Outlay Cost


DEFINITION of 'Outlay Cost'

Any concrete business expenses that can be identified in the past, present or future. Outlay costs are easy to recognize and measure because they have actually been incurred. For corporations, outlay costs for new projects include start-up, production and hiring costs. Outlay costs for ongoing projects include rent, salaries and equipment maintenance.

Also referred to as "explicit costs."


In cash accounting, outlay costs immediately reduce earnings. In accrual accounting, outlay costs are split across all the periods that the expense applies to and matched to related revenues. Outlay costs do not include forgone profits or benefits; such costs are known as "opportunity costs" and are a hidden, but important, component of a business's profitability.

  1. Fixed Cost

    A cost that does not change with an increase or decrease in the ...
  2. Implicit Cost

    A cost that is represented by lost opportunity in the use of ...
  3. Explicit Cost

    A business expense that is easily identified and accounted for. ...
  4. Valuation

    The process of determining the current worth of an asset or company. ...
  5. Opportunity Cost

    1. The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to ...
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    A method of evaluating a security that entails attempting to ...
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