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68 Examples of Operating Expenses

 , updated on November 20, 2021
Operating expenses, or opex, are costs related to the day-to-day functions of a business. These can be contrasted with capital expenditures that are investments in the future of a business. Valid operating expenses depend on the nature of your business whereby they are reasonable and necessary given your business model, industry and strategy. The following are common examples of operating expenses.
Accounting Fees
Administration Fees
Advertising Costs
Amortization of Intangible Assets
Bad Debt Expense
Bank Fees
Bonuses
Business Service Fees
Business Taxes
Business Travel
Cleaning Services
Compensation
Computer-related Expenses
Condominium Fees
Consulting Fees
Containers
Contract Work
Depreciation of Assets
Donations
Duty
Employee Benefit Expenses
Employee Pension Plans
Employee Training Expenses
Equipment Rentals
Facility Fees
Food, Beverages & Catering
Franchise Fees
Freight & Delivery
Fuel Costs
Garbage Removal / Waste Management
Insurance
Interest
Laboratory Services
Legal Fees
Licences & Memberships
Licensing Fees
Loan Losses
Mailing Costs
Marketing Expenses
Materials
Meals & Entertainment
Occupancy Costs
Office Supplies
Outsourcing Fees
Packaging Supplies
Payroll Tax
Professional Service Fees
Property Taxes
Rent
Repairs & Maintenance (Upkeep)
Research & Development
Restructuring Costs
Royalties
Sales Collaterals
Sales Commissions
Selling Expenses
Small Tools
Software Licenses
Storage Fees
Subscriptions
Supplies
Technology Services
Telecom Services
Uniforms
Utility Costs
Vehicle Lease / Rental
Warehouse Expense
Warranty Expenses
What is a valid operating expense for one business and industry may not be a valid operating expense for another. The test is whether an expense is normal in your industry and required to conduct your business. For example, a professional film critic might be able to expense movie tickets related to their work whereas an IT consultant might find this more difficult to explain.
It is common to exclude expenses from operating expenses if they can be directly attributed to the unit cost of a product or service known as cost of goods sold. For example, a solar panel manufacturer that doesn't include production costs in their operating expenses but instead includes this in the costs of their solar panels.
Capital expenditures are investments in the future of a firm and are typically deprecated or amortized over time whereas operating expenses are deducted immediately. It is common for minor capital expenditures to be expensed as operating expenses. For example, if a carpenter buys a $40 tool this might be expensed. If they purchase, a $50,000 vehicle, this would be a capital expenditure that can't typically be immediately expensed.

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Transaction Costs
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