The break-even point (BEP) is the point at which cost or expenses and revenue are equal: there is no net loss or gain, and one has “broken even”. A profit or a loss has not been made, although opportunity costs have been “paid”, and capital has received the risk-adjusted, expected return. In short, all costs that needs to be paid are paid by the company, but the profit is equal to 0.

How to Calculate Breakeven Point?

In the linear Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis model (where marginal costs and marginal revenues are constant, among other assumptions), the break-even point (BEP) (in terms of Unit Sales (X)) can be directly computed in terms of Total Revenue (TR) and Total Costs (TC) as:


  • TFC is Total Fixed Costs,
  • P is Unit Sale Price, and
  • V is Unit Variable Cost.


The Break-Even Point can alternatively be computed as the point where Contribution equals Fixed Costs.

The quantity, \left(\text{P} - \text{V}\right), is of interest in its own right, and is called the Unit Contribution Margin (C): it is the marginal profit per unit, or alternatively the portion of each sale that contributes to Fixed Costs. Thus the break-even point can be more simply computed as the point where Total Contribution = Total Fixed Cost:


\begin{align}<br /><br /> \text{Total Contribution} &= \text{Total Fixed Costs}\\<br /><br /> \text{Unit Contribution}\times \text{Number of Units} &= \text{Total Fixed Costs}\\<br /><br /> \text{Number of Units} &= \frac{\text{Total Fixed Costs}}{\text{Unit Contribution}}<br /><br /> \end{align}

To calculate the break-even point in terms of revenue (a.k.a. currency units, a.k.a. sales proceeds) instead of Unit Sales (X), the above calculation can be multiplied by Price, or, equivalently, the Contribution Margin Ratio (Unit Contribution Margin over Price) can be calculated: \text{Break-even(in Sales)} = \frac{\text{Fixed Costs}}{\text{C}/\text{P}}.

R=C, Where R is revenue generated, C is cost incurred i.e. Fixed costs + Variable Costs or Q * P (Price per unit) = TFC + Q * VC (Price per unit), Q * P – Q * VC = TFC, Q * (P – VC) = TFC, or, Break Even Analysis Q = TFC/c/s ratio=Break Even

By inserting different prices into the formula, you will obtain a number of break-even points, one for each possible price charged. If the firm changes the selling price for its product, from $2 to $2.30, in the example above, then it would have to sell only 1000/(2.3 – 0.6)= 589 units to break even, rather than 715.


To make the results clearer, they can be graphed. To do this, you draw the total cost curve (TC in the diagram) which shows the total cost associated with each possible level of output, the fixed cost curve (FC) which shows the costs that do not vary with output level, and finally the various total revenue lines (R1, R2, and R3) which show the total amount of revenue received at each output level, given the price you will be charging.

The break-even points (A,B,C) are the points of intersection between the total cost curve (TC) and a total revenue curve (R1, R2, or R3). The break-even quantity at each selling price can be read off the horizontal axis and the break-even price at each selling price can be read off the vertical axis. The total cost, total revenue, and fixed cost curves can each be constructed with simple formulae. For example, the total revenue curve is simply the product of selling price times quantity for each output quantity. The data used in these formulae come either from accounting records or from various estimation techniques such as regression analysis.

There are many limitations for break-even method using:

  • Break-even analysis is only a supply-side (i.e., costs only) analysis, as it tells you nothing about what sales are actually likely to be for the product at these various prices.
  • It assumes that fixed costs (FC) are constant. Although this is true in the short run, an increase in the scale of production is likely to cause fixed costs to rise.
  • It assumes average variable costs are constant per unit of output, at least in the range of likely quantities of sales. (i.e., linearity).
  • It assumes that the quantity of goods produced is equal to the quantity of goods sold (i.e., there is no change in the quantity of goods held in inventory at the beginning of the period and the quantity of goods held in inventory at the end of the period).
  • In multi-product companies, it assumes that the relative proportions of each product sold and produced are constant (i.e., the sales mix is constant).