A Rundown of the Commercial Aquaponics Startup Cost

Small Business Loan Request Letter A Rundown of the Commercial Aquaponics Startup Cost

The Ins and Outs of Commercial Aquaponics Startup Costs

When starting a commercial aquaponic business, you must plan your budget carefully so you know how much capital you need to get your business off the ground.

In this article, we will break down the commercial aquaponics startup cost and teach you all about small business loans.

The Overall Commercial Aquaponics Startup Cost

Estimating the startup cost of aquaponics can be tricky, as there are a lot of variables that come into play. The initial cost of opening a commercial aquaponics startup ranges from $30,000 to $350,000, and it is primarily affected by the following factors:

  1. Greenhouse expenses
  2. Hydroponic method used
  3. Additional expenses

Greenhouse Expenses

While you do not need a greenhouse to run a small-scale aquaponics business, building one is indispensable for most commercial aquaponics operations. The cost of building a greenhouse depends on several aspects, such as:

  • Design
  • Capacity
  • Ventilation
  • Protection

You can expect to spend anywhere between $80,000 and $120,000 for a commercial greenhouse installation. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of repair and maintenance, which can go anywhere from $290 to $9000.

Hydroponic Methods

Technology and growing methods also affect the costs of running your aquaponics startup. You have three options:

  1. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
  2. Deep Water Culture (DWC)
  3. The Media Bed Setup

Below is an overview of the installation cost for each technology:

Technology Cost
NFT
  • Fixed NFT: $30,000
  • Open-lid NFT: $60,000
DWC ~$64,000
The Media Bed Setup ~$350,000 ($5–$10/bucket)

Additional Expenses

You will need around $100,000–$150,000 to cover the operating capital. This budget is used for expenses such as:

  • Hiring staff ($8–$12/hour per employee)
  • Utilities ($500–$1,000 per month)
  • Heat, ventilation, and air conditioning ($4,850–$9,400 per month)
  • Fish tank and filters ($10,000–$15,000 per year)

Available Loan Options for Commercial Aquaponics Startup Costs

You can consider several loan options to finance your growing business, as follows:

  1. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans
  2. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans
  3. Loans from banks and other lenders

SBA Loans for Commercial Aquaponics Startup Costs

SBA loans are small business loans that allow you to cover various business-related costs. Securing an SBA loan can be a challenge as you need to have an excellent personal and business credit score to qualify.

It is important to note that the SBA is not a direct lender. To secure an SBA loan, you need to apply through banks and other lenders that act as intermediaries. Rates and fees vary between institutions.

USDA Loans for Commercial Aquaponics Startup Costs

The USDA offers some of the best small business loans for agribusinesses. You can get anywhere between $200,000 and $5 million. The loan terms vary among lenders, but the USDA will set the limit on how much you can borrow based on your loan purpose.

You qualify for a loan if your business operates in a rural area with less than 50,000 residents. The money can be used to cover the cost of agricultural production, equipment, processing facilities, supplies, and machinery.

To get a USDA startup business loan, visit a credit union, bank, or any lender that is partnered with the USDA. If you meet the criteria, you can submit a loan application to the USDA.

Loans From Banks and Other Lenders

If the SBA and USDA loans don’t work out for you, you can also secure funding from a local bank or online lenders. Here is how it works:

  • Bank loans—If you have an excellent credit score, you can apply for a traditional bank loan. The approval time can last up to several months, so this is not an ideal solution if you need cash fast
  • Business credit cards—Applying for business credit cards is easier compared to other types of loans. This kind of funding is useful for short-term or unexpected expenses

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  • Profit and loss
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  • Balance and assets

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Have Other Startup Ideas To Grow? We Have More Resources You Can Check Out!

If commercial aquaponics is not the only niche you want to dip into, you should be aware of the costs of running other businesses. Here are some of the industries we can help you with:

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