One of the most confusing issues among many entrepreneurs is keeping up with their business expenses, especially in these economically challenging times. Whatever business you indulge in, you must deal with two costs: direct and indirect. These two have been confusing many business people globally, making it high time to understand what they are, particularly regarding product pricing.

Direct Costs

As the name says, you can directly connect these expenses to a particular ‘cost object,’ such as a project, product, or department. You can also include labor payments as long as they are tied to a department, project, or product. Some expenses under direct costs include software updates, buying raw materials, and purchasing new business equipment.

Indirect Costs

These are the expenses you incur in running a business and maintaining its operations. This is the extra money you spend after computing the direct expenses. Common indirect business expenses include electricity bills, rent, and computer charges. They are indirect because they play a part in the overall business, but they are not directly associated with creating goods or services. These expenses can be fixed or variable, depending on what you spend your money on. Some variable indirect expenses include gas and electricity, while you can rank rent as a fixed indirect cost.

Differentiating Between the Two

The main trick here is to understand that direct expenses are associated with creating, developing, and launching a particular product. In contrast, indirect expenses are not associated with a specific product. The information below bullets some of the direct and indirect business expenses to help you understand how to differentiate between the two:


  • Raw materials
  • Equipment
  • Labor charges
  • Manufacturing items
  • Product release fees


  • Electricity bills
  • Rent payments
  • Upgrading office technology
  • Product advertising campaigns
  • Purchasing office supplies

Why Is It Important to Understand the Difference?

Understanding the difference between direct and indirect expenses plays a critical role in your startup or small business. The main benefits of gathering such knowledge are that it helps you know how to price your products, grasp your accounting better, and create a detailed future business plan.

Business expenses have been bothering both seasoned and new entrepreneurs. You can sort everything out as long as you understand what both entail. Feel free to contact Achieve Capital Advisors today for all the financial support you need as a person in business.