Free Business Budget Templates
A business budget template is a necessary tool for small business owners to manage your financial goals. While managing finances may sound complex and time intensive, these free small business budget templates can take out a lot of the guesswork and make the process easier.
This guide provides a roundup of free business budget templates available to download, so you can use the one that fits your business best.
Why you need a business budget
A business budget template helps you manage your business finance places in one place. Here’s some reasons how it can help:
- Allocate funds for different business goals
- Streamline business expenses
- Plan for financing options
- Build a savings cushion for your business
- To track business cash flow
Free small business budget templates
You can download business budget templates for free. Some will even integrate with your business’s existing software programs.
Microsoft Office Excel
If you’re a regular Microsoft Office user, there are several Excel business budget templates available. One option is the monthly business budget, which comes formatted with typical business categories like personnel and operating expenses. This template is also easily customized to fit your business expenses.
Another Excel option is the business expense budget, which offers a more detailed illustration of monthly variances in charts and graphs. It also lets you track your expenses by line item, such as wages, leases, utilities and more.
If you prefer using Google Drive for your business, the Google Sheets business budget template may be a good option for you. It’s called “Annual Business Budget” — to download it, go to the Google Sheets template gallery and scroll until you see the Work section.
The budget includes preset tabs you can fill with your business income and expenses, which you can adapt to fit your business. Google Sheets will then generate a summary that breaks it all down and highlights your ending balance, complete with a graph.
SCORE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting small business owners through a network of mentors, educational courses and other resources. It’s also a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which helps to deliver most of its content for free.
Among its free resources available are a wide range of business budget templates for various purposes. With templates focused on startup expenses, a business loan estimator or a 12-month cash flow statement, there are several options for your business needs.
Business software resource Capterra has a business budget template of its own that’s compatible with both Excel and Google Sheets. This spreadsheet template includes a tab for an annual budget, monthly budget and monthly actuals — this allows you to track your progress through the year.
Smartsheet offers a wide range of Excel business budget templates you can download for free. The small business budget template includes different sheets for monthly income, expenses and cash flow balances. Smartsheet also has a budgeting template that’s designed for business owners who are managing multiple projects. And if you’re just getting off the ground, check out their startup budget template.
Vertex42 also offers business budget templates compatible with Google Sheets and Excel. One worth considering is the startup costs template, which helps you figure out how much startup capital you’ll need to get your business up and running.
Your accounting software
You may have access to business budget templates through your accounting software. Many programs — like QuickBooks and Xero, for example — offer budgeting components. Leveraging your accounting software can make things a little easier if it allows you to integrate your budget with your other business records.
How to make a business budget template
If none of the free templates appeal to you or fit your business’s unique features, you could choose to create your own. If you take this route, be sure to consider some of the following business best practices:
- Don’t commingle business and personal finances: Be sure to separate these details. It keeps things cleaner and can help make tax season much more efficient.
- List revenue and income sources: On average, what does your business bring in each month? Having realistic expectations here can make for more effective budgeting. If your revenue is up and down, skew lower and base your budget on that to be safe.
- List fixed expenses: Predictable, fixed business expenses may include your rent, wages, supplies and so on.
- List variable expenses: This includes fluctuating bills, like your energy bill or one-time equipment purchases.
- Factor in long- and short-term goals: Whether you’re looking to grow your business, expand into new areas or invest in new products or services, you’ll want to plan ahead and incorporate it into your budget.
Frequently asked questions
How do I make a business budget spreadsheet?
You can make a business budget in a few different ways. Going with a free business budget template can simplify things, as you simply can download it and fill in the blanks. If you want to create your own using a spreadsheet, make sure to include revenue, fixed expenses and variable expenses.
What is included in a business budget?
A business budget should include your revenue, income, expenses and business goals. Overlooking these details will likely lead to an incomplete financial picture for your business — the clearer you get here, the stronger your budget will be.
How do I manage a business budget?
After making a business budget, you’ll then need to follow it. The first few months of using your business budget template should help you determine if your budget is missing any vital information. If, for example, you’re continually running a deficit, is there a recurring expense that you neglected to include in your budget? Is the cause of the deficit overspending, or perhaps lower revenue than expected? It’s important to regularly check in with your budget to make sure it reflects your business’s reality and priorities.