Running A Business

Breakdown of Costs to Start a Law Firm

Mar 13, 2023 • 6 min read
Man hands bag of money over
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      If you’re in the process of starting a law firm, one of your main concerns is likely how much it will cost. There are many variables that factor into the actual cost to begin your own practice, not to mention how you will fund the whole endeavor. Some attorneys are able to create a firm on a shoestring budget. However, if you are planning on starting big, your initial costs may be more significant. 

      Here are some things to consider when it comes to law firm start-up costs. 

      How much does it cost to start a law firm? 

      It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly how much it will cost you to hang a shingle. However, there are some ballpark considerations that can help you understand your initial budget. Some people are able to start a law firm with a couple thousand dollars. Others need $30,000 or more to begin practice. The exact amount you need depends on your overhead costs and the budget you decide on for items you will need. To determine this amount, consider the following.


      Will you have a physical law office or a virtual workplace? If you, like many new attorneys, decide to work from home, you can easily rent a workspace or conference room when you need to meet with clients. On the other hand, having an office space may be important to you. Rent for a physical business location can range dramatically depending on where you are located. If you rent a traditional office space, you may pay $1,000 or more monthly, while renting conference space only when it is needed might cost $200 or less. 

      Supplies and office equipment

      Even if you opt to work from home, you will need certain supplies and office equipment. It’s important to have high-quality printers, scanners, phones, and copiers. For high-quality equipment leases expect to pay $1000/month. You will also need plenty of paper, stamps, pens, note pads, envelopes, and more. These items can add up. However, they shouldn’t amount to more than a couple of hundred dollars per month. 

      Computer hardware and software

      Computer hardware and software will be one of your highest costs when starting a law firm. You will need a quality laptop computer, as well as case management software and document and PDF processing software. These are generally one-time or annual costs, with hardware costing thousands of dollars and software hundreds. 

      Most legal research databases and data storage in cloud services are subscription-based. You can lower your costs by joining the American Bar Association or your state bar association with free legal research databases. Data storage in cloud services like Dropbox are necessary to ensure your information is secure and you don’t lose valuable files if your hardware malfunctions. These overhead costs may amount to $100 per month or less.

      Professional expenses and training

      You will need to set aside a budget for professional expenses and training, including licenses, continuing education, conferences, and events. Most states charge companies to obtain a business license, and you will  have to pay to maintain your active status as an attorney with the state bar association. 

      Continuing education is a requirement of all attorneys. While conferences and events are sometimes negotiable expenses, they should be heavily considered to maintain networking and positive appearance. These costs can amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the details of the training and events. 


      All businesses need insurance, especially law firms. The types of insurance you need depend on the state you’re in, your practice areas, whether or not you have employees, and other factors. The cost of all these insurance types can vary also, but usually amount to $1,000 or less monthly total. 

      At a minimum, you should have: 

      • General liability insurance
      • Property insurance
      • Malpractice insurance
      • Workers’ compensation insurance
      • Cybersecurity Insurance

      It’s best to consult with a professional business advisor in your state to ensure you get the right insurance for your new law firm. 

      New law firm marketing

      You will need to invest in marketing for your law firm. However, the amount you decide to put into building a website, social media, Google ads, and other advertising methods depends heavily on your goals. For example, if your target audience does not use social media often, then you can avoid spending money on developing a heavy Facebook presence. 

      However, one thing you should not skimp on is the quality of your website. And you can achieve a professional site at a low cost or at significant expense. The choice is yours. Many low-cost template options allow you to build your own website. But if you really want to take advantage of SEO tools and rank at the top of Google, you may need to invest in a marketing agency. Many legal marketing agencies offer packages to new law firms for $2,000 to $5,000 monthly to create a website, juggle advertising, and track performance. 


      Every business must pay state and federal taxes. However, the amount you pay will depend on the type of business you form and your annual earnings. It will cost up to $1,000 to have a tax professional keep track of your revenue and expenses and help you complete and file your taxes when the time comes. 

      Get the funds to start your own law firm

      If you are ready to start your own law firm, you should consider all of the costs. Once you create a budget and know how much you need, complete a quick application on Lendio to receive and compare multiple law firm funding offers. Learn more about law firm financing options.

      Quickly compare loan offers from multiple lenders.

      Applying is free and won’t impact your credit.

      About the author
      Brandy Abalos

      Brandy Abalos is a licensed attorney, content strategist, and marketing consultant for small businesses. She uses SEO tools to develop strong digital content for audiences who are learning how to navigate complex topics in law and business. When she is not writing, she seeks adventures with her three children, partner, and two corgis in Ohio.

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