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Balance Sheet

Adapted from content excerpted from the American Express® OPEN Small Business Network

Unlike other financial statements a balance sheet is created only once a year to calculate the net worth of a business. If your business plan is for a start-up business, you will need to include a personal balance sheet summarizing your personal assets and liabilities. If your business exists already, include past years' balance sheets up to the balance sheet from your last reporting period. Analyze the results of the balance sheet briefly and include this analysis in your business plan.


  • As with all financial documents, have your balance sheet prepared or at least reviewed by a reputable accountant.

  • Do not include "projections" that include dates and events already in the past. Old projections are more tolerable if your projections were right than wrong.

  • Avoid large income or expense categories that are lumped together without backup information about the components.

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