I Spent 15+ Hours Testing AI Business Plan Writers… Here Are the 9 “Best”

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AI-powered robotic arm using a pencil to write a business plan. Preview image for an article covering the analysis and rankings of popular AI plan generator tools.

Is the future of business planning AI-powered? Or are tools that claim to automate plan writing just hype?

I spent around 15 hours testing some of the latest AI-powered business plan writers and generators to find out. 

Here is my experience (and rankings) for each tool, so you can skip all the testing and just start using the best AI business plan writing tools.

Testing methodology

For this task, I used the same starting prompt as often as possible—providing information about a small marketing and design agency I’ve been developing as a side hustle. 

Here’s what that prompt looked like:

“I’m starting a marketing and design agency focused on local small business owners who lack the budget or knowledge needed for professional branding, local SEO, and web design. 

We’re a team of two and will start by selling service packages — either one-off tasks or set as a retainer. This includes branding/rebranding (logos, packaging, web layouts, etc.), local SEO optimization, editorial content production, website conversion copywriting, and social calendar production.”

I tried to keep my input short, allowing the AI features to do most of the work. I only added more details when prompted by each tool. 

Without further ado, here are my rankings for the best AI business plan writers available today.

1. LivePlan

LivePlan’s AI assistant stands apart from pure business plan generators. 

It benefits from being built into a leading business planning software platform. So, rather than forcing AI to do business planning, the AI elevates features that were already there.

*Full disclosure: I am associated with LivePlan, but this review is based on my hands-on experience building a plan for my own needs.

What I liked most was how LivePlan made me an active part of the planning process. 

The AI assistant guided me through each step, prompting me to think deeply about my business idea. I could input minimal details or go all in, and the output was always well-written and accurate.

View of the LivePlan Pitch and AI Assistant input field. This is for the "Headline" section of the plan and you are given the direction to answer the question "What kind of business is this?"

Using the ‘Pitch’ feature (LivePlan’s version of a one-page plan) is a perfect example. I typed a dozen words about my idea and used them to generate a headline, problem/solution statements, and even target market ideas. 

The AI Assistant then used this information to inform the rest of my plan. 

But unlike other tools that lock you into your choices, I could add more details for each section, fine-tuning the output even further.

View of the full business plan editor within LivePlan. This specific example displays the Executive Summary and provides quick links to the other plan sections within a stacked left-hand navigation. Additional functionality is shown to help you keep track of your progress, including a progress bar and checked off sections.

I also loved the AI’s ability to rewrite and refine my notes—because it actually works. 

It improved my grammar and provided very specific tone adjustments that I could see being really valuable when preparing a plan for investors or a lender.

Example of using LivePlan's AI Assistant to generate revenue stream options for a small marketing agency. Examples listed include branding packages, social media management, SEO services, website design, graphic design services, video production, and several others.

The AI-generated revenue and expense recommendations were also incredibly specific. I didn’t use every single one, but it brought up options I hadn’t considered, and I added them to my forecast with just a click. 

And it’s worth noting that the forecast feature is the closest thing you can get to a highly advanced spreadsheet. It presents your financials in a recognizable format, makes adding or removing line items incredibly easy, and includes connections with accounting software to simplify updating your information. 

These are the features that will make me return to LivePlan after I create my plan.

Lastly, I want to mention how well LivePlan’s features work together.

I could effortlessly switch between the one-page plan, my full business plan, and my financials. There’s even a new guided planning tour that walks you through everything. It’s more of a checklist, but I still found it helpful to understand what to prioritize.

Honestly, the fact that all of these feel like fully fleshed-out parts of the tool is a major plus. They’re not just added for the sake of it; they build upon each other, which is something some of the other tools on this list struggle with.

Key Takeaway: LivePlan’s AI is heavily integrated with the planning features and generates high-quality writing, but it still allows for your own input and customization.

While the AI features in the forecast are limited to revenue and expense recommendations, they’re far superior to other tools, and the LivePlan team is investing heavily in improving this area. 

Whether you need a quick plan or a dynamic tool for long-term management, LivePlan offers a comprehensive and user-friendly experience—even if the financials might feel a bit overwhelming for new business owners.

Pros:

  • Allows for easy navigation between your one-page plan, traditional plan, guided creation, and financials.
  • The AI Assistant provides useful suggestions, generates high-quality writing, and adapts to your input.
  • Rewriting features offer precise tone and length adjustments.
  • Forecasting is built for long-term use. It’s built like an advanced spreadsheet with QuickBooks/Xero integration, real-time updates, and a dashboard for ongoing analysis.
  • Offers robust industry data and a library of sample business plans you can explore.

Cons:

  • The guided tour isn’t as in-depth as other tools on this list.
  • Financial features may be too much for users who only want a written plan without financial forecasts.
  • The AI tool does require you to go through each business plan section to generate information.

