How to write a business plan

Table of Contents

The table of contents must provide the reader of your business plan an overview of what they will be reading and serve as an orientation. As a rule, the table of contents is not created until the entire business plan has been finished.

With word processing programs such as Microsoft Word or Open Office, it is possible to create tables of contents automatically and let the respective page numbers of the contents be updated as you revise your plan. Make sure that the table of contents is already visually appealing as this is often the first page that your reader is going to pay attention to.

The following list of key questions must be answered in the business plan:

  • What chapters are in my business plan?
  • How long are the chapters and what do they cover?
  • What information can be found in the business plan?

If you need assistance creating a business plan, simply browse our advisor for more information or contact our business plan specialists directly.


Executive Summary

Your business idea at a glance with a convincing executive summary.

The people responsible for investment decisions at banks, subsidy institutions, venture capital companies, etc., usually have little time to assess a project. For this reason, many business plan readers will just read the executive summary to decide whether the plan goes into the consider or reject piles – that is, whether a project is of fundamental interest. For this reason, you really need to focus on writing a great executive summary (see also business plan writing service).

The art of a good summary is to capture all the crucial contents of the business plan into just a few lucid points. Don’t get bogged down with details: an executive summary should be no more than 1.5 pages long.

Some entrepreneurs use the executive summary to recruit investors together with a personal cover letter. Usually in these cases, only the summary sent and the prospective investor is given the opportunity to request a copy of the full business plan. This saves time and money for everyone involved.

The final step in a business plan creation should be to check whether all the figures and results (for example, sales forecasts) from the individual chapters are also covered by the summary. If this is not the case, readers will probably conclude that you’ve failed to understand the big picture and will question your ability.

So be sure to have a friend or colleague read your summary first. Since the summary has often already been written with the knowledge of the entire concept, many entrepreneurs find it difficult to put themselves into their readers’ situation. But remember, they’re coming to this summary with ZERO knowledge.

Often, the executive summary in a business plan is also understood as an introduction or preface. But this is not the case. The executive summary should present the key performance indicators and the results of the calculations in a plausible sequence.

Scope: The summary should take up no more than 1.5 pages in the business plan.

The executive summary in the business plan should answer the following key questions:

  • In which industry would you like to be active, with which products/services?
  • Which qualifications enable the founder to implement successfully?
  • What are the relevant target group and the relevant target region?
  • What is the current market situation and future development?
  • What are the most relevant competitors and how do you stand apart from them?
  • How do you plan your market access and what are the main marketing activities?
  • What are the greatest opportunities and strengths of the project?
  • What capital requirements are necessary and what are the most important investments?
  • How should investments be financed?
  • How much are the turnover, operating costs and profit estimated to be in the first few years?

Common mistakes and other helpful tips:

  • Avoid using the same wording as you use later on in the actual chapters.
  • Do not create sub-chapters in the executive summary, this should be written as a narrative.

Presentation of the Business Idea & Model: Product & Services

The business idea or the project is defined in the “Business Concept” section. All too often, we see too much detail in this section. The point is not to present every aspect of the project down to the last detail, but instead to give the reader an overview of what goods or services you’re going to be offering. Be sure to avoid using technical terms that cannot be understood by the target audience. Consider whether it makes sense to incorporate product images here.

What’s important for this chapter is that the reader understands the business model of your project. It has to be clear what’s going to generate sales, in other words, how will your business make money? If the goods and services are to be categorized broadly (and not in detail), then do this here.

In addition, this section should provide some key data about your project, such as when you registered your business, the type of entrepreneur, the legal structure, company name, etc.

Scope: The business concept should be no more than 2-3 pages.

The following central questions should be answered in the business concept:

  • Why do you want to start your own business?
  • Who are you? (Keep it short; give a detailed description later in your entrepreneur profile)
  • When do you plan to register your business?
  • Where will you be headquartered?
  • What will your company name be?
  • What products/services will you offer?
  • What kind of sales do you expect to generate?
  • What will be the core customer benefit of your project?
  • What is your company’s mission?
  • What legal structure are you going to select?

