6 office supplies you need for your small business

Office Supplies

Whatever type of small business you run, keeping an inventory of essential office supplies will streamline your productivity and lead to an effective, happy staff.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Every office supply you need to keep your cash flow positive

Whether you’re running a small business as a side hustle in a spare bedroom or operating a small office with a few employees, you’ll need some essential office supplies to get your business off the ground and ensure you’re productive and efficient. 

The office and administrative functions of a small business are indispensable for its success. Before you begin to order the office supplies you’ll need to stock for your business, review the basic office supplies all businesses need. With a bit of planning, your office will be well-stocked and running smoothly.

Office furniture 

Virtually nothing can get done without the appropriate furniture. What you need depends on the size of your staff and the scope of their job functions. 


Ergonomic seating is important for keeping a workplace safe, comfortable and happy. If your employees are primarily working at computers, good office chairs are a must-have. This is an area where paying a little bit more pays off in the long run, as sitting in an uncomfortable chair for long periods of time takes a toll on you and your employees’ long-term wellness. 

budget chair with good lumbar support

If you’re sticking to a strict furniture budget, go for a basic budget chair with good lumbar support. These might not hold up for quite as long as a higher-end model, but they’ll ensure you and your team are adequately supported while sitting at your desks. If you’re willing to spend more, a leather executive chair has excellent ergonomics and is durable enough to last indefinitely. 


L-shaped corner desks

Desks are where many of the essential functions of your small business take place. L-shaped corner desks are popular for maximizing the usage of space in an office and for giving office employees their own personal workspace. 

Standing desk

Standing desks are an awesome way to increase productivity and optimize ergonomics in your small business office. 

conference table

If you’re creating an open concept office space, consider a conference table that doubles as a personal workstation and a collaborative team space.  

Waste management

paper shredder

Don’t forget designated receptacles for your trash. Each desk should have a small wastebasket. Create a communal trash station with a recycling bin and paper shredder for disposing of sensitive documents.  


While an increasing number of work tasks are performed digitally, there are still many administrative tasks for which workers turn to pen and paper. 


You’ll need writing utensils such as pens and pencils for all members of your team. In the same category, highlighters, permanent markers, pencil sharpeners, erasers and correction fluid are good to have on hand. 

printer paper

For recording notes, basic printer paper and legal pads tend to be most useful for businesses. You may also need the following paper products: envelopes, calendars, planners, binders and file folders


desktop computer

Any modern office depends on technology to perform the bulk of its work. You will need, at a minimum, a laptop or desktop computer for each employee. Laptops are ideal if you need to visit clients often. 


If you choose to go with desktop computers for your small business, you’ll also need to purchase some accessories: a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Ergonomic wrist support is also helpful to prevent soreness.  

color printer

If you rely on paper documents to make your business run, a printer can save you time and money on ordering prints. While an inkjet color printer is perfect for customer-facing documents, a black and white laser printer saves you money on ink.


binder clips

In order to keep your documents organized, you’ll need a stapler, staples and a staple remover. You’ll also need paper clips and binder clips for collating papers impermanently. 

tape dispenser

If you intend to store documents in binders, you’ll need a hole punch. You should also ensure that each workstation has a roll of tape and a tape dispenser

Top office supplies you need for a small business 

SimpleHouseware Mesh Desk Organizer

SimpleHouseware Mesh Desk Organizer

What you need to know: Keep your employees’ desks running as efficient command stations with this space-saving desk organizer.

What you’ll love: The mesh material of this organization system allows you to easily scope out what’s inside. A stylish solution with two letter trays and a three-compartment drawer. Keep incoming and outcoming documents organized and supplies at hand. Requires no tools for assembly.  

What you should consider: Some customers struggled to assemble this, and if assembled incorrectly, it feels flimsy. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

BookFactory Inventory and Sales Wire-O Ledger

BookFactory Inventory and Sales Wire-O Ledger

What you need to know: A business ledger perfect for organizing your paper records of your inventory and sales. 

What you’ll love: Tracking cash flow is an essential part of running your small business, and this ledger makes it easy to keep exact records. More comprehensive and intuitively laid out than other options. Great for daily use.

What you should consider: Some customers found this book restrictive. If you already have an idea of what you’ll specifically track in your ledger, check the contents of this one before you commit. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Honey-Can-Do Rolling Storage Cart

Honey-Can-Do Rolling Storage Cart

What you need to know: Versatile storage ideal for wrangling a variety of business supplies, especially for studios and craft-related businesses. 

What you’ll love: An easy to assemble storage solution. The semi-transparent drawers allow you to easily spot the location of tools and supplies. The top of this storage cart can function as a workplace for small craft projects. Lockable wheels provide easy transportation.

What you should consider: Some customers experienced issues with the structural integrity of this product. Follow all assembly instructions and remove the wrap on the drawers before placing them on the tracks. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Evelyn Waugh writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.