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Do start-ups need liquidity planning?

Yes, start-ups need liquidity planning. Liquidity planning is a crucial tool for ensuring that a start-up has sufficient liquid funds to meet its ongoing obligations and avoid financial bottlenecks.

The main reasons why start-ups should have a liquidity plan are as follows:

1. Ensure solvency: Liquidity planning helps start-ups to ensure their solvency. It provides information on the expected cash flow, when income will be generated and when expenses will be incurred. This enables start-ups to recognise at an early stage whether there could be liquidity bottlenecks and take measures in good time to avoid them.

2. Ensure financial stability: Solid liquidity planning enables start-ups to ensure their financial stability. It provides transparency regarding the availability of liquid funds and supports management in the timely payment of invoices, salaries, rent and other liabilities.

3. Create a basis for decision-making: Liquidity planning serves as a basis for management decisions. It enables a precise assessment of the financial impact of decisions such as investments, cost savings or financing measures. This enables well-founded decisions to be made in order to optimise the start-up’s liquidity.

4. Determine financing requirements: Liquidity planning helps to determine the start-up’s financing requirements. It shows whether the start-up needs additional capital to maintain its ongoing operations, finance growth initiatives or cover unforeseen events. This allows appropriate financing measures to be initiated in good time.

5. Investor relations: Solid liquidity planning is also very important for investor relations. Investors want to see that the start-up has a solid financial basis and sufficient liquid funds to run its business. Convincing liquidity planning can boost investor confidence and arouse the interest of potential investors.

The following guide shows you how to carry out liquidity planning for your start-up:

1. Record all income: Start by recording all expected income for the planning period. This includes revenue from sales, services, subscriptions, license fees or other sources of income. Also take into account seasonal fluctuations or delays in payment. It is important to note that the deposits must always be gross, i.e. including statutory VAT.

2. List all expenses: Create a comprehensive list of all expenses incurred during the planning period. This includes ongoing expenses such as rent, salaries, supplier costs, marketing expenses, insurance, etc. as well as one-off expenses such as investments or tax payments. The expenses must also be listed gross. In contrast to profitability analysis, i.e. the analysis of the P&L, the profit or loss, liquidity planning always deals with the incoming and outgoing payments on your bank account.

3. Consider the time of payment: It is important to consider the time of payment. Not all expenses are due immediately. Some can be staggered, monthly, quarterly or annually. Identify the exact date on which payments are expected to be made in order to obtain an accurate overview of cash flow. Your tax advisor’s OPOS lists will help you with this. The OPOS list is the abbreviation for open items and is provided as standard in the tax advisor’s reports each month.

4. Identify bottlenecks and surpluses: Analyse your projected liquidity plan to identify potential bottlenecks or surpluses. Take a look at whether there are periods in which expenses exceed income, resulting in negative liquidity. Also check whether there are periods with positive liquidity in which a surplus of cash and cash equivalents is expected.

5. Take measures: Based on the findings from liquidity planning, you can take measures to optimise liquidity. This can include, for example, adjusting expenses, looking for additional sources of income, negotiating payment terms with suppliers or initiating financing options.

6. Create a periodic reporting. Depending on the financial situation, liquidity planning should be updated at least once a month, or even weekly or daily in bottleneck situations. In order to be able to carry out a target/actual comparison, monthly liquidity planning should also be carried out once a year as part of budget planning. In the monthly comparison with your actual figures from your tax advisor or your bank accounts, you can see in which months your assumptions were not correct.

Over time, you will get a better and better feel for your figures and your planning quality will improve.

It is helpful to contact an expert from our team or attend an open workshop . They will help you to create a well-founded and meaningful liquidity plan and can also provide you with valuable support in the selection of possible planning tools.


Die Liquiditätsplanung ist entscheidend für jedes Unternehmen, um sicherzustellen, dass ausreichend liquide Mittel vorhanden sind, um laufende Verpflichtungen zu erfüllen. Eine sorgfältige und realistische Liquiditätsplanung hilft, finanzielle Engpässe zu vermeiden und die finanzielle Stabilität des Unternehmens zu gewährleisten.

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