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68 Examples of Operating Expenses

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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
Business Service Fees
Business Taxes
Business Travel
Cleaning Services
Computer-related Expenses
Condominium Fees
Consulting Fees
Contract Work
Depreciation of Assets
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
Laboratory Services
Legal Fees
Licences & Memberships
Licensing Fees
Loan Losses
Mailing Costs
Marketing Expenses
Meals & Entertainment
Occupancy Costs
Office Supplies
Outsourcing Fees
Packaging Supplies
Payroll Tax
Professional Service Fees
Property Taxes
Repairs & Maintenance (Upkeep)
Research & Development
Restructuring Costs
Sales Collaterals
Sales Commissions
Selling Expenses
Small Tools
Software Licenses
Storage Fees
Technology Services
Telecom Services
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.

Business Costs

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Applied Cost
Business Equipment
Capacity Cost
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Cost Of Capital
Cost Of Revenue
Cost Of Living
Direct Cost
Distress Cost
Fixed Costs
Friction Cost
Employee Costs
Holding Costs
Intangible Cost
Marginal Cost
Operating Cost
Operating Expenses
Legacy Costs
Outlay Cost
Lifetime Cost
Overhead Costs
Menu Costs
Relevant Cost
Normal Costs
Sunk Costs
Tangible Cost
Operational Costs
Travel Expenses
Unit Cost
Opportunity Cost
Variable Costs
Prospective Cost
Semi Variable Cost
Step Costs
Switching Costs
Transaction Costs
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A list of common types of business cost.

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Business expenditures that aren't affected by business volumes.

Variable Costs

Business expenditures that change as you produce more.

Semi-Variable Cost

An overview of semi-variable costs.

Overhead Costs

An overview of overhead costs.

Overhead Cost Examples

The definition of overhead cost with examples.

Business Disadvantages

A list of possible disadvantages of owning a business.

Sunk Costs Examples

An overview of sunk costs with examples.

Business Results

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Business Supplies

Lists of various types of business supplies.

Business Expenses

A list of common types of business expenses.

Travel Expenses

A list of common travel expenses.

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The difference between cost and expense.


The definition of expense with examples.

Capital Expenditures

The definition of capital expenditure with examples.

Capital Improvement

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Variable Expenses

A list of common variable expenses including business and personal examples.

Operating Cost

A list of common operating costs.

Business Travel

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