The Difference Between Implicit And Explicit Costs

Often, implicit costs are resources contributed by the owners of a company or paid out of pocket costs such as a building used for business operations rather than generating rental profit. Additionally, implicit cost can allow for depreciation of assets or goods, materials and equipment needed for the business’s operations.

Implicit Cost

Whereas explicit costs are more straightforward, implicit costs deal with intangible costs. In this ACDC Leadership video, Mr. Clifford explains the difference between an explicit and implicit cost. The term refers to the opportunity cost that represents what a company must give up to use a factor of production.

Implicit Vs Explicit Costs

However, to determine the total economic profitability, both implicit and explicit costs are taken into consideration. Economic profit is when you take a company’s revenue and subtract all explicit and implicit costs to figure out how much money you’ve made.

Pricing will vary based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the customer’s location, package chosen, added features and equipment, the purchaser’s credit score, etc. For the most accurate information, please ask your customer service representative. Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase. Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products. Costs, by definition, refers to the value of company resources that is used to produce goods and services. His or her labor will not be included as an expense of the company in order to boost their net profit.

Understanding The Nature Of Implicit Costs

With implicit costs, companies find them difficult to quantify because they are not recorded in the books of the company for the reason that money does not change hands. When people talk about implicit cost, they typically mean the income that a company should have earned as opposed to the loss of profit that people think because of an increase in expense. Depreciation of goods describes the amount of value an asset loses over time, and accountants will typically factor that drop in value as an explicit cost over several years to work out accounting profit. For example, if your company hires somebody new, you might ask an existing colleague to devote a week’s worth of time to train the new hire.

The attorney does this by subtracting these total costs from the total revenue expected. Learn accounting fundamentals and how to read financial statements with CFI’s free online accounting classes. To operate the business, then the salary they received for work they performed would be an explicit cost to the corporation. Lipsey uses the example of a firm sitting on an expensive plot worth $10,000 a month in rent which it bought for a mere $50 a hundred years before. If the firm cannot obtain a profit after deducting $10,000 a month for this implicit cost, it ought to move premises and take the rent instead. In calculating this figure, the firm ought to ignore the figure of $50, and remember instead to look at the land’s current value.


Implicit costs also apply to when a company may be benefiting from a good or service provided that is not tied to a specific payable. Though this expenditure is not on the books now, it may carry an unrecognized cost that may eventually affect the company’s financial status.

Implicit Cost

Furthermore, implicit cost may represent a potential loss of income, but not necessarily profit. An organization may decide to include implicit costs as the price of operating its business because implicit cost can also represent alternative sources of income. An explicit cost is an absolute cost which is monetarily definable. For example, employees wages, utility costs, and rent, are all examples of explicit costs. By contrast, an implicit cost is the cost of choose one option over another. For example, choosing not to work overtime means $x as an implicit cost as that income is foregone.


Save money without sacrificing features you need for your business. A factory that is not operating is more likely to be robbed, which costs the company money. The information featured in this article is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing.

Why do economists include implicit costs in their calculation of profits?

Economists measure economic profit as revenues less the sum of explicit and implicit costs. Economists believe businesses and individuals need to include both the explicit and implicit costs to reach the optimal decision because some value needs to be placed on the benefits given up.

Information is from sources deemed reliable on the date of publication, but Robinhood does not guarantee its accuracy. The implicit cost of using your garage to run your business is going to be less living space inside your house. Although your decision does have a “cost,” that cost isn’t necessarily pegged to a dollar amount. Although an implicit cost is typically assigned a monetary value, it can be something less quantifiable. For example, maybe you’ve only got enough money for either a slice of cake or a cup of coffee. But the opportunity cost of that decision will be missing out on cake. We will see in the following modules that revenue is a function of the demand for the firm’s products.

What Is An Implicit Cost?

Whether you realize it or not, you deal with both implicit cost and explicit cost while doing business. Implicit and explicit costs help you determine accounting profit and economic profit, opportunity cost, and more. In our second example, benefits without expenditures, the cost of resources that are not being charged directly to the company, we see a different aspect of implicit costs.

  • These two definitions of cost are important for distinguishing between two conceptions of profit, accounting profit and economic profit.
  • It may be an expense that will be incurred regardless of whether or not revenue is tied to it, or it could be the cost of resources that are not being charged directly to the company.
  • Because the attorney already makes $130,000 per year, this can be considered an implicit cost to opening their own law firm.
  • An owner of a small business performs work for the business but doesn’t receive a salary but instead takes a management fee or dividends.
  • Costs, by definition, refers to the value of company resources that is used to produce goods and services.
  • Again, this could include insurance, rent, equipment, supplies, cost of goods sold, etc.

Going to University means that there is an implicit cost which is the money which could have been earned during that period. Training a new employee presents an implicit cost in the fact that those seven hours could have been used doing other work. Equal to what the company could receive by renting out the office space to other enterprises. If Jane chose not to work, she would have to forego earning $180,000 per year. Opportunity cost refers to what a person or business has to give up if they choose to do something.


An explicit cost is an out-of-pocket cost, i.e., payments we make. In other words, when there is an explicit cost, there is a seller and buyer, i.e., there is a transaction. When the machines are not operating, the bottles that could be created during that time become an opportunity cost to the company. It allows the company to look at the true profitability of their business by looking at costs in all forms. Implicit costs cover a wide range of company assets, resources, and activities. Represents the amount of income a company misses out on by using an asset it owns rather than selling or renting it to customers.

  • An explicit cost is an absolute cost which is monetarily definable.
  • Explicit costs are those which are clearly stated on the firm’s balance sheet, whilst implicit costs are not.
  • Identify all the resources you could be using to generate income but are choosing not to because you’d rather use them internally.
  • Because there are so many types of costs, some are easier to work out than others.
  • The attorney expects to earn roughly $250,000 per year after establishing their private law practice.

When a company or organization undergoes business operations, such as opening new office headquarters or taking a loss on earnable wages, it is experiencing the effects of implicit cost. The implicit costs, or implied costs, of a business refer to resources that may be underutilized for generating profit. You can plug this amount into other formulas, like the accounting or economic profit formulas, to find out financial information for your business. To work out a company’s accounting profit, simply take all of your business revenue and then subtract all explicit costs as well as depreciation of assets. The sum you’re left with is how much profit you’ve generated in accounting terms. Explicit costs can include expenses such as wages, Internet or electricity bills, rental or mortgage payments, promotional materials, and more.

There are two types of costs that must be considered by a business; explicit costs and implicit costs. Learn more about the definition and examples of implicit costs such as lost profits and benefits without expenditures.

What is an implicit variable?

Implicit variables are variables that you do not define. These variables are automatically provided by the framework. Some implicit variables are not associated with any other variables, while other implicit variables are valid only when they are associated with a variable that you declare.

Subtracting the explicit costs from the revenue gives you the accounting profit. When people think of businesses, often giants like Wal-Mart, Microsoft, or General Motors come to mind. Census Bureau counted 5.7 million firms with employees in the U.S. economy. Slightly less than half of all the workers in private firms are at the 17,000 large firms, meaning they employ more than 500 workers. Another 35% of workers in the U.S. economy are at firms with fewer than 100 workers. These small-scale businesses include everything from dentists and lawyers to businesses that mow lawns or clean houses.

Resources Created By Teachers For Teachers

If I study all night, for example, my opportunity cost is a good night’s sleep. When a company hires a new resource, existing employees take the time to hire the new person. This information is educational, and is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. This information is not a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell an investment or financial product, or take any action. This information is neither individualized nor a research report, and must not serve as the basis for any investment decision.