Common mistakes/tips:

  • Start with broad information and then become specific: don’t overload your reader with details from the start.
  • Do not be too detailed in the description of your products/services: use subcategories.
  • Don’t confuse business and freelance. Decide beforehand what your project is going to be.
  • Verify whether you can actually use the intended company name.

Market Analysis – Market & Industry Analysis

In the market analysis chapter, you need to present the current market situation in your industry. This point is one of the biggest hurdles for many business startups, as it is relatively difficult for a lay person to come up with suitable numbers. Of course, this can be done online, but these numbers should be used with caution.

Scope: As a rule, 1 to 2 pages are sufficient for the market analysis.

In this chapter of the business plan, the following central questions should be answered:

  • Which industry are you planning on joining and how can the market be delineated?
  • How big is the market?
  • How is the market organized?
  • What affects the market’s ups and downs?
  • How have the market and existing companies in that market grown?
  • What’s the prognosis for the future?
  • What’s a realistic market share for your company?

Common mistakes/tips:

  • Specify a source for all information. If you don’t find any information, ask a professional or conduct your own survey.
  • Avoid outdated numbers. Depending on how fast-paced the relevant market is, the figures should not be older than 2 to 3 years.
  • Underpin your conclusions with graphics (such as revenue trends) and don’t forget to label them correctly.
  • Don’t just rattle off the numbers. What’s crucial is drawing relevant, individual conclusions for your company.
  • Let professionals help you develop the market analysis and your entire business plan. Just contact us – our business plan specialists will gladly make you an attractive offer.

Competitor Analysis

The first step is to identify the competitors in your target market. Take into account not only companies that are a lot like yours, but also those that offer different products/services, but in a similar way. Think about competitors who might offer substitute products.

Select the most important of your competitors and show what your competitive advantage (USP) is or how you’re going to stand out from these competitors. Be honest: can you really stand out from the competition? If you have to answer “no” to this question, you should have a thorough discussion about possible solutions.

Scope: The competitor analysis should be 1 to 2 pages at most.

The competitor analysis in the business plan should, in particular, answer the following central questions:

  • How many competitors do you have?
  • Who are they and where are they located?
  • How can they be categorized?
  • What kinds of prices do they charge?
  • How do they position themselves?
  • How can you stand out from them?

Common mistakes/tips:

  • Do not forget to explain how you selected the relevant competitors (by radius, marketing activities, product range, etc.). Even if there are no direct competitors, consider which companies are indirectly in competition with you and list them instead. There is no such thing as a business idea without a competitor!
  • Avoid subjective assessments: underpin your statements with objective facts.
  • Include competitors’ websites so that the reader can get more detail.
  • Make test purchases, etc., from your competitors. In this way, you will get to know them better and will be able to assess their strengths and weaknesses better.

SWOT Analysis

To create the business plan SWOT analysis (acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), consider exactly what your personal, economic, financial, professional, potential, market-related strengths/weaknesses are as well as your risks/opportunities. Of course, you should note more strengths and opportunities than weaknesses and risks. Also, try to mitigate your risks and weaknesses, or show possible solutions (compensate by …). This is how you show that you have also dealt with a worst-case scenario and are able to find solutions.

Examples of strengths: Strong customer base already in the starting phase of the company due to previous activities and existing customer contacts of the entrepreneur, excellent professional abilities of the founder and employees, professional market appearance, current high demand for your product or service in the USA or globally, low competition in direct environment

Examples of weaknesses: limited time capacity of the entrepreneur (if necessary, compensated by additional employees), lack of business knowledge of the entrepreneur (cooperation with an experienced consultant planned)
Examples of risks: Increasing competition in the target region, declining demand for the company’s product

Examples of opportunities: Development of the reputation in your particular market in the target region, expansion by more employees or, if necessary, an additional branch

Scope: The SWOT analysis should not be more than one page in the business plan.

