Guide Small Business

Net Profit Margin and How To Calculate It

Jan 17, 2023 3 min
How to calculate Net profit margin

Net Profit Margin and How To Calculate It

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Implementing better cost control and minimizing expenses can help a small business achieve a higher net profit margin and overall business success.

Let’s understand the Net profit margin, how to calculate it, its limitations, and how it compares with other profit margins.

This article will cover the following highlights.


What is net profit margin?

It is a financial ratio that calculates your business’s revenue percentage after subtracting all expenses, including the cost of goods sold, from total revenue.

It measures a company’s efficiency. For example, if the company’s net profit is 40%, that means that it keeps $0.40 for every $1 in sales revenue.

You can understand your company’s financial stability and ability to generate a more significant profit on sales.

How to calculate it

The calculation takes into account the revenue and net profit.


(Net income ÷ Revenue) x 100


  • Net Income = Total Revenue – Expenses (Cost of goods sold, Operating, Interest, and taxes)
  • Revenue = the total amount of money a company has earned from its sales or services

For example,

Company A has a net income of $200,000 and total revenue of $1,000,000.

= ($200,000 / $1,000,000) x 100 = 20%

Company A has a net profit margin of 20%, meaning that for every dollar of revenue, the company keeps $0.20 as net income after subtracting all expenses.

Also, see how to calculate the operating profit margin.

What are the limitations?

While it is a useful financial ratio that provides insight into your company’s profitability and efficiency, it has some limitations that should be considered when interpreting the results. Some of the limitations include:

  • Different companies may have other factors that affect their profit margins.
  • Can be affected by one-time gains or losses, such as selling a non-core asset or a significant legal settlement. These events could inflate or deflate the data, making comparing periods or competitors difficult.
  • Different accounting methods can lead to different margins.
  • It does not take into consideration the company’s debt level, which can have a significant impact on its financial stability.
  • It doesn’t consider the size of the company. A large company can have a lower margin than a smaller company but still be more profitable.
  • Does not consider the time value of money.
  • Values can be manipulated through accounting techniques such as aggressive revenue recognition or deferring expenses. This can make the margin appear higher than it is.
  • It doesn’t account for a company’s market position, which is vital for assessing its competitiveness and prospects.

It’s essential to consider these limitations when interpreting your net profit margin.

It would be best to get a more comprehensive view of a company’s financial performance in conjunction with other financial ratios.

What is a good net profit margin?

As a rule of thumb, 5% is a low margin, 10% is a healthy margin, and 20% is a high margin.

However, a “good” margin may vary depending on the industry and the company’s size.

Generally, a higher margin is considered better, as it indicates that a company is more efficient at generating profits from its revenue.

It’s important to compare your company’s net profit margin to the industry average to understand its financial performance better.

Final thoughts!

The net profit margin is an essential indicator of a company’s financial performance, and the higher your margin, the better your interpretation of financial health.

However, analyzing your profit margin with other financial ratios and industry averages is best to get a more comprehensive view of financial performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good net profit margin score?

  • It varies depending on the industry and business size. A 10% margin is average, 20% is good, whereas 5% is considered low.

Gross profit margin vs. net profit margin

  • Gross profit margin measures a company’s efficiency at generating profit from its production or sales of goods. In contrast, the net profit margin measures a company’s overall profitability after all expenses are accounted for.