Which is Correct: Startup, Start Up, or Start-up?

Which is Correct: Startup, Start Up, or Start-up?

The startup, Start up, and Start-up is correct in terms of their use in a sentence. If you use “Startup” in a sentence then it will refer to a new/small company. The same goes for “Start-up.” Both “Startup” and “Start-up” are used as a noun in a sentence. On the other hand, “Start up” is considered a verb in a sentence and it means you are starting something.

Key Takeaways

  • Depending on how you are to use the word; Startup, Start Up and Start-up are the correct words
  • The use of “Startup” and “Start-up” become popular in the 1920s
  • “Startup” is correct in American English and Start-up is correct in British English   
  • The use of Start Up in a sentence is considered a verb
  • The words “Startup” and “Start-up” are noun

Uses of Startup, Start Up, and Start-up According to Google Books Ngram Viewer


The above graph shows the use of these three words from 1800 to 2019. Here, you will see that “Start Up” is being used way before the other two words. You can see the use of “Start Up” from 1800 and after 1970 its uses has increased. On the other hand, the use of “Startup” and “Start-up” was practically very low till 1920. After 1920, the use of “Startup” and “Start-up” started to increase and with time these two words become more popular than “Start Up.” Now between “Startup” and “Start-up”, “Startup” is used more frequently. After the 2000s, the use of “Startup” surpassed “start-up”. This is a very common matter because, in the late 2000s, we see the convention of dropping the hyphen from the words. You will be surprised to know that at least 1600 words have lost their hyphen over time. For example –

  • On-line became online
  • E-mail became email
  • Cry-baby became crybaby, etc.

Which is Correct: Startup, Start Up, or Start-up

If you are looking for a word in a sentence that will be referred to as a business, small business, new business, etc. then both “Startup” and “Start-up” are correct. Here, the word “Startup” is used in American English where the hyphen is dropped to bring more simplicity to the language. On the other hand, the word “Start-up” is more frequently used in British English. Here, the hyphen is used to follow the language rules. So, whether you use a hyphen or not both words are correct. On the other hand, Start up is also correct but you can’t use it to describe a business in a sentence. When you will use “Start up” in a sentence it will be used as a verb instead of a noun. For example, Rick Smith starts up his own business.

Is “Startup”, “Start-up” and Start Up One Word?

Both “Startup” and “Start-up” will be used as one word in a sentence. However, when you use Start Up it will be used as two words in a sentence. “Startup” works as one word in American English and “Start-up” works as one word in British English. On the other hand, you can use “Start Up” in both American and British English, and in both cases, it will be used as a verb in the sentence.

Is “Startup”, “Start-up” and Start Up One Word?

Examples of Startup”, “Start-up” and Start Up in Sentences

Example of Startup in Sentences

  • Have you seen how well the new Startup is doing across the street?
  • Mr. Jon works for two Startups
  • I have established four startups and found success in the 5th one
  • If you don’t have any idea how a startup works then it won’t be a wise decision to start your own startup

Example of Start-up in Sentences

  • If you want to start your own Start-up then you must gather some experience on how these setups work
  • I work for a start-up and the salary is less compared to other companies
  • If my start-up becomes successful then I will contribute to various social works
  • If you work in a Start-up then you will have various new experiences

Example of Start Up in Sentences

  • Mr. Jonson plans to start up his own company
  • Tax breaks help new companies start up
  • My car wouldn’t start up this morning
  • They have decided to start up a nursery in the factory    




Last Updated on December 25, 2023 by Magalie D.

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