8 Best Business Plan Software and Tools in 2021 for Your Small Business

Entrepreneurs who write formal business plans are 16% more likely to achieve success than entrepreneurs who don’t.1 This software can help.
Best overall
LivePlan
LivePlan
Starting from
$15.00
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Affordable pricing
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Lots of guidance and examples
Most user-friendly
Business Power Tools
BizPlanBuilder
Starting from
$27.00
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Highly organized interface
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Usable template text
Best pro service
wise business plans logo
Wise Business Plans
Custom quote
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Expert writing service
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Tailor-made plans
Best for internal plans
business sorter logo
Business Sorter
Starting from
$10.00
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Task management tools
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Low starting cost
Most extra features
GoSmallBiz
GoSmallBiz
Starting from
$39.00
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Website builder, CRM, and more
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Unlimited business mentoring

Data effective 01/04/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

A business plan can do a lot for your business. It can help you secure investors or other funding. It can give your company direction. It can keep your finances healthy. But, if we’re being honest, it can also be a pain to write.

Luckily, you don’t have to start from scratch or go it alone. Business plan software and services can help you craft a professional business plan by providing templates, guidance, and more.

You’ve got quite a few choices for business plan help, so we’re here to help you narrow things down. Let’s talk about the best business plan tools out there.

Best business plan software in 2021

Compare the best business plan software

Tool
Type
Starting price
Free trial
Learn More

LivePlan

Cloud-based software $15.00/mo. 60-day money back guarantee

BizPlanBuilder

Windows app and cloud-based software $27.00/mo. 60-day money back guarantee

Wise Business Plans

Professional service Custom quote N/A

Business Sorter

Cloud-based software $10/mo. 14 days

GoSmallBiz

Cloud-based software $39.00/mo. N/A

PlanGuru

Windows app or cloud-based software $99.00/mo. 14 days

BizPlan

Cloud-based software$20.75/mo. N/A

EnLoop

Cloud-based software$11.00/mo. 7 days

Data effective 01/04/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

LivePlan: Best overall business plan software

LivePlan has been our favorite business plan software for a while now, despite the stiff competition.

There’s a lot to like about LivePlan. It has pretty much all the features you could want from your business plan software. LivePlan gives you step-by-step instructions for writing your plan, helps you create financial reports, lets you compare your business’s actual financials to your plan’s goals, and much more. And if you ever need inspiration, it includes hundreds of sample business plans that can guide your writing.

LivePlan software pricing

Annual pricing
Monthly pricing
One-time pricing
Learn More
$15.00
/mo
$20.00
/mo
N/A

Data effective 1/4/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

But the best part? You get all that (and more) at a very competitive price. (You can choose from annual, six-month, or monthly billing.) While LivePlan isn’t quite the cheapest business plan builder out there, it’s not too far off either. And if comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. So there’s no risk in trying LivePlan out for yourself.

With a great balance of features and cost, LivePlan offers the best business plan solution for most businesses.

BizPlanBuilder: Most user-friendly

Need something easy to use? BizPlanBuilder fits the bill.

BizPlanBuilder doesn’t have a flashy, modern user interface―but it does have a very clear, intuitive one. You’ll be able to see your plan’s overall structure at a glance, so you can quickly navigate from your title page to your market trend section to that paragraph on your core values. And as you write, you’ll use a text editor that looks a whole lot like the word processing programs you’re already familiar with.

BizPlanBuilder software pricing

Annual pricing
Monthly pricing
One-time pricing
Learn More
N/A$27.00/mo.$97

Data effective 1/4/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

BizPlanBuilder also offers lots of helpful guidance for actually writing your plan. It gives you pre-written text, in which you just have to fill in relevant details. It offers explanations for what information you need to include in each section of your plan and way. It even gives you helpful tips from experts, so you’ll have all the information you need to plan like a pro.

So if you want planning software with almost no learning curve, you’ll like BizPlanBuilder.

Wise Business Plans: Best professional service

Unlike all the other companies on this list, Wise Business Plans doesn’t offer software. Instead, it offers professional business plan writing services―meaning someone does all the hard work for you.

Now, you might think that sounds expensive―and you’re probably right (you have to request a custom quote for your plan). But there’s a lot to be said for expertise, and Wise Business Plans has plenty of that. Your business plan will get written by an experienced writer (with an MBA, no less). They’ll get information from you, do their own research, and then write your plan. You get one free revision, and you can always pay for more.  

