Organizational Structure for Startups: A Comprehensive Guide

Learn about types of organizational structures for startups, strategies for developing a startup company organizational structure, and more.


A startup company's organizational structure is crucial for establishing a flexible and innovative operating model to support growth. This structure outlines the hierarchy and reporting relationships within the organization. In this article, we will explore the importance of a startup org structure, thebest organizational structure for startup, and more. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this article, you can easily customize and build an organizational chart that accurately represents your startup's structure.

Contents of this article
  1. What Is a Startup Company Org Structure?
  2. Best Strategy for Developing a Startup Company Org Structure
  3. What’s the best org chart of a successful startup?
  4. Building Your Startup Team Structure with EdrawMax
  5. Conclusion

What Is a Startup Company Org Structure?

A startup company org structure is an organizational structure that enables a startup to establish a flexible and innovative operating model to support its growth. Discussed below are two of the best org chart.

  1. Flat Startup Organizational Structure

The flat startup organizational structure is characterized by its minimal hierarchy and emphasis on collaboration and flexibility. In this structure, decision-making is decentralized, allowing employees to contribute and be involved in various aspects of the business. With its limited layers of management, this structure promotes direct communication between team members, fostering creativity and innovation. By eliminating excessive bureaucracy, the flat startup organizational structure promotes agility, enabling rapid responses to market changes. However, it may create challenges in maintaining clear lines of authority and accountability.

flat startup organizational structure example
  1. Hierarchical Startup Organizational Structure

In contrast to the flat structure, the hierarchical startup organizational structure follows a traditional chain of command with clear lines of authority. It typically consists of multiple levels, where higher-level managers have decision-making authority and oversee the work of lower-level employees. This best organizational chart promotes specialization and clear role definitions, enabling efficiency and effective coordination. The hierarchical structure is often associated with a more formalized and structured work environment. However, it might impede communication and collaboration between team members and hinder adaptability in fast-paced environments.

hierarchical startup organizational structure example

Best Strategy for Developing a Startup Company Org Structure

For developing a startup company's organizational structure, you need to implement an effective strategy. Discussed below are two such strategies.

  1. Think about where you want your startup to be a year from now, two years from now, and five years from now.

To develop an effective startup company organizational structure, it is crucial to envision where you want your startup to be in the short and long term. Consider the potential growth objectives for your startup within one, two, and five years. This forward-thinking approach will allow you to design a structure that accommodates scalability and future expansion plans.

  1. At each stage, think about the roles and competencies you need to achieve your goals.

At each growth stage, assess the roles and competencies required to achieve your goals. Identify key areas of expertise, such as marketing, sales, finance, and operations. Analyze the skills and competencies needed to excel in these areas and ensure their presence within the best org chart. Additionally, consider potential gaps and plan for hiring or developing talent to fill those positions effectively.

What’s the best org chart of a successful startup?

The best organizational chart for a startup depends from one startup to another. Here are the two best chart types for startups:

  1. Org Chart with Informal Structure 

An org chart with an informal structure embraces a flexible network of relationships, allowing employees to collaborate across departments and divisions. This fosters a culture of innovation, promotes creativity, and encourages knowledge sharing. However, the absence of formal reporting lines may result in confusion and power struggles, leading to potential issues with accountability and decision-making.

  1. Org Chart with Formal Structure 

On the other hand, a best organizational structure for startup with a formal structure provides clear reporting lines, rules, and procedures, streamlining operations and ensuring accountability. It establishes a centralized decision-making process, enhancing efficiency and consistency. However, this formalization may hinder creativity and flexibility, potentially impeding the startup's ability to adapt swiftly to changing market conditions.

Building Your Startup Team Structure with EdrawMax

If you want to build an efficient and effective organizational chart for your startup, look no further than Wondershare EdrawMax. The tool is the best tool for creating organizational charts out there, and you can easily build an organizational chart for your startup using it. Given below are the steps to build a best organizational chart using the tool:

Step 1: Open EdrawMax

To begin, launch EdrawMax on your computer. Locate the application icon and click to start the program. Make sure you have the latest version installed for a seamless experience.

edrawmax after opening

Step 2: Select the Organizational Chart Template

Once EdrawMax is open, go to the interface and click on "File," then select "New" from the dropdown menu. Look for the " Startup Organizational Chart" category and choose a template that suits your start-up's needs. Clicking on the desired template will open it for customization.

template selection in edrawmax

Step 3: Customize the Template

Open the template and customize it to reflect your start-up's structure. Use the available tools to modify shapes, titles, and positions. Add, remove, or modify shapes and their associated text to accurately represent your organization's hierarchy. Pay attention to positioning and alignment for clarity and professionalism.

template customization in edrawmax

Step 4: Add Employees

Populate the organizational chart with your start-up's employees. Select the desired shape and use the "Add Shape" button in the toolbar. Enter the employee's name, position, and other relevant information. Repeat this process for each employee, assigning them to their respective positions within the chart.

adding a rectangle in edrawmax

Step 5: Connect Employees

Connect the employees in the organizational chart to depict reporting relationships. Select the shape representing a position and use the "Connect" tool to draw lines or arrows between positions. This visual representation will illustrate the hierarchical connections between roles in your organization. Ensure that the lines or arrows are clear and properly aligned.

adding an arrow in edrawmax

Step 6: Save and Export

Once you are satisfied with the customized organizational chart, save your work. Go to "File" and select "Save" to save the chart on your computer. EdrawMax allows for exporting in various formats, such as PDF, PNG, or PowerPoint. Choose the format that suits your needs for ease of sharing or compatibility with other software.

saving and exporting section in edrawmax


Creating a startup org structure is essential for establishing clear roles, responsibilities, and reporting relationships within your organization. With EdrawMax, you can easily design and customize an organizational chart that reflects your startup's unique structure. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a visually appealing and best organizational chart that will help streamline operations and support the growth of your startup.

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Zac Jenkins
Zac Jenkins Apr 03, 24
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