How Much Does It Cost To Start An Online Boutique?

Online boutiques are becoming on-trend these past few years up until today. Perhaps you’re interested to start your own but afraid to take the risk. Well, this post will answer the first question every successful online boutique owner at present has asked.

How much does it cost to start an online boutique?

Surely, starting up an online boutique is not as costly as opening a boutique in the mall. No additional payments for rentals, tools, and many other things. You can use existing resources such as the garage area to serve as a store.

The real deal is no one can start a business without having any expenses. There are still scenarios to invest on. Further, we consider U.S. based starting cost for medium scale online boutiques.

What are the things to prepare in starting an online boutique?

1. Business Plan

Plan what products you would sell and be serious about making it into reality. At first, it’s hard to figure all things out but you’ll get there. This process includes the setting of strategies, operational procedures, and 5-year business projections.

2. Permit and Licensing Requirements

This depends upon the local government. Business permits and licensing are required to legalize the operation of every business, including an online boutique. Home-based boutique requires a zoning permit. Over $15,000 is needed to complete these requirements.

3. Professional and Legal Fees

Being new to the world of owning an online business is challenging. You’ll need business professionals to keep the business going. The presence of a lawyer and an accountant helps throughout the operation. If you aren’t familiar in setting up books and filing of taxes once in a while, you can hire an accountant. The cost only ranges from $1,000 to $10,000.

4. Marketing Plan

Creating advertisement techniques will demand cost. You can start using social media platforms in introducing products. It might be flier distribution which requires printing expenses. Level up your marketing plan by entering TV or radio ads. You can spend almost $5,000 for promotion expenses.

5. Capital Requirements

The overall investment may vary by products offered, location of the business, and workforces. Consider the work of financing to enter your overall capital. Do your research about startup capital through lending money.

Within the accumulated capital, the amount must cover up the following:

Note: The amounts are estimated based on medium scale online clothing business.

  • Insurance cost – $30,400
  • Start-up inventory cost – $200,000
  • Operating expenses – $60,000
  • Cost of equipment – $13,750

Then again, the expenses are according to the line of business you’ll enter. It might be lessened as an online business doesn’t demand much equipment and payroll expense.

Small scale online boutiques in America normally devote a capital ranging from $50,000 to $150,000. Medium scales results in $750,000 capital investments and over a million dollars for large scale online business.

6. Select the Right Inventory

Know your target market to correctly select the inventory you’ll offer online. It could be current fashion trends and other on-trend products. Purchase only initial inventories by estimating the certain amount of inventory you’ll need to dispose of. Try to find for wholesalers to minimize the cost of purchase. Most of the capital investment will go here.

7. Supplies

This stuff is for a one-time expense, unlike the inventory and payroll expenses. It only requires less expense for long time use.

8. Make an Online Store

After setting up all the needed costs, next is to set up your selling platform. There are lots of e-commerce platforms where you can create your own online store. An example is  Ecwid site. You can find the right plan for your business, including a venture plan, business plan, and an unlimited plan. You can launch your business for free!

The site will be responsible for setting payment methods, calculating all the expenses such as shipping expense and taxes, and in monitoring the orders. The free plan allows fewer than ten products. As the business grows, implement more advanced tools by paying a cost.

Another effective recommendation is by using your social media accounts like Facebook. This helps to easily reach out of the target market as what the existing online sellers are doing. You can be notified at all times when someone wants to buy your products.

9. Hire Staff (optional)

The small online boutique may still operate without having a huge workforce. Growing online business consider having sales personnel to quickly dispose of products. This will affect the payroll system of a business.


Anyone can start an online boutique anytime. It doesn’t require breaking the bank or giving up millions of investments to startup. Getting started demands more time of planning to have the most efficient result. The best estimate of funds results from the on-hand planning process.

To answer the question, “how much is the starting cost to establish an online boutique”, estimated average costs as according to the above details is around $100,000. Then again, the cost of investment primarily depends on what you have planned.

We encourage you to share your business stories on the comment section below. This is to remove the fear from the aspiring online sellers to try it out. Declaring prosperous sales over your business!

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