Pricing:

LivePlan’s Standard and Premium tiers let you create a business plan, one-page pitch, and financial forecast. They both include AI writing tools and access to a library of sample business plans. 

Upgrade to Premium for advanced financial management features like industry benchmarks, performance dashboards, real-time cash flow forecasts, and QuickBooks/Xero syncing. 

Both tiers offer a 35-day money-back guarantee for risk-free testing.

  • Standard: $15/month (billed annually)
  • Premium: $30/month (billed annually)

2. ChatGPT

I’ve used ChatGPT for broad variety of tasks over the last year (article outlines, custom filters for Google Analytics, spreadsheet clean-up, etc.), and I’m consistently impressed by its versatility. 

However, when it comes to writing a business plan, it’s not a plug-and-play solution.

If you ask it to simply write a business plan, you’ll get a basic outline of what to include. To be fair, this is a step up from earlier versions that might have attempted to write a generic plan.

Thankfully, people more experienced than myself have shared their process. So, I followed instructions from someone who has spent far more time testing than me, generated a plan, and used GPT’s outline as a starting point. 

While the output wasn’t bad, producing something usable required a strong understanding of my business idea. Specificity with my prompts was key, and I still needed to edit the results for accuracy and to reflect my unique voice.

GPT-4 (the paid option) does shine as an idea generator. When stuck on potential expenses, it produced a solid list, though it did overlook my preference for a lean approach (Rent an office space for a small service business in this economy?!).

Remember, never blindly trust AI-generated data and numbers—this goes for every tool. I had to do my own research to provide GPT with reliable sources for the market analysis and financial sections

And even then, I still need to put forecasts and budgets together using a separate tool, like a spreadsheet.

Key Takeaway: ChatGPT has surprising potential for business plan writing, but it’s not a substitute for a dedicated planning tool. You must understand your idea, guide the AI, and carefully edit the results. You’ll also have to convert the output into a written document and develop your financials separately. 

If you already use GPT for other things, it’s worth considering, but be prepared to invest more time and effort.

Note: I also tested Gemini and Claude. While Gemini’s writing was more natural, and Claude provided more recent information, GPT-4 was the most consistent for this specific use.

Pros:

  • Capable of doing more than writing a business plan
  • Great for generating ideas or providing suggestions for improvement
  • Constantly improving the output quality

Cons:

  • It takes a lot of fine-tuning and testing to get right
  • You can’t trust all of the information
  • You will need to heavily edit your plan
  • It won’t help you create useful financial statements

Pricing:

  • ChatGPT 3.5: Free
  • Plus: $20/Month
  • Team: $25/User/Month

3. Venture Planner

Venture Planner is my favorite fully AI-driven tool I tested. 

Unlike the AI-only tools at the end of this list, Venture Planner isn’t just a reskinned version of ChatGPT. 

The people behind it seem to understand why business planning can be difficult and integrated what I assume to be a more thoroughly trained AI into a step-by-step plan creator. 

The questions are thoughtful, the examples are helpful, and the generated text, while a bit wordy and generic, provides a solid base and encourages editing.

As for the downsides, while I really liked the guided experience, it was unfortunately very strict. You couldn’t jump between sections of your plan and had to complete it in a specific order. 

Sure, a business plan follows a pretty standard structure, but it’s helpful to work on sections out of order when writing. 

Venture Planner also lacks idea generation and rewrite features, meaning you just have to work with the tool’s original output.

So, even with AI assistance, it could be easy to get stuck if you don’t know everything about your business beforehand.

It also lacks advanced financial features and isn’t intended for ongoing management. The pricing tiers, with one focused on plan-building consultants, reinforce that impression. 

Key Takeaways: Venture Planner comes closest to fulfilling the promise of AI-driven plan generation. It’s not a magic shortcut (nor should it be), but it leverages AI effectively to guide you through the process. 

The rigid structure and lack of deeper financial tools make it ideal for first-time entrepreneurs who need a lot of guidance. For more seasoned business owners, it might be too limiting and won’t be useful beyond writing your initial plan.

Pros:

  • Offers a simple and traditional business plan format.
  • Well-structured plan-building process.

Cons:

  • Lacks AI rewriting features.
  • The plan building structure may be too strict for some business owners.
  • Lacks advanced forecasting features found in other tools.

Pricing:

The only difference between the two subscription options is that the Consultant tier allows you to create unlimited business plans. You can pay month-to-month, but the price is far more expensive. Opting for an annual subscription cuts the price by 50%.

  • Business: $14/month (Annual billing)
  • Consultant: $40/month (Annual billing)

4. IdeaBuddy

IdeaBuddy truly lives up to its name. 

Its features and guidance focus on helping you explore and develop your business idea—with the standout being the easy-to-follow Business Guide.

