Understanding Fixed Cost: What It Means for Your Business

April 9, 2024
what is fixed cost

Table of Contents

Fixed costs and variable costs are the two types of expenses that are dealt with in businesses, both are vital in keeping the business profitable. Now, you must be wondering what these financial terms mean in business.

A fixed cost is a financial term that refers to a cost that does not alter. It is used to represent costs that must be paid regardless of what happens in the firm. This company expenditure is time-dependent and stays constant throughout the course of a fiscal quarter. These expenses are established for a specified period of time and may have an influence on profitability, if not handled properly.

So are salaries fixed costs? Yes. This article will further help you understand what is fixed cost. By providing examples of fixed costs and detailed insights, we will help you in managing your business effectively.

What is Fixed Cost?

A fixed cost refers to the cost of a business expense that does not fluctuate, regardless of whether the number of products or services produced or sold increases or decreases. The total fixed cost may alter over time, but not during the contract term.
Fixed expenses are dependable. Accountants differentiate them from variable costs and identify them owing to their dependability. Insurance and utility bills are examples of fixed costs.

Rent or Mortgage Payments 

Practically all firms must pay rent or mortgage payments for real estate. This sum is not contingent on the company’s success. Nevertheless, the rent may climb over time depending on the terms of the arrangement.


Employee salaries are set compensation levels given to workers regardless of their working hours.

Costs of Advertising and Marketing

Including social media campaigns and website hosting. For example, when you register your website domain, you must pay a tiny monthly fee that stays constant regardless of how well your company performs on that website.

Property Tax

A tax levied by the local government on a firm based on the value of its assets.

Contracts or Leases

For instance, a one-year lease on equipment required to complete a project may be considered a fixed cost.

Benefits of fixed cost :

  • Fixed costs are easy to account for since they do not alter with changes in the number of products and services produced.
  • For a relevant level of production, production volume and costs usually remain constant.
  • Fixed expenses reduce the company’s financial performance for a certain accounting period, resulting in a lower tax burden and, eventually, an increase in capital savings.
  • Fixed expenses reduce the company’s financial performance for a certain accounting period, resulting in a lower tax burden and, eventually, an increase in capital savings.

A company’s fixed costs do have an impact on its gross profit. Hence, the organization must comprehend and control them. Controlling fixed costs aids in optimizing the corporate financial structure, allowing for more informed decisions about pricing structure, business finances and product volume.

Also Read: What Is Variable Pay in CTC: Do Incentives Matter?

How to Calculate Fixed Cost

There are two straightforward approaches to calculating your fixed expenses. A simple formula can be used to calculate fixed costs:
Fixed costs = Total cost of production – (Variable cost per unit x Number of units produced)
To begin, total all production costs. Take note of which expenses are constant and which are changeable. Subtract the variable cost of each unit multiplied by the number of units produced from your total cost of production. This will provide you with your overall fixed cost.

Fixed Vs Variable Cost  

Variable cost is defined as the type of cost that varies according to changes in production levels. Hence, variable costs of a business grow or decrease depending on the amount of output.

Variable costs include the cost of raw materials used in production, sales commissions, labor costs, and other expenses. Here are some key distinctions between fixed and variable costs:

Fixed CostVariable Cost
Remain constant regardless of how much a business producesVary according to how much a company produces and sells.
Rent, property tax, insurance and depreciation are some fixed costs.Labor, utility bills, commissions, and raw materials are some of the most prevalent categories
Time-dependent and alters once a specific amount of time has passed.Volume-dependent and varies according to the volume generated.
Increased output leads to lower expenses and more profitability.The level of output has no effect on profit.

Types of Fixed Costs

Separable Fixed Cost

The separable fixed cost is the expense that we split from one branch or department to the next.

For instance, you have a sales department. You offer décor in one department and lighting accessories in the other. You have a $1000 fixed cost in the décor department and a $1500 fixed cost in the lighting department. Both are fixed costs that may be separated. You do not have to pay $1000 if we quit selling décor. The closure of a department means the end of a separate fixed cost.

Discretionary Fixed Cost

A discretionary fixed cost is a fixed expense that may be raised or lowered after a certain length of time. It does not alter owing to growth or reduction in the number of sales or manufacturing, but it is related to time.

