How to Start a Balance Sheet for a Startup

Track your startup's assets.
Track your startup's assets. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

While operating a startup can be a challenge for a new business owner, maintaining a complete and correct balance sheet doesn’t have to be. Using a free online template, record your startup’s assets, liabilities and equity. As you update your balance sheet, you will find it easier to track your figures across specific periods of time and evaluate how much your startup has grown in relation to your expectations.

Download a free balance sheet template. Websites such as DocStoc and Score provide free documents to small businesses and professionals. Format options may include Word, Excel and PDF. (See Resources.)

Record a beginning and projected date for your balance sheet, including the month, day and year. Values and figures documented in each column will coincide with the dates recorded.

Enter your business’s assets. Input assets, such as cash in a bank account, accounts receivables and inventory. Total the value of each asset down the first column of your spreadsheet, recording each asset on its own line. Expect beginning assets to remain low during the first months or years of operation.

Enter your business’s projected assets. The figure you enter is what you reasonably expect your startup to earn by the date recorded. For example, if your business has $500 in a bank account as of the beginning date, you may project this figure to jump to $1,500 by your projected date.

Input assets, such as fixed assets (e.g., machinery and equipment) as well as other assets (e.g., deposits). Total the value of each asset as you did in Step 4. Differentiate fixed assets from “other” assets.

Input your business’s projected assets. As you secure additional lines of credit or profits permit expanding your business, these figures could jump dramatically in advance of your projected date. For example, your startup may only have one office desk as of your beginning date, but expand to include five as new employees are hired and your projected date is met.

Total all of your assets. Total your current assets, fixed assets and “other” assets. In the next column, add the totals for your projected current assets, projected fixed assets and projected “other” assets.

Report your liabilities and equities. Start with current liabilities (e.g., accounts payable) and then proceed to long-term debt (e.g., bank loans payable). Finish this section with what is called “owner’s equity” (e.g., invested capital). Input beginning and projected figures for each grouping. Total your individual liabilities and equities (i.e., beginning and projected) for a grand total at the bottom of your balance sheet.

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