Burn Rate Calculator
Table of contents
What is burn rate? Cash burn rate definitionHow to calculate cash burn rate? Cash burn rate formulaThe strategic significance of burn rate in startupsFAQsWith this burn rate calculator, you can effortlessly calculate the monthly burn rate and the annualized burn rate. This metric can help you analyze your business's cash flow and financial sustainability. Please check out our cash conversion cycle calculator and free cash flow calculator to understand more about this topic.
This article will guide you through what the burn rate is and how to calculate the cash burn rate using the specified cash burn rate formula. We will also provide some calculation examples to help you grasp this crucial financial concept.
What is burn rate? Cash burn rate definition
Burn rate is a key financial metric used predominantly by startups and investors to gauge the rate at which a company is depleting its cash reserves. It specifically reflects how quickly a company is "burning" through its cash over a certain period, typically calculated monthly. This metric is particularly crucial for companies that are in the preprofit stage, as it offers insights into the company's financial health and operational sustainability.
In its simplest form, the burn rate doesn't differentiate between types of expenses or account for any incoming revenue. It's a straightforward measure of cash outflow, providing a clear picture of the company's cash consumption rate.
Understanding and managing burn rates is vital for startups. It helps in planning for future funding needs, making informed decisions about scaling operations, and ensuring that the company doesn't run out of cash before reaching profitability or securing additional funding.
How to calculate cash burn rate? Cash burn rate formula
Now that you understand the cash burn rate definition let's look at the burn rate calculation with the following example:
 Initial balance: $1,000,000
 Final balance: $500,000
 Duration: 10 months
You can calculate the cash burn rate in three steps:

Determine the initial and final balance.
The first step is to determine the
initial balance
andfinal balance
. This is the amount of cash in your company's balance sheet at the beginning and the end of the period. 
Identify the duration.
The next step is to calculate the
duration
, which is the time between the initial and final balances.The
duration
for our example is10 months
. You can use this time duration calculator to facilitate this calculation. 
Compute the burn rate.
Now, you can calculate the burn rate using the following formula:
burn rate = (initial balance − final balance) / duration`
For our example, the
burn rate
will be($1,000,000 − $500,000) / 10 months = $50,000 per month
.
Our calculator also helps you to calculate your company's cash runway, which is the time left before your company runs out of cash, given the burn rate.
The strategic significance of burn rate in startups
The cash burn rate is a critical indicator for startups, striking a balance between growth and financial health. It's not just about how fast a company spends its cash but also about how this spending aligns with its growth trajectory and sustainability.

Sustainability and runway: A manageable burn rate extends a startup’s runway, giving it more time to achieve profitability or secure additional funding.

Growth and investment: Efficient use of funds, as indicated by a controlled burn rate, can attract investors and support strategic investments in key growth areas.
How do I calculate burn rate?
You can calculate the cash burn rate in three steps:

Determine the initial and final balance.

Calculate the duration.

Apply the burn rate formula:
burn rate = (initial balance − final balance) / duration
What is the cash burn rate if $1,000,000 is finished in 10 months?
If $1,000,000 is used up over a period of 10 months, the cash burn rate would be $100,000 per month. You can calculate the burn rate using this formula: burn rate = (initial balance − final balance) / duration
.
Why Is cash burn rate important for startups?
The cash burn rate is crucial for startups as it indicates the sustainability of their operations, and how long they can survive before needing more funding. It also helps in strategic financial planning.
Can a company have a negative burn rate?
Yes, technically, a negative burn rate would imply the company is earning more than it's spending, which is typically referred to as being cash flow positive.