up the office at your place.

3. Computer hardware & software

Software and equipment occupy a significant amount of total costs in starting a web design business, which is necessary too. The basis of your business relies on the quality and advancements of your equipment and software.

Here is a list of software and equipment that you will require along with their costs:

  • Computers & laptops: $1,500-$3,000
  • Design software: $20-$50 (per month)
  • Project management tools: $10-$30 (per month)
  • Additional hardware: $200-$500
  • Backup & security software: $50-$100 (per month)

Apart from this, there are other software and equipment that you might need according to your needs.

You can expect to spend around $1,500-$4,500 on equipment and software for your web design business.

4. Skill level, expertise, & team size

You can not start a business without having proper knowledge of the field. Thus, the expertise, team size, and skill level you need depends on the requirement of your projects.

Individual knowledge of the owners will hamper the factor of hiring skilled and experienced employees. As experienced owners can train freshers, and one with minimum knowledge would hire experts.

Hiring a web designer would cost around $3,000-$5,000 depending on the experience of the designer. The number of projects you have in your hand would play a crucial role in hiring the number of people.

Overall, the cost would be $4,000-$6,000 monthly on payroll with 2-3 employees. As the average hourly rate for a web designer is around $31.58 according to Talent.com. At the same time, if you are operating from a house-based space and outsourcing the work, then the cost will reduce drastically.

5. Scope of services

The scope of services you provide has a direct connection to the startup costs that will incur for your business. The broader the service range you provide, the more it will cost your startup.

If your business only offers basic website design and development services, then the startup costs might be lower. The average cost range for initiating a basic web design business would cost around $1,000-$5,000.

If you are providing eCommerce and customized development, then your startup costs will range between $5,000-$20,000, because these projects often require more advanced programming.

Likewise, if you plan to offer web hosting or domain registration services, then you will need to invest around $500-$2,000 for server resources & domain reseller accounts.

Hence, you need to evaluate the demand of the services you are going to provide, and then decide the scope of your services.

6. Licenses, permits, & Insurance

Legal compliance is necessary to operate a web design business successfully.

Firstly, the business license for a web design firm is required to be registered, which might cost around $100-$400.

More licenses and permits will be required to operate the web design business legally. Some fines will be incurred on your business if you don’t comply with the rules.

Here is a list of some of the must-have business licenses and permits for a web design company:

  • Professional licenses: $500-$1,500
  • Zoning permits: $100-$500
  • EIN: $50-$100
  • Data protection & privacy compliance: $50-$100

The cost of these licenses and permits varies between different states and provinces. However, expect to spend anywhere between $700-$2,500 on acquiring essential permits and licenses.

Though insurance is not compulsory, it is recommended to buy one, which might cost around $500-$1,500.

7. Marketing & promotion

How do you make people aware of your new web design business? Well, marketing will help.

Digital marketing campaigns, pay-per-click (PPC), SEO, and social media advertisements are all effective for marketing your web design firm.

Here are some costs of initial marketing for your web design business:

  • Digital marketing campaigns: $500-$1,500
  • Content marketing: $500-$1,000
  • A professional website: $1,000-$5,000
  • Branding & graphic designing: $500-$1,500
  • Email marketing: $200-$500

Apart from these costs, businesses on average keep aside 3-5% of their sales for the marketing budget. It is usually between $100-$300 monthly.

8. Domain & hosting

Domain and hosting can affect the startup cost of a web design business. For instance, on average domain registration can range around $10-$20 for standard domain extensions like (.com) or (.net).

Hosting providers offer various plans with different features, such as storage or server performance. On average web hosting with SSL certificate and domain privacy protection services can range from $60-$250.

Understood the factors that affect your web design business startup costs? Let’s learn a few handful tips to reduce these costs.

Tips for reducing web design business startup costs

Reducing startup costs for your business can help you efficiently launch your business. Here are some tips to reduce the startup costs for your web design business:

1. Home-based office

The home-based office can be a better choice for people who are tight on a budget because this way you can avoid the cost of the rent. It will also save you extra bucks on office setup.

Working from home will offer you flexibility in working hours, which will increase the balance of your professional life.

2. Used equipment & software

Web design businesses should invest in used equipment and software to avoid the initial enormous costs of software and hardware.

Pre-owned computers, laptops, and software are generally available at very affordable prices in comparison to brand new.

Note: Buy all the equipment in excellent condition that can cater to your needs.

3. Freelancers & contractors

For the start of your business rather than employing full-time employees, you can give the work to freelancers and cut the cost.

Along with the reduced costs, it also allows you to work from anywhere without managing the whole team.

You can freelance the work to the experts in the particular field instead of hiring freshers, improving the quality of your services.

4. DIY Marketing

Starting a web design business requires marketing, but marketing can be expensive. However, there are cost-effective ways. You can promote your firm on social media platforms.

You can also collaborate with nearby businesses or organizations. Discounts can also be given to clients who recommend others to your web design business.

By putting these tactics into practice, you may lower the typical startup costs for your business and raise your chances of becoming a profitable enterprise.

5. Partner & collaborate

Partner & collaborate with other developers to share the tools, software, and design assets. It can help you to reduce your cost. Collaboration also allows you to provide more service range.

For example, you design a website, and if you have an app developer in your network, then you can outsource it to that individual if your clients require it.

6. Open-source software

Using Open source software is an intelligent choice for budding businesses. It can reduce software expenses for web design businesses drastically.

These types of software also offer a range of features and functionalities for you to start your business with quality.


That concludes our discussion on web design business startup costs!

We hope that this blog has provided you with valuable insights and guidance, empowering you to make informed and strategic choices for your startup.

Best of luck in designing websites! 

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About the Author


Riya Shah

Riya Shah is a skilled content writer experienced in various areas of writing, currently working with Upmetrics. Fascination with reading led her to be a writer. Highly creative, focused, imaginative, and passionate. Read more


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