Wise Business Plans service pricing

Annual pricing
Monthly pricing
One-time pricing
Learn More
N/AN/ACustom quote

Data effective 1/4/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Your end result will be a polished, entirely original business plan. (You can even get printed copies.) And best of all, you won’t have to spend your precious time working on the plan yourself. Wise Business Plans takes care of all the hard parts, and makes your business look good while doing it. Sounds like a service worth paying for, right?

Put simply, if you want the most professional business plan possible, we recommend using Wise Business Plans’s writing service.

Business Sorter: Best for internal plans

Many businesses need plans to show to people outside the company (to get financing, for example). But what if you just need a plan for internal use? In that case, we suggest Business Sorter.

Business Sorter uses a unique card-based method to help you craft the perfect business plan. (You can watch a demo video to see how it works.) You’ll plan some of the usual things, like finances and marketing. But Business Sorter also lets you make plans for specific teams and team members. It also emphasizes more internal matters, like operations, that might get overlooked in a business plan for outsiders.

Business Sorter software pricing

Annual pricing
Monthly pricing
One-time pricing
Learn More
$80/yr.$10/mo.N/A

Data effective 1/4/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

After you’ve made your business plan, Business Sorter also helps you stay accountable to it. You can create tasks, give them deadlines, and assign them to team members―giving you basic project management tools to make sure your business plans become business actions. (Oh, and did we mention that Business Sorter has the lowest starting prices of any software on this list?)

It all adds up to a business plan software that works great for internal planning.

GoSmallBiz: Most extra features

Want to get way more than just business planning software? Then you probably want GoSmallBiz.

See, GoSmallBiz offers business plan software as part of its service―but it’s just one part of a much bigger whole. You also get everything from discounts on legal services to a website builder to a CRM (customer relationship manager) to business document templates. And more. In other words, you get just about everything you need to get your startup off the ground.

GoSmallBiz software pricing

Annual pricing
Monthly pricing
One-time pricing
Learn More
N/A$39.00/mo.N/A

Data effective 1/4/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Don’t worry though―you still get all the business planning help you need. GoSmallBiz gives you business plan templates, step-by-step instructions, and the ability to create financial projections. And if you get stuck, GoSmallBiz will put you in touch with experts who can offer advice.

If you want business planning and much, much more, give GoSmallBiz a try.

Honorable mentions

We recommend the software above for most business planning needs. Some businesses, though, might be interested in these more specialized planning software.

Honorable mention software pricing

Tool
Annual pricing
Monthly pricing
One-time pricing
Learn More

PlanGuru

$899/yr. $99.00/mo. N/A

BizPlan

$20.75/mo.$29.00/mo. $349

EnLoop

$11.00/mo.$19.95/mo. N/A

Data effective 01/04/21. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

PlanGuru: Best financial forecasting features

PlanGuru is pretty pricey compared to our other picks, but you might find its forecasting features worth paying for. PlanGuru has some of the most extensive forecasting we’ve found. For example, while other software offers financial forecasts of up to 5 years, PlanGuru lets you forecast up to 10.

Plus, PlanGuru advertises more forecasting methods than other software we’ve seen (more than 20 methods). So if you’re serious about forecasting in your plan, then give PlanGuru a serious look.

BizPlan: Best for equity crowdfunding

Thinking of crowdfunding your business―specifically through equity crowdfunding? BizPlan is made by the same people that make Fundable (one of our favorite crowdfunding platforms for startups). That means you get business plan software that’s tailored specifically for businesses trying to get investors―plus access to loads of courses, videos, and guides, all full of advice for your investor-bound business.

As an added bonus, BizPlan is one of the few planning tools that offers a lifetime access option (rather than monthly or yearly subscriptions). That makes it a fairly affordable option for businesses that intend to regularly update their plans.

EnLoop: Cheapest tool for startups

EnLoop doesn’t have our favorite features or interface, but it does have really, really low pricing. In fact, it’s the most affordable software for startup business planning. (Business Sorter is a slightly cheaper software, but it works better for more mature businesses.) And despite the low price, you still get all the essential features (like financial analysis, team collaboration, charting, and more).

You can even test out EnLoop for free with its seven-day free trial. You don’t even have to enter a credit card to get started, so no need to worry about accidentally paying for a subscription you don’t want. And if you like it? Well, just go ahead and sign up for one of EnLoop’s cheap plans.

Info
Whatever happened to . . . ?

Several of our previous favorite planning software, including BusinessPlanPro and StratPad, seem to have gone out of business.

Business plan software 101

A business plan is a written, living document that tells the story of your business and what you plan to do with it. It serves as the source of truth for you—the business owner—as well as potential partners, employees, and investors, but it also serves as a roadmap of what you want your business to be.