Common mistakes/tips:

  • Frequently, founders/entrepreneurs use standard phrases here. Try to make the SWOT analysis as individually unique as possible.
  • Make sure that you list many more strengths and opportunities than weaknesses and risks. The ratio should be at least 3:1.
  • Discuss the SWOT analysis with an external person. While you may not see clearly at all time, an acquaintance/friend/partner may have a clearer and more objective viewpoint.

Marketing Plan – Marketing & Sales Strategy

In the marketing plan, it is important to show how you attract your customers and win them over. Since so many new start-ups fail due to a lack of business, special attention should be given to showing how you will enter the market and what marketing you have planned. Distributing flyers, Google Adwords advertising, press advertising, PR, fairs, direct marketing, organizing events, cooperations, search engine optimization, social media marketing, email marketing … There are countless ways to promote a company and its services. The only question is: what makes sense in your individual case?

In order to determine the appropriate measures you should, for example, discuss this with a consultant as you draft your business plan. In addition, it makes sense to monitor the competition to find out what measures are already promising ones: they’re sure to have already tried a lot of them.

Important: If you already have established contacts with potential clients/buyers or if you already have order commitments, definitely mention this in the business plan.

Scope: The marketing plan can cover up to 3 pages in the business plan.

The marketing plan in the business plan should answer the following central questions:

  • What measures are being taken to reach as many potential customers as possible?
  • What will these measures look like exactly?
  • How does the company present itself?
  • Is a professional implementation of marketing measures planned?
  • Is there already personal contact with potential customers or multipliers?

Common mistakes/tips:

  • If you already have a prepared logo or designs for advertising material (flyers, brochures, business cards), include printouts in the business plan.
  • Avoid mere lists of possible marketing activities. Always describe them briefly.
  • Especially for investors, it makes a good impression if there is already a small (provisional) website under the appropriate domain.
  • Make clear which measures are only planned for the startup phase (opening promotion) and which measures you would like to carry out on a regular basis.
  • If you engage more than one employee or are a company team, it is also a good idea to identify who is to take on which marketing tasks (business organization).

Operations Strategy

Organizational Structure

This chapter is to once again summarize for the reader of the business plan the most important basic data of the business startup on a single page. These are, in addition to possible calculated key figures, in particular

  • Name and address of the entrepreneur
  • Possibilities for making contact with the entrepreneur
  • Planned business address
  • Opening date
  • Establishment form
  • Legal structure
  • Economic sector
  • Industry
  • Full company name
  • Services/products
  • Personnel
  • Investment amount
  • Planned annual turnover
  • Planned operating result

Please wait with this page until you have completed the rest of the business plan. This so you do not run the risk of mentioning provisional numbers here and forgetting to adjust them to the correct (calculated) numbers. The reader of the business plan is given an overview of the most important points of the project at a glance.

Scope: Try to display this information on a single page.


Entrepreneur Type/Entrepreneur Team- Management Structure

In the business plan chapter Entrepreneur type/Entrepreneur team, it is important to convince the reader of the business plan that you are almost predestined to start your planned company. Make sure you have the necessary professional as well as commercial knowledge. Here, many entrepreneurs describe their inner motives, emotions, personal goals and wishes too broadly. Focus on the essentials, the facts. However, keep away from a chronological sequence as it should already be in the resumé (included in the appendix). List your individual professional experience as professional and commercial qualifications. Do not go too far; consider whether the specific content is actually relevant to the implementation of the planned project. In addition, your work assignments, hobbies, training, seminars, workshops, etc., can also be important.

If it becomes clear that you may have gaps in particular (important) areas, you will be shown how to compensate for this by attracting specialists – in the form of employees or external consultants.

Scope: The chapter Entrepreneur Type or Entrepreneur Team should be a maximum of 1.5 pages in your business plan.

Primarily, the following central questions should be answered in this business plan chapter:

  • What is your experience in the relevant industry?
  • What past tasks coincide with the requirements for you as an entrepreneur?
  • What relevant additional training/seminars did you attend?
  • What qualifies you for the implementation of the planned project?
  • Are there formal entry requirements for your planned company and do you meet them?
  • What are your personal entrepreneurial qualities?
  • What are the relevant deficits and how will you compensate for them?
  • In short, what is your motivation for the planned business start-up?

