Secretarial and typing services – start-up costs

Here’s what you need to start a secretarial business and offer typing services and what the estimated startup costs are.

With just a computer, a printer, a few business cards, and a pack of paper, you can start your secretarial business and offer typing services. You can get additional gear and accessories later.

  • A computer. Any computer will help you get started. You don’t need a high-end computer for word processing. However, if you want to offer graphic design or web design services, you should get the best computer you can afford. Cost: From $200 for a used computer to $300 – $2500 for a new computer. You can find used computers in your local newspaper and in specialized local computer publications.

  • Software: Most computers come with a word processor. I recommend using Microsoft Word as soon as you can afford it, as most of your clients will. Cost: Visit for current pricing.

  • A printer: I recommend a laser printer, but many secretarial staff and typists use an inexpensive inkjet printer. Cost: From $10 for a used inkjet printer or $400 to $2000 for a laser printer. Contact Best Buy, Fry’s, and other computer stores for more information. Check HP, Cannon, and Samsung websites.

  • A desk. You can get a small computer desk or use a table. Cost: $30 and up. You have many choices for $100-$200.

  • A computer chair. Choose one that feels comfortable to you. The more expensive chairs are not necessarily the most comfortable. Check some office supply stores. Cost: $30-$200.

  • office supplies. Supplies you may need include paper to print your clients’ work, printer cartridges, pens, paper clips, envelopes, a filing system, and a stapler. Cost: Check local office supply stores like Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples. Or order their catalogues.

  • A phone: I recommend getting a separate phone line from the start. Cost: Check with your local phone company.

  • Business Cards: Printed business cards look more professional than cards you print sheet by sheet on your own printer. Cost: $20-$200 for a set of 500 to 1000 business cards.

  • A business license. Cost: $20-$100 depending on city and county.

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If you already have a computer, word processor, and printer, your startup costs are minimal. You can start your secretarial business and do paperwork with some basic office supplies and later buy additional equipment or software when a project calls for it.

All the best for your secretariat!