Why you need a business plan

While some small-business owners don’t see the point of creating a formal business plan, it can have some concrete benefits for your business. For example, one 2016 study found that business owners with written plans are more successful than those that don’t.1

Still too vague? Then let’s get specific.

If you ever seek business funding (from, say, banks, angel investors, or venture capitalists), you’ll have to prove that your business deserves the money you want. A formal business plan―complete with financial data and projections―gives you a professional document you can use to make your case. (In fact, most potential investors will expect you to have a business plan ready.)

Even if you’re not seeking funding right now, a business plan can help your business. A formal plan can guide your business’s direction and decision making. It can keep your business accountable (by, for example, seeing if your business meets the financial projections you included). And a formal plan offers a great way to make sure your team stays on the same page.

What to include in your business plan

Not all business plans are created equal. To make a really useful business plan, you’ll want to include a number of elements:

  • Basic information about your business
  • Your products/services
  • Market and industry analysis
  • What makes your business competitive
  • Strategies and upcoming plans
  • Your team (and your team’s background)
  • Current financial status
  • Financial and market projections
  • Executive summary

Of course, you can include more or fewer elements―whatever makes sense for your business. Just make sure your business plan is comprehensive (but not overwhelming).

Best Crowdfunding Sites for Startups
iFundWomen
Best for women
GoFundMe
Best for charities
CircleUp
Best for B2C brands
Fundable
Best flat-fee option
Learn more about our top brands.

How business plan software can help

With so many elements to include, business plan creation can take a while. Business plan software tries to speed things up.

Most business plan software will include prompts for each section. In some cases, you can just fill in your business’s specific information, and the software will write the text for you. In other cases, the software will give you specific guidance and examples, helping you write the text yourself.

Plus, business plan software can help you stay organized. You’ll usually get intuitive menus that let you quickly flip through sections. So rather than endlessly scrolling through a long document in a word processor, you can quickly find your way around your plan. Some software even lets you drag and drop sections to reorganize your plan.

Sounds way easier than just staring at a blank page and trying to start from scratch, right?

Choosing business plan software

To find the right business plan builder for your business, you’ll want to compare features. For example, would you rather write your own text, getting prompts and advice from your software? Or would you rather go with a fill-in-the-blank method?

Likewise, think about the elements you need. If your plan will have a heavy focus on finances, you’ll want to choose business plan software with robust financial projection features. If you care more about market and competitor analysis, look for software that can help with that research.

You may also want to find business plan software that integrates with your business accounting software. Some plan builders will import data from Xero, QuickBooks, etc. to quickly generate your financial data and projections.

And of course, you’ll want to compare prices. After all, you always want to end up with software that fits your business budget.

Business plan software FAQ

How long does it take to write a business plan?

Creating a business plan can take anywhere from a couple hours to several weeks. Your timeline will depend on things like the elements you choose to include, whether you use software or hire a writing service, and how much research goes into your plan.

That said, much of the business plan software out there brags that it can help you create a fairly detailed plan in a few hours. So if you’re going the software route, that can help you set your expectations.

How often should I update my business plan?

If you want to get the most out of your business plan, you should update it on a regular basis―at least annually. That way, you can continually refer to it to inform your company’s strategies and direction.  

At the very least, you should update your business plan before you start looking for a new round of funding (whether that’s with investors or lenders).

Should I write my own business plan or hire someone to do it for me?

Thanks to business plan software, you can easily write your own business plan rather than pay someone to do it for you. And in most cases, software will cost you less than a professional business plan service.

There are some times you might want to go with a service though. If time is tight, you might find that it’s worth the cost of a service. Or if you’ve got big investor meetings on the horizon, you might want the expertise and polish that a professional service can offer.

Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether business plan software or a business plan service will work better for your company.

The takeaway

The right business plan software can make your life easier. With LivePlan’s wide breadth of features and online learning tools, you can’t go wrong. But of course, different companies have different needs. So shop around until you find the software that’s best for you and your business.

Now that you've got a business plan, take a look at our checklist for starting a small business. It can help you make sure you have everything else you need to get your startup off to a good start!

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources
1. Harvard Business Review, “Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed.” Accessed January 4, 2021.

Chloe Goodshore
Written by
Chloe Goodshore
Chloe covers business financing and loans for Business.org. She has worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years, from video game stores to law firms. Those years watching frustrated business owners try to sift through their many options gave her a passion for breaking down complex business topics. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.
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