20 Best Free and Paid Tools for Startups in 2023

by Jacob Solomon May 31, 2023 News
20 Best Free and Paid Tools for Startups in 2023

Best Free Business Tools for Startups

Every startup has a budget for smart software. Here are some startup tools that you won't need to spend a dime on.


  • Startup tool: Accounting software
  • Price: Free

It's not necessary for accounting software to come at a premium. A number of accounting functions are free of charge to the user.

You can use the free accounting platform to create invoices and quotes, produce financial reports, view unpaid invoices, apply discounts and refunds, and protect your data. It's a boon for a complimentary tool to be able to integrate with your accountant.

Hide.me VPN

  • Startup tool: VPN
  • Price: Free

Hide.me is the best free PureVPN. The security and privacy tool has a lot of features that are free. Its use is limited to the US, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands.

While Hide.me is a good security solution, it is not a good idea for startup companies to use freemium VPN services. This trade-off may not be worth it for a lot of internet users.

There are other free business tools that should be approached with caution. While complimentary software can help businesses in a pinch, their user experience, feature offering and commitment to data protection will always fall short of paid for alternatives.

Next, we will look at which business solutions are worth the investment.

Zoom collaboration tools
  • Startup tool: Video conferencing 
  • Price: Free

You've likely heard of it. The video conferencing platform welcomes over 300 million daily users and has some of the best namerecognition in the industry.

If you're looking for a no frills video calling app, you can't go wrong with zoom. Users can use the platform to create meetings, facilitate rooms, and even support the meeting with live translation and subtitles.

The meeting cap is 40 minutes. If you have a habit of scheduling longer meetings for your startup, you might want to consider a paid plan.

Businesses use communication tools to stay connected. Some of our favorites are listed.


  • Startup tool: Web conferencing app
  • Price from: $11.99

The best web conferencing software we have reviewed is provided by RingCentral. The platform, RingCentralVideo Pro, offers high-quality video and audio, a heap of unique features, and no limits on call lengths, making it a great option for larger companies.

There's no reason not to try out the software because it's free.

Polycom VVX 601

  • Startup tool: VoIP phone
  • Price from: $249

If you're looking for a voice communication tool, the best one to use is the Polycom VVX 601. Not only does it have a sleek design, but it also has all the bells and whistles of a top-tier internet phone system.

It has a 4.3-inch color touch screen, 16-key setup, HD voice quality and video capabilities, and is more versatile than other models. It is a little more expensive than other systems we reviewed.

If you're looking for the best desk phones, read our guide.

polycom vvx 601
  • Startup tool: Multi-Line Phone System
  • Price from: $189.99

A multi-line phone system is a great option for people who don't want the bells and whistles of a Voip system. Nextiva X-885 is reliable when it comes to multi-line systems, allowing businesses to handle 12 lines, connect to existing softphone technology, and manage customer relations.

The Nextiva X-885 was found to be the best multi-line phone system for startup companies.

Best Cybersecurity Tools for Startups

Investing in cyber security is no longer optional with online attacks costing businesses more and more every year. There are affordable tools for keeping startup safe.

BitDefender GravityZone is an anti-theft program.

  • Startup tool: Antivirus software
  • Price from: $77.99 per year

An effective way to keep threats at bay is with the use of an anti-theft program. BitDefenderGravityZone came out on top due to its impressive feature stack and high levels of customizability.

App blocking is one of the functions offered by BitDefender's central console. If you're looking for a software that can do it all, BitDefenderGravityZone is the one for you.


  • Startup tool: Password manager
  • Price from: $2.99 per month

Password managers give workers a centralized way to keep track of their passwords. A password manager that offers a lot of useful functions isNordPass.

It's simple and straightforward to use withNordPass. The free version is a huge win for startups with small or non-existent budgets.

nordpass password generator
  • Startup tool: VPN
  • Price from: $7 per month

Virtual private networks help you browse the internet securely by hiding your address on the internet. A dedicated account manager and central control panel were some of the stand out features ofNordLayer.

At just $7 per month, it doesn't break the bank and provides users with a lot more than a PureVPN.

To find out how it compares against its competitors, read our guide.

Best Project Management Tools for Startups

Keeping your ducks in a row is one of the reasons why project management tools are important. Our top picks are listed below.


  • Startup tool: Project management 
  • Price from: $5 per month

ClickUp is the best project management software because it has a free plan. ClickUp Freeforever isn't restricted by a user limit, is packed with useful features, and even offers live support. There is a limit on the number of projects.