Common mistakes/tips:

  • Do not drift away too much from your intentions. There should always be a clear reference to the personal requirements of your business idea.
  • Particularly relevant qualifications (e.g., MBA) should be offered in the appendix of the business plan.
  • Please inform yourself beforehand whether permission or formal approval criteria apply. Every investor, every bank, every funding institution would like to see this in advance.

Realization Timetable – Milestones & Timelines

In the business plan chapter Realization Timetable, the approximate timetable for the startup of the business is to be illustrated. For this purpose, you should consider the 10 most important steps as part of your startup. Examples of these key milestones are conceptualization, acquisition of leverage, registration of your company, the search for suitable personnel, making investments, starting advertising, the grand opening, etc.

The schedule can be either fully formulated or displayed using a chart/table. In the diagram, the horizontal axis should represent the time (in months or weeks) and the vertical axis should be labeled with the respective measures/milestones. Such an implementation schedule can also help you to realize your project in the first months. Try to keep to the schedule.

Scope: The schedule should be about 1 page in a business plan.

Common mistakes/tips:
Make sure to give yourself enough time. In reality, individual partial stages can often not be completed as fast as you would imagine. Ongoing everyday business often hinders one’s own development/growth plans.
If the business plan is presented to banks or investors, you should also allow decision-makers an appropriate period of time, for example, for granting of credit and payment.

  • Financial Plan
  • Investment Plan
  • Financing Model
  • Repayment and Interest Rate Plan
  • Sales Plan
  • Operating Cost Planning
  • Gross Profit Calculation
  • Profit plan
  • Liquidity plan
  • Minimum Sales Calculation

Business Plan Investment Planning/Capital Requirements Plan

In the investment plan, or the capital requirement plan, the initial investments of the project and other one time expenditures are shown and added up. The total ultimately provides information on how much capital is needed to start the planned project. Based on experience, investors and banks tend to commit themselves to the greater the share of investment of the required funds. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that the need for investment is easier to understand and the corresponding funds are more difficult to misuse, and on the other hand, the possibility of financial backers who make investments for collateral security, e.g., use as a loan.

The level of investment should be as much as possible. In this case, it is advisable to obtain concrete offers beforehand and to integrate them into the business plan (at least in the appendix). The more accurately the investment can be described the better. Investment planning is closely interrelated with all other sub-plans of the business plan, since the capital requirement, including the follow-up costs, must also be taken into account in profitability planning, liquidity planning, and so on. Refinancing costs, such as interest and the distribution of the cost of acquisition over the useful life (imputed depreciation) must be taken into account. Caution: Imputed depreciation is not the same as tax depreciation!

The following are some examples of investments and expenditures that can be considered in an investment planning/capital requirement plan:

  • Materials/basic equipment
  • Office/storage facility
  • PC/printer/fax
  • Software
  • Vehicles (company cars, trucks, etc.)
  • Incorporation costs (registrations, trademarks, etc.)
  • Consulting fees (accountant, founding consultant, business plan costs, etc.)
  • One-time expenses (security deposit, commission, purchase, etc.)
  • Machines, equipment, tools
  • Creation of advertising material (website, brochures, stationery, etc.)
  • Opening promotional activities
  • Intitial start-up costs

Scope: Depending on how much information is available on the individual investments, investment planning in the business plan varies from 1 to about 4 pages.

Common mistakes/tips:

  • You should also take into account investments that you need for implementation of the project which are already in your possession (attention: possible impact on the debt ratio)
  • The current value of used items should be included in the investment planning. Determine this by researching on relevant trading platforms.
  • Keep in mind that some investments are subject to sales tax. In contrast to profitability planning, this must be considered here.

Business Plan Financing Model

If you are able to pay for all your own capital investments, you do not need to display your debt financing. However, if you are planning to apply for borrowed capital, then you will provide a detailed description of the financing model. Show which financing and on what conditions you plan to operate. You can also use these conditions in the following business plan tables (interest rate plan, reimbursement plan, profitability plan, cost plan, liquidity plan).

