What is the Total Cost Formula?

Total Cost Formula

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Total Cost Formula

The Total Cost (TC) formula represents the overall expense incurred by a firm to produce a specific quantity of a product or service. It encompasses both variable and fixed costs.

The Total Cost formula is given by:

Total Cost (TC) = Fixed Costs (FC) + Variable Costs (VC)


  • Fixed Costs (FC) are costs that remain constant regardless of the level of production or the number of units produced. Examples include rent, salaries of permanent staff, and machinery depreciation.
  • Variable Costs (VC) change in direct proportion to the level of production or the quantity of output. They represent costs associated with producing each additional unit. Examples include raw materials, direct labor, and other expenses that vary with production levels.

For a deeper understanding in terms of production quantity:

TC(Q) = FC + VC(Q)


  • TC(Q) is the total cost of producing Q units.
  • FC is the fixed cost, which remains constant regardless of the quantity produced.
  • VC(Q) is the total variable cost of producing Q units, which can be determined by multiplying the variable cost per unit by the quantity produced.

This formula helps businesses understand their cost structure, make pricing decisions, manage costs, and evaluate profitability.

Example of the Total Cost Formula

Let’s use a hypothetical example to illustrate the Total Cost formula.

Scenario: “Crafty Cookies Inc.”

Crafty Cookies Inc. bakes and sells gourmet cookies. The company has certain fixed monthly costs, such as the rent for their bakery, the salaries of permanent staff, and utility bills. Additionally, they have variable costs associated with baking each batch of cookies, like ingredients and packaging.

Given Data:

  • Monthly Fixed Costs (FC): $3,000
  • Variable Cost per batch of cookies (VC): $10

Now, let’s say Crafty Cookies plans to produce 500 batches of cookies in a particular month.


  • Total Variable Costs for producing 500 batches:
    Total VC = Variable Cost per batch × Number of batches
    Total VC = $10 x 500 = $5,000
  • Total Cost for producing 500 batches:
    Total Cost (TC) = Fixed Costs (FC) + Total Variable Costs (Total VC)
    T = $3,000 (FC) + $5,000 (Total VC) = $8,000


To produce 500 batches of cookies in the month, Crafty Cookies Inc. will have a total cost of $8,000. This amount consists of the fixed costs ($3,000) and the costs directly associated with baking 500 batches of cookies ($5,000 in variable costs).

Using this total cost information, Crafty Cookies can make informed decisions about pricing their cookies, setting sales targets, or considering ways to reduce costs. For instance, if they decide to sell each batch for $25, and they sell all 500 batches, they would generate a revenue of $12,500. Subtracting the total cost from this revenue would give them a profit for the month.

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