Fixed Cost

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DEFINITION of 'Fixed Cost'

A cost that does not change with an increase or decrease in the amount of goods or services produced. Fixed costs are expenses that have to be paid by a company, independent of any business activity. It is one of the two components of the total cost of a good or service, along with variable cost.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Fixed Cost'

An example of a fixed cost would be a company's lease on a building. If a company has to pay $10,000 each month to cover the cost of the lease but does not manufacture anything during the month, the lease payment is still due in full.

In economics, a business can achieve economies of scale when it produces enough goods to spread fixed costs. For example, the $100,000 lease spread out over 100,000 widgets means that each widget carries with it $1 in fixed costs. If the company produces 200,000 widgets, the fixed cost per unit drops to 50 cents.

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