It can be bypassed if you create multiple accounts or upgrade to a paid plan which starts at $5 per user per month.


  • Startup tool: Project management 
  • Price from: $8 per month

monday.com is a great choice if you're still working alone or managing a small team.

The platform makes it easy to automate a number of processes, from status updates to progress updates. monday.com is a great option for small teams, but it doesn't have time tracking or real-time chat features.

Best Marketing Tools for Startups

It's important to get the word out about your business early on. Tools that can help expand your startup's reach are included in this list.

Zoho Social

  • Startup tool: Social media management 
  • Price from: $10 per month

It is possible to schedule posts, collect social feedback, collaborate, and analyze post performance for as little as $10 a month with the help of Zoho Social. There is a wide variety of social platforms supported by the company.

The most affordable social media management tool we've reviewed is Zoho Social. If you're interested in more advanced features like content targeting and custom reporting, you'll need to pay more for the Professional plan.

Zoho Social Accounts
  • Startup tool: Email marketing
  • Price from: $16 per month

If you're considering launching an email campaign in the future, Omnisend can help. You can use the email marketing platform to create email content. It has automation options that help to save startup time.

There are a lot of features for free. If you want to reach over 250 contacts or send out more than 500 emails a month, you'll need to upgrade to the Standard plan which costs $16 per month.

HubSpot Marketing Hub

  • Startup tool: CRM marketing 
  • Price from: $18 per month

A successful marketing strategy includes a core part of it: customer relationship management. Thanks to its free plan, robust marketing features, and credible help and support options, the Marketing Hub excelled over its competitors.

The platform is free for email marketing, content marketing, and paid marketing. We recommend using separate tools for social marketing and omnichannel features because they come at a high price. In our guide to the bestCRM marketing platforms, check out how it compares to its competitors.

Best Financial Tools for Startups

Are you looking for a way to streamline your finances? Here are some of the top choices.

QuickBooks Online

  • Startup tool: Accounting software 
  • Price from: $30 per month

If you want to get your books balanced, no software is better than Quickbooks Online. Not only does it offer a top-tier feature stack, including great bookkeeping and accounts payable and receivable tools, but the accounting software also integrates with some of the largest platforms.

It really does excel in expense tracking, which is why it is so good. Users can use the platform to create custom categories and run reports for improved visibility.

QuickBooks Online: Business overview
  • Startup tool: Invoicing software
  • Price from: $11 per month

The best invoicing platform for small businesses is Zoho Invoice because of its generous user limits and reasonable starting price.

The tool offers 16 invoice templates which can be tailored to your business's branding, and it has advanced capabilities that its competitors don't.

If you only need to fire off a few invoices each month, the free plan from Zoho Invoice is a good option.

Best HR Tools for Startups

HR software can be used to streamline employment-related processes, whether you have an HR team or not.


  • Startup tool: Performance management system
  • Price from: From $8.33 per month

Managing hybrid and remote teams can be difficult. Workday gives employees a user-friendly and useful way to increase their productivity.

It's easier for workers to stay encouraged and managers to keep an eye on progress with Workday's goal-setting, talent review, and analytic capabilities. To use the performance management tool, you need to sign up for a three-year minimum contract.


  • Startup tool: Payroll software
  • Price from: $35 per month

After we put the leading payroll providers through their paces, Rippling came out on top because of its wealth of payroll features, like auto-payment runs and advanced reporting.

Similar platforms like Paychex and Zenefits don't have an automated alert for when a startup violates US labor laws.

Rippling payroll dashboard

Here are the top sales tools for startup companies.

Zoho CRM

  • Startup tool: CRM software
  • Price from: $23 per month

The price tag and versatile capabilities of the software made it a good choice.

You can automate processes, use data to reflect on your performance, and nourish good customer relationships with the help of ZohoCRM. The platform can be used to market your business and to support your customer's queries, which makes it a powerful all-in-one sales, marketing, and customer service tool.


  • Startup tool: Ecommerce website builder
  • Price from: $29 per month

If your business is thinking about selling online, you should know about the platform. A website that sells can be built with the help ofshopify.

Every feature of a premium website builder can be found atshopify. It comes into its own when it comes to sales features like online storefronts, creator tools, and an in-house customer checkout app.

In our pricing guide, you can learn more about the provider's pricing.

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