Unfortunately, the AI integrations are a mixed bag. Unlike LivePlan or Venture Planner, the “AI Buddy” comes off as a tacked-on feature instead of a built-in assistant. 

It simply isn’t a full business plan generator. It limits how often it can be used and requires you to copy and paste AI-generated information instead of just dropping it into the plan. 

It never truly felt like it was helping me write anything and was, instead, just an experimental feature. Other AI additions like ‘AI Tips’ didn’t improve that impression and only provided fairly generic ideas that would be better served as already present in-app guidance.

As for the other features, they’re useful, but honestly, they feel disconnected from each other. 

The whiteboard reminded me of a cleaner version of Microsoft Paint (which still has it’s uses). The Validation tool, while interesting, can’t substitute talking to real people. The Idea Plan is basically their version of the Business Model Canvas.

The financials section was a bit more impressive, and I found it almost as easy as building an initial forecast in LivePlan. 

However, it lacks accounting software connections and isn’t built for ongoing use. Without an easy way to update the financial data, I expect revising the forecasts as actual results come in to be incredibly time-consuming.

Key Takeaways: IdeaBuddy is ideal for first-time entrepreneurs who need help getting their ideas off the ground. The Guided Plan feature provides the right structure and flexibility to help you build a plan without being held to a strict process. 

However, its other features and AI integration just aren’t as useful. Especially for long-term planning, it may be too simplistic and time-consuming to maintain.

Pros:

  • Approachable and useful business planning guide.
  • Templates and ideation tools are unique and provide useful guidance.
  • AI features are fine-tuned and lead to decent output.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include a true AI-powered plan generator.
  • The business plan builder and financials are somewhat separated from the rest of the app.
  • The use of AI features is limited to a number of paid credits.
  • Notable lag and performance dips.

Pricing:

Prices will increase and decrease depending on the number of users. 

To access the plan builder, you must sign up for at least the Founder tier. Founder and Team Pro will provide access to the idea validator and whiteboard, and each higher tier will increase your total AI credits.

  • Trial: Free
  • Dreamer: $6/month (Annual billing)
  • Founder: $12/month (Annual billing)
  • Team Pro: $16/month (Annual billing)

5. UpMetrics

UpMetrics offers business plan creation, forecasting, a pitch deck creator, and strategic planning features—plus a library of business plan samples and a video-based planning course. 

Honestly, those last two features are very disappointing—both felt generic and surface-level (the videos may even be AI-generated). You’d likely be better off reading an article if you want more guidance. 

As you’ll see throughout the rest of my review, while the tool can do the job, it also feels undercooked at times.

The plan creation process was fast and immediately lets you use the AI feature. And UpMetrics automatically populates your plan outline with AI-generated text for each section.

But oddly, the AI only gives you suggestions for each part of your plan; it doesn’t let you add more information or regenerate the output. The information it populates your plan with is pretty generic—requiring heavy edits for accuracy and flow.

And don’t even bother trying the AI-powered rewrite feature; it basically gave me the same output every time and didn’t make any tone or length adjustments.

Sadly, the other creation tools felt underdeveloped. They almost seem like beta features that never got the same level of depth as the plan creator.

The forecast feature feels especially daunting when you just drop into a blank screen. 

Yeah, I was able to generate expense suggestions with the “Forecast With AI” feature. But the nested format it uses to display financials is so far removed from a financial statement that I just don’t understand how it could be usable. 

Key Takeaways: UpMetrics attempts to do a lot but falls short in execution. The experience feels simultaneously limiting and overwhelming. AI integration is everywhere but lacks the customization and output quality of other business planning tools.

This tool might work for someone who wants a highly customizable plan and who already has a detailed understanding of their business. However, if you need guidance, structure, and reliable AI assistance, you’re better off using other options or even a template.

Pros:

  • You can quickly generate a business plan outline in just a few minutes.
  • Offers a greater depth of plan customization in a drag-and-drop format.

Cons:

  • The forecast, pitch deck, and strategic planning features lack the quality of more dedicated tools.
  • AI output is not nearly as useful as other tools.
  • Too many navigation options overwhelm the plan builder.

Pricing:

You must sign up for the Premium tier to access the AI features. 

  • Starter: $7/Month (Annual billing)
  • Premium: $14/Month (Annual billing)

6. Venturekit

VentureKit aims to be a one-click business plan creator, generating a full draft from minimal input. 

While its writing is surprisingly good—contextual and less robotic than many competitors—the problem is it truly invented most of its information out of thin air.

This could mislead users into thinking their plan is comprehensive when it might be filled with unnecessary details. Some generated information, particularly the market research, is presented like actual data. 

But in reality, you can click into it and manually adjust it, meaning this information is more of a placeholder than industry-specific insights. 

Then there’s the separate AI consultant, which feels disconnected and generic, like a repackaged GPT instance embedded within the tool. Its questions might be helpful, but the prompts seem misaligned with the core tool’s purpose.

