The IRS describes a business expense as "the cost of carrying on a trade or business." Every company incurs regular expenses as part of doing business. Most company expenses are deductible if you operate a business that is set up to make a profit. The list of company expenses can be varied and long, and generally the larger the company, the greater the expenses. It has always been true that companies must spend money to make money, and business expenses an unavoidable necessity.
No matter the size of your company, employee salaries are an expense that must be paid out regularly. Other labor expenses such as contractors, accountants and lawyers will also be included in this category, as will training and development.
Regular expenses are incurred as a result of the sales process. Examples are distribution, packaging, freight out and sales commissions.
Rent or mortgage is the amount of money you pay to use a property for your business. If your company owns the property, it will pay a regular mortgage that is applied toward owning the property. If someone else owns the property used for your office or business facilities, you will pay rent. This expense is most often paid out monthly.
Travel expenses will typically cover any travel-related costs incurred as a result of doing business. Travel expenses can include airfare, meal allowances, mileage and taxi service. Larger companies or companies who employ traveling salespeople will see higher travel expense amounts.
Many companies will have a yearly budget for advertising that is broken down into monthly expenditures. For larger companies, this number can climb into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Advertising expenses include television and print ads, online marketing, radio ads and any other methods designed to advertise or promote your business.
Production expenses include any expense, aside from labor, that goes into manufacturing your company's products. This includes the cost of raw materials and equipment costs and maintenance.
The size and type of your business will determine what types of insurance you carry. Some examples are the typical fire and contents insurance on your facility, liability insurance and insurance related to employee benefits. Health coverage and retirement savings plans are also common expenses for many businesses.
Expenses such as heat, electricity, water and telephone and Internet service are necessities for every size of business. They are usually paid out monthly.
General office supplies are an on-going expense that companies have to face. These typically include office equipment such as computers and fax machines as well as paper, pens, pencils, paper clips, staples and other supplies.