I have developed a Windows based application in Visual studio C# and MS access.

The client is asking me the estimated cost of software.

How can I calculate it, as I have never done it before? The software is only a standalone windows application having multiple accounts and other features. The database have around 1500 rows and around 25 columns.

It took me around 18-20 days to complete with around 80 hours of coding and developing. Is there any formula to calculate this or is this only our own price?

  • 1
    Was the work done FOR the client, or just a project of your own?
    – Xavier J
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


The first approach would be to search for topics here that deal with selling software. There are not so many of them.

Summed up, here it is.

Are you selling a licence, your coding service or full app with all code and resources?

Licence. You have to see the price of similar software and then set your accordingly. Or you can ask yourself "if I want to return invested money/time in 100 licences, the price is...". Then see if the price is too high/low and fix it accordingly.

Service. You have been hired to do the coding. Calculate your hourly rate and multiply it with 80 work hours you spent on the project.

Selling all code. This is the hardest thing and there are multiple topics covering this. Basically, you have to calculate all costs involved creating the software then multiply it with something. This "something" can be either time in which the buyer will return money or some other formula. There are many of them on the net. The time in which the buyer will return invested money is time needed to sell so many copies of software to return money the buyer spent buying the software. If this time is 1 year, for example, then try to estimate how many copies he can sell in 1 year, then multiply it with the price of 1 licence + add your developing costs - the price you get will be close to the real price.

Lastly. Since this is the market, there may not be real formula to calculate the price of software. Many will tell you to get as much as you can, regardless of all formulas results.


Since your question is about how to calculate cost not time, I have my own simple method on estimating the cost of a project.

First of all you must set a monthly revenue target amount. Let's say that you want to be paid $2000 per month from all your freelance tasks.

The cost should be like this:

  1. Estimate the time you need to complete the project.

  2. Then multiply the $2000 by the time you have calculated.

Let's say that you need two weeks to complete the project, then the cost will be: $2000 × 0.5 = $1000

If two months, the cost will be: $2000 × 2 = $4000

The important thing in this method is how are you valuing yourself and of course your time. It depends on a lot of things: Your Skills, Your Expertise, Your country's economy ... etc.

  • This is good advise. But most people find it hard to estimate their monthly income. That is why hourly rate is easier to most of them.
    – Peter MV
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 6:50

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