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Set-up cost to become an Independent

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Mar 30, 2008 12:33 am

I have tried to search past topics, but keep getting an error msg.

So my question is how much did it cost to set up shop, say in a midwest town of 100,000 people? How much should I plan on dropping? Thanks for your response!    
Mar 30, 2008 3:47 am

Mar 30, 2008 4:44 am


Apr 2, 2008 5:03 pm

It depends on how much work needs to be done to your space.  In my case, around 8k in remodeling, 12k for furniture and equipment, 1500 for licensing and software + 1 years worth of fixed cost,, phone, assistant all in all I would say close to 50k..some will do with a lot less and some will purchase a nice building etc...

Apr 2, 2008 5:13 pm

8 1/2 years ago I used $40k for start-up costs, salaries, etc.  I didn’t take any income out for the first 4 months.  And I didn’t over-spend on furniture, office, etc. 

Apr 3, 2008 12:03 am

Thank you bspears and oldlady - I appreciate it! this is kind of flipping me out, so nice to hear from some who have done this. I am heavily leaning towards what has been referred to as…The Dark Side .

  we'll see
Apr 3, 2008 12:20 am

Apr 3, 2008 3:57 am

Apr 4, 2008 2:22 am

excellent stuff joe, thank you. the water is looking realllll good from here. I do feel like a kid looking at the high dive for the first time.

Apr 4, 2008 2:25 am

or like the first time you tried to decide if you could ski a black diamond ski slope.

for the record - i did the high dive, ski slope, and even bungy jumped once.  
Apr 4, 2008 3:13 pm

There is a link on an old thread (probably in “general”, as it predates the multitude of catagories we have now) that links to a calculator on RayJay’s website.  The consensus of the board when it was discussed a couple of years ago was that it was pretty accurate.  I checked it out myself a couple of months ago, so as of then the calculator was still on RayJay’s site.  You could probably just go there and find it as easily as searching the old threads.

Apr 4, 2008 9:34 pm

I’m not sure whether or not you are pursuing an RIA or an affiliation with a BD.

But, Fidelty does have a nice site that guides you through the hurdles, and if I remember correctly, also provided a summary pro-forma for you to use for startup and operating expenses. I thought that they also provided you with a template that referenced some guidelines in terms of expected expenses as well.

Might be worth a look. Crawl around the site - I know that they have some good information to review.


Apr 30, 2008 2:42 pm

I checked my Quickbooks and it costs me for a 1000sq ft office & 1 SA around $75,000 in fixed costs per year in a 100,000 pop midwest college town.  This does not include clearing. 

May 21, 2008 10:44 pm

I’ve been lurking around these forums for quite a while and I finally decided to go ahead and sign up.

I’m a Jones guy who’s been planning his jailbreak for the last 5 months (probably even longer if I think about it). My target date is around October and I’ve done about half of what I need to do (I think).

I’ve gotten my website created and hired an optimization guy. Completed most of my budget, also have cost basis and client info. I still haven’t found a place (there are lots of available spaces - I just haven’t decided exactly where I want it to be.

Logo,mission statement, vision all of that.

I’ve still got about 65k in savings (not including investments).

What other things am I missing? How long does it generally take once you start ACATing?

May 27, 2008 9:41 pm


  Start to look around for furniture ideas, order computers & networking systems, phone systems, costs for advertising, promotion items, business clubs (chambers of commerce...), have all stationary printed, transfer forms printed, stuffed, stamped & ready to be mailed out the same day you send in your resignation.   ACAT just takes a few days, usually w/in the wk, if all info's correct.   Good Luck!
May 29, 2008 10:10 pm

Thanks West!