If the financing model is not a standard model with predefined conditions, it is advisable to make contact with the relevant decision makers about a responsible contact person in order to be able to base the financing on the required figures. Many people fail to present the financing as part of the business plan. In this case, it is recommended that you seek professional assistance.

Scope: Depending on the complexity of the financing model, the business plan should devote between 1 and 4 pages to it.


Business plan repayment schedule/interest plan

The repayment schedule must show which repayment rates are due and when. The repayment plan must provide information on the loan amount, the maturity date of the individual repayment rates and the credit period. The supplementary interest rate plan must inform the business plan reader about the interest rate (effective and nominal) as well as the level of interest rates. Depending on how detailed the interest rate and repayment schedule should, the mentioned information line increase/line reduction, average balances, beginning and ending of each scheduling period, etc., can also be broken down in detail.

Some speicific start-up loans frequently include years where no payments are required. Often, you’ll have only have to make interest payments during the first few years. This can help to reduce the initial financial burden and your new company is more likely to flourish.

Scope: The plan for paying the balance and interest should be about one page in the business plan.


Business Plan Operating Cost Planning

All running costs per month or fiscal year are calculated as part of the operating cost planning. In the business costs planning section of your business plan, do not just list the individual items with a total. It is advisable to explain exactly how the individual costs have been calculated. In order to substantiate the figures as thoroughly as possible, you should obtain appropriate offers in advance or clarify with an expert how much each of the expected costs will be.

The following is a list of some important operating costs.

  • Facility costs (e.g., rent and utilities)
  • Advertising expenses
  • Depreciation
  • Personal costs / staff
  • Vehicle costs
  • Interest
  • Tax consultant fees
  • Accounting costs
  • Fees
  • Phone / Fax / Mobile / Internet
  • Postage / Office supplies
  • Technical literature
  • Travel costs
  • Training costs, seminars
  • Business insurance
  • Repairs / maintenance
  • Legal and consulting fees

This is not a complete list. There are countless other operating costs that can be incurred by individual companies. When creating the business plan, make sure to keep your operating costs (i.e., your monthly fixed costs) as low as possible. From the start, many founders have a secretary, a nice business car, elegant office rooms, etc. If business does not go as planned, these founders often face insurmountable problems. Therefore try to keep the fixed costs as low as possible, by, for example, employing freelancers at first (instead of permanent employees), and using your own personal car for business and working from home, or from smaller quarters.

Tip: Illustrate the distribution of operating costs with a diagram. Pie charts are ideally suited for this.

Scope: The total cost of operation planning with diagram should take up about 3-4 pages of the business plan.


Business Plan Sales Forecast / Sales Planning

Estimating the expected sales presents a particular difficulty, especially for entrepreneurs, since, for example, in comparison to company acquisitions, meaningful historical data are often not available. Revenues depend on many factors that can not be determined at the time of a business startup. However, by means of relevant industry comparison figures and experience values one can project realistic turnover volume.

If you know how a company in a particular industry is doing on average by addressing the target region and the competition, when you see the planned advertising efforts compared to other companies, when the price is known, etc., you can develop realistic plan numbers. To calculate this professionally and comprehensibly requires sound business management training and skill in dealing with industry figures. Since sales planning is one of the key points in a business plan, nothing should be left to chance. It is recommended to seek help from professionals. Here you can receive an individualized offer.

Tip: It’s better to be cautious. In the startup market, many founders foresee their initial performance too optimistically. Starting at the beginning with a 90% load factor and multiplying it by an hourly rate is extremely naive – even if there are already contacts with potential customers. Banks and investors appreciate realism at this point, not wide-eyed optimism.

Scope: The sales planning with possible explanations should be approximately. 1 to max. 2 pages in the business plan.


Business Plan Gross Profit Calculation

A gross profit calculation in the business plan makes sense, especially in the case of a trading company. In this case, the individual areas of activity and product ranges are weighted by the proportionally average gross profit to be expected. This means that the respective gross profit is multiplied by the respective revenue share of a product or activity. If you add the partial results, you get a 4-digit amount. This must then be finally divided by 100 and the result is the average gross profit. The gross profit calculation is extremely important for the following profitability plan and the liquidity plan it is based on.

