Should business plan be written as third person point of view?

When writing your own business plan, is it more acceptable to the person reviewing a business plan to have it written in first person or a third person point of view?

Question posted by Bplans User (488 points) 5 years ago. Answers: 1



I would not be too concerned with the matter of using first person and third person singular tenses. Substance is the issue. However, the overwhelming majority of business plans are written in the third person singular, referring to the company, not a person. It reflects a sense of formality and normal business practice influenced by legal mores over time.

You are better advised to make your decision on the relationship between you and the banker of record. On the other hand, if this document is intended as a plan for a company that will hire a workforce you may be better advised to implement third person singular and refer to the company name. If and when the document becomes a matter of record in the business venture, partners and employees allowed to read it will view it as a perspective on the business concern, not the ownership.

I hope that makes sense to you.

Stephen Windhaus

Windhaus Associates



Answer posted by Stephen Windhaus (825 points) 5 years ago

Your answer was very helpful and I will share it with others. Having written at least 30 business plans in my career, I have always felt that "third person" was the best format, but I can see, as you say that, if you have a close personal relationship with the target for the plan or the plan is for internal use it seems very appropriate to use "first person".

Having said that, I doubt that many business plans that are written for external consumption (bankers, investors, etc) are or should be written for just one entity or person. Ya never know where the money may come from.

Paul Johnson
ApproachIT, Inc.

Comment posted by mlichief (0 points) 5 years ago