Difference Between Business Plan and Business Proposal
By Andrew Parker - April 11, 2023

There are a lot of people who think that a business plan and a business proposal are the same. However, there is a big difference between the two. A business plan is a document that outlines the goals and objectives of a business. It also includes a detailed plan of how the company will achieve those goals. On the other hand, a business proposal is a document used to sell a product or service to potential customers. In other words, it is an offer to buy something. The main difference between a business plan and a proposal is the information included in each document.

Chart Summary
It can be used as an introduction to a companyIt does not introduce anything
It gives information needed  to make a good decision for a companyIt provides the information required to sell something and make money
Business professionals discussing plan in meeting

Getty images/ DigitalVision/Klaus Vedfelt


A business plan is a realistic and comprehensive description of the company at the management and operational level. A business proposal is a focused sales document that describes how the company will approach the project, demonstrate the project’s value to the client, and win the client’s business. A business plan is a written statement of facts, while a business proposal is an offer and a call to action. 

Business Plan vs. Business Proposal

A business plan contains much more detailed information than a proposal. For example, if you were going to open up a restaurant, your business plan would include a detailed description of what type of food you will serve, how much it will cost, where you will get it from, and so on. On the other hand, your proposal would only include a few sentences explaining what type of restaurant it is and how much it will cost. Another big difference between the two documents is that you can use your business plan to find investors for your company. In other words, it is a tool that you can use to convince someone else to give you the money that you need to start up or expand your company.

On the other hand, a proposal is used to ask someone to buy something from you. A business proposal is usually more detailed than a business plan. It usually has only the information needed for someone to decide between buying your product or service.