For example, we have spent on brand advertising over the last five years. When our brand becomes popular, we can reduce the cost of advertising after 5 years, or we can decide to increase advertising in other countries where we want to sell products.
For example, we have spent on brand advertising over the last five years. When our brand becomes popular, we can reduce the cost of advertising after 5 years, or we can decide to increase advertising in other countries where we want to sell products.

Committed Fixed Cost

The fixed cost that is committed does not modify or split from other departments or branches. Whether we work in other departments or branches or not, we must pay a set cost. Investments in assets like buildings and equipment, real estate taxes, insurance expenses, and certain top-level management salaries are examples of committed fixed expenditures.

Get Paid for Your Knowledge | what is fixed cost

Importance of Fixed Costs in Business

We briefly saw the benefits and importance of business fixed costs. Let us take a deeper look at them:

Analysis of break-even points

Knowing the profitable pricing level for your goods and services is critical. Only then can your company be viable while meeting its goals and objectives. A break-even study would be required to determine this viable pricing level.

Ensures business stability

Once identified, fixed expenses will stay constant for particular schedules or agreements. This allows firms to make sound financial choices and offer stability to corporate operations.

Assists with the accounting process

Analyzing a company’s fixed costs assists accountants in preparing financial reports and in presenting them to business stakeholders. It also allows them to perform calculations and evaluate the financial viability of the company.

How to Manage Fixed Costs

It is essential to know how to manage business fixed costs for the effective running of a company. So, read on to know some tips on fixed cost management.
Any company expense that can be reduced will allow owners to boost their profits. Here are some ideas on how businesses might reduce fixed expenses while increasing profit margins:

  • Subletting commercial warehouse space can help you save money.
  • Do your homework and choose insurance plans with reduced prices.
  • Consider debt refinancing to reduce interest rates.
  • Negotiate reduced rent payments with leasing companies or landlords.

Another way to manage fixed costs is outsourcing. The most significant benefits of outsourcing are time and cost savings.
To reduce manufacturing costs, a personal computer maker may purchase internal components for its devices from other businesses. A legal business may use a cloud-computing service provider to store and back up its information, instead of having to pay enormous sums of money to own the technology for backup.

Challenges with Fixed Cost

One of the biggest downsides of fixed costs is that the per-unit fixed cost rises if your organization fails to meet a specific minimum production rate. As a result, if your company has large fixed expenses, a fall in production or sales volume will reduce your profit margins.
There is also the challenge of reducing fixed costs while maintaining the quality of the company’s functioning.
It also limits the business’s flexibility to a certain extent. If your company has several goods, it will be difficult to identify a clear link between the product and the fixed expenses spent. In such a case, cost allocation or apportionment is based on the profitability of each division. Yet, this may lead to inaccurate financial productivity metrics.

Run your Business with Fixed Costs Management

A company’s breakeven point and operational leverage may be calculated using fixed costs.
Another cost-structure statistic used in cost-structure management is operating leverage. A company’s operating leverage is influenced by the proportion of fixed to variable expenses. Greater fixed expenses aid in increasing operational leverage.
Fixed expenses may also help to improve economies of scale by decreasing per unit when bigger volumes are produced.

Innovative, low-investment ideas for the hidden entrepreneur in you! Explore our guide on Business Ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does fixed cost differ from variable cost?

Variable expenses vary according to the number of products generated. c and raw materials are examples of variable expenses. Whereas, fixed cost remains the same regardless of industrial output.

Do salaries come under fixed cost?

Salaries are considered a fixed cost in a company or a business. Employees get paid the same amount regardless of how well or badly your company does.

What is the total fixed cost?

Total fixed costs are the total of a company’s continuous, non-variable expenditures. Assume a corporation pays $10,000 per month for office space, $5,000 per month for machines and $1,000 per month for utilities. In this example, the total fixed expenses for the firm would be $16,000.

What are business fixed costs?

Fixed costs are expenses that are not affected by volume. Fixed expenses are costs that are dependent on time rather than the amount produced or sold by your company. Rent and leasing charges, salary, insurance and loan repayments are all examples of fixed costs.

Here are some useful resources:

To read more related articles, click here.

Got a question on this topic?

Related Articles