Tip: Adjust the calculated gross profit slightly downwards in order to take into account special sales, sell-offs, possible theft, etc.

Scope: The gross profit calculation can usually be displayed on one page in the business plan.


Business Plan Profitability Plan / Yield Report Plan

In the profitability plan, which is also called a yield report plan, almost all the figures in the business plan come together. While the revenue planning and operating cost planning can be generated for one fiscal year, the profitability plan should cover 3 business years. In the profitability plan, the planned sales are deducted from the use of goods / material used, etc. Gross profit (excluding VAT) remains unchanged. All operating expenses as well as the business tax are then deducted from this gross profit and the bottom line remains as the operating result (before taxes). This should be clearly positive and correspond to the profit expectations of the startup / entrepreneur. In order to be able to estimate and analyze the figures and the individual components as quickly as possible, it is advisable to display all figures as a percentage of sales.

Profitability planning must also show the development of costs and revenues from the 1st to the 2nd and from the 2nd to the 3rd fiscal year. For this, it is necessary to adjust the turnover and cost figures according to the projected rate of company growth. Ideally, you should work with your business plan specialist to define realistic growth values. Also consider the pro rata effects on all operating costs as well as the use of goods / materials. Larger companies often deliberately plan on losses in the first few years. With a small business, however, you should try to achieve profit as quickly as possible, since you are likely to have a relatively short term of life support. As a rule of thumb: In the first year, the company should already show positive results, in the second year you should be able to live well, and in the third year reinvesting in the expansion of the company should be an option.

Caution: Repayments are not to be taken into account in a profitability plan / yield report plan as these are not operating costs.

Scope: The profitability plan should take up about 1 page in a professional business plan.


Business Plan Liquidity Plan

In contrast to the profitability plan, the liquidity plan of a business plan does not record the relevant payment flows according to their Periodicity. The liquidity plan only includes the actual cash flow. In the liquidity plan, all payments are compared with the disbursements. In the startup phase of a company, it is not uncommon that the payouts are greater than the deposits. This difference must then be covered by liquid funds or by a credit.

Proceeds can be generated by sales, equity capital, debt, etc. Typical points for the expenditures are initial and asset investments, personnel, material / goods, operating costs, crediting, interest, sales tax, business tax and the entrepreneur’s wage. Liquidity planning is usually prepared monthly for at least the coming two years. This results in a monthly liquidity balance, which is the difference between monthly income and expenditures. In addition to the simple liquidity balance, a cumulative liquidity balance should also be calculated. This provides information on the development of the liquidity of the planned project

Scope: In the case of 2-year planning, the liquidity plan usually takes up 2 pages in the business plan.

Common mistakes/tips:

  • Make sure that you correctly calculate input tax and sales tax. Depending on the size of your project or company, you may need to include the value-added tax (for example, turnover, bulk of operating costs, material usage, etc.) for the figures used in the plan-to-revenue calculation.
  • Revenue tax payments are always made in the follow-up. For example, you can settle the difference from January of a year in the following February, etc.
  • Work out all the figures very conscientiously. If you make a mistake somewhere, it is likely that the affected figures will have to be recalculated again.
  • Make your sales performance realistic. That is, think about which months will be stronger and which will tend to be weaker. Also consider a starting phase.
  • Get professional support. Liquidity planning is very difficult to create for anybody who is not constantly involved in business plan creation. Just get in touch with us – we will gladly help you!

Businessplan Minimum Sales Calculation

Within the framework of the minimum sales calculation of a business plan, all private expenditures (cost of living) of the entrepreneur / startup are first added. Typically, private spending mainly consists of the following costs:

  • Rent / Housing costs
  • Insurance
  • Private car
  • Food
  • Phone / Mobile / Internet
  • Hobbies / Holidays, etc.
  • Fees
  • Miscellaneous

The total of these costs must at least be earned by the startup / entrepreneur monthly, unless there are other sources of income. From the sum of the private costs, a gross entrepreneur’s wage is calculated which, after deduction of all charges and taxes, is sufficient for the entrepreneur to cover monthly private costs.

The entrepreneur’s wage is projected for one fiscal year and is added with the annual operating expenses and the average annual repayments (when using external financing). Annual depreciation is deducted from the result. Subsequently, the amount is divided by the projected gross profit and multiplied by 100. The result is the minimum sales, which is the least amount of turnover you must generate to finance your livelihood.

Scope: The minimum sales calculation should take up no more than 1.5 pages in your business plan.


Annex – Appendices

How can the estimates from the business plan be verified?

Your business plan should follow rigorous rules. Always keep in mind that every reader of your business plan also reviews many other business plans. Do not fall prey to the misconception that a special business plan would give you an advantage. The more individually you design the document, the more you become a time-robber for the reader. Therefore, strictly follow the usual structure of a business plan. A business plan expert can help you regarding the correct structure and content.

First, you should consider which data is not part of the appendix, but rather in the main body of the business plan. This is all information that is absolutely necessary for the understanding of the business idea. All other supplementary documents are listed in the appendix as follows:

1. Budgeting
Here you should provide all the calculations that allow the reader to understand your plans.

The planning section is actually part of the main body of the business plan and should therefore also be classified as such in terms of printing and binding.

2. Planning Fundamentals
If your business idea is based on an invention, the technical characteristics, product descriptions and information about production should be found in this part of the appendix.

3. Contracts and Draft Agreements
Here you should include all the documents that are available to you. In addition to the contracts and the draft agreement, there are also offers which you have already obtained from suppliers and service providers. This allows the reader to estimate the costs better. In this section you should also include, where available, all documentation related to the future sales market. This includes agreements with customers and written commitments, as well as other documents that show how successful your business idea will be in the future.

If a construction project is necessary for your establishment, add the new construction to the existing documentation. These can be land registry entries, building plans and cost estimates. Please clearly identify this section.

All persons mentioned in the section “Organization” in the main part of the business plan are also listed in detail.

If you already have written proof of funding, then insert them here. This can be, for example, declarations of intent for financing or evidence of existing equity (account statements). In this case, please rename part 3 of the Annex to “Contracts and Financing.”

4. Supporting Documents of the Entrepreneur
The focus is on the entrepreneur’s resumé. Limit yourself to the most important points, because your resumé should be no longer than two pages. Focus on your professional career and mention only the last stage of your school career. Each entry should include a few key points so that the reader knows exactly which experiences you bring to the new startup. The resumé includes important attachments, such as certificates, diplomas and other written proof of further education and qualifications.

The following is a list of possible content for the appendix. The list does not claim to be complete, as the necessary content varies widely from project to project.

  • Resumé
  • References
  • Qualifications / Certificates
  • Company agreement for team creation
  • Copy of the commercial application or registrations
  • Approvals such as, for example, operating licenses, concessions, approbation certificate, permissions to practice, etc.
  • Annual financial statements, for example, in case of company acquisitions, expansions
  • Franchise agreements for franchise startups

Scope: This depends on the contents of the business plan. An appendix can be 3 pages or 100 pages long.

Finish the main body of the business plan with a carefully crafted table of contents listing all documents in the appendix. In order to enable the reader to have a quick orientation, the documents in the appendix should follow the same order as the topics in the main part of the business plan. In the references, use numbers for the individual documents in the appendix so that the reader can quickly find the correct document. Before submitting the business plan, check the assignment of the numbers and documents carefully. In order for the appendix and the main part to be easily handled by the reader, it is advisable to have both parts individually bound. This allows the pages to be turned in parallel.

Tip for the appendix of your business plan: The documentation for the appendix is, in part, difficult to obtain. For example, you may need to schedule long-term negotiations for contracts, and you might be missing individual cost points for planning. Therefore, from the outset, you should also collect the documentation for the appendix in parallel with the other plans.


We, Businessplan.org, would be pleased to assist you in the creation of a professional business plan – just contact us and let us make your individual offer.

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