This highlights a deeper issue: VentureKit lacks in-app guidance and clear instructions. You are not told how to write a plan, which seems odd when most other tools are built around that capability.

While I appreciate the organized dashboard, the rest of the navigation feels clunky. The tool’s slow generation speeds and reliance on AI explanations instead of simple instructions add to that frustration. 

Key Takeaway: VentureKit showcases the potential and pitfalls of AI-driven plan generation. 

It can spark ideas, but its overreliance on AI, lack of guidance, and questionable information sources make it unreliable for creating a solid, actionable business plan. It has potential but needs more work to be worth the investment.

Pros:

  • Clean and unique app design.
  • AI editor is effective and produces higher-quality writing.
  • Includes additional implementation sections outside of the core plan.

Cons:

  • AI output uses very little personalized information.
  • No clear understanding of where information is sourced from.
  • Lacks instruction and guidance outside of AI information.

Pricing:

The free tier offers a limited preview of the plan builder and AI features. You must sign up for the Pro version to create a full plan and edit everything.

  • Basic: Free 
  • Pro: $19/Month

7. Grammarly

I’ve been using Grammarly for a long time, and it’s become an indispensable part of my writing process. It excels at catching errors, refining grammar, and improving overall clarity.

Their business plan generator, however, is underwhelming. It asks four broad questions about your business, nowhere near enough to generate a detailed plan.

Sadly, the output is limited to a webpage without integration into the full Grammarly editor.

It uses similar technology as the editor and appears to be a test for a fully generative feature, but it’s not something you can just use in Google Docs. However, you can copy the output and edit it elsewhere.

Key Takeaways: Grammarly’s Business Plan Generator doesn’t reflect the quality of its core product. It’s overly simplified, completely skips your financials, and leaves you with a generic mess of a plan. 

That said, if you’re writing a business plan, even the free version of Grammarly can be a huge asset. Sign up and use it as a writing assistant alongside a template to polish your ideas and create a professional-sounding final product.

Pros:

  • Provides examples to assist your writing
  • Writing assistant integrates with Google Docs and Microsoft Word
  • Incredibly useful for editing and improving writing

Cons:

  • The business plan generator is very limited
  • Requires you to have a good understanding of financials
  • It isn’t directly connected to the full Grammarly tool

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Premium: $12/Month (Annual billing)
  • Business: $15/Month (Annual billing)

8. ProAI

I was initially very impressed with ProAI’s presentation. The integration with Google products had me hopeful this would be a unique plan creator that leveraged the functionality of Google Docs and Sheets.

Instead, I found a disjointed experience that did not make me want to continue.

Jumping from the homepage to the generator was jarring. It felt like I was using something completely unrelated.

It requires you to add an overview, similar to other tools but with a far more limited word count. Then, it generates part of your plan but immediately prompts you for additional details to finish (requiring a paid account to even see the full thing).

While finding real-world competitors and using industry benchmarks to help create starting revenue and expenses is a nice touch, the rest of the AI output is generic. It requires heavy editing—which isn’t easy given how slow and clunky the interface is.

Additionally, the advertised investor connections and real-time market research come off more like gimmicks and the larger issues didn’t make me overly confident in their results. 

Key Takeaways: ProAI’s promising features fail to deliver. Its clunky workflow, generic AI output, and the disconnect between the demo and paid features make it unsuitable for serious business planning. 

The yearly price point feels particularly unjustified, given the underwhelming core experience.

Pros:

  • Export plan and financials directly into Google Docs and Sheets.
  • Provides access to real-time market research information.
  • Offers additional paid research and strategic support.

Cons:

  • The AI-generated preview does not match the product.
  • Heavily leverages integrations with Google products to offset functionality limitations.
  • While not terrible, AI output is still general and reads like it was generated.
  • Limited guidance or assurance that the plan is structured correctly. 

Pricing:

  • Entrepreneur Starter Kit: $114/year
  • Investor Magnet: $162/year

9. 15MinutePlan.AI

A lack of clear pricing and feature information makes 15MinutePlan.AI seem like a scam. Honestly, the end result didn’t change my opinion. 

While the survey-style plan creation process was refreshing, the end result was a poorly formatted, paywalled document.

Despite collecting a fair amount of information with roughly 30 questions, the plan generation was disappointing. I couldn’t provide as detailed of a business description as other tools, and the AI suggestions for the target market and products/services were generic and repetitive. 

So, I ended up doing more work and got worse results.

Okay, the last thing worth mentioning is the financials. To be clear, it is not a great tool for generating useful financial statements and forecasts, but I do want to credit it for attempting to simplify the starting information.

It at least made me think about the connection between my revenue and expenses, despite not allowing me to break them down into more specific line items. 

Key Takeaways: 15MinutePlan.AI has a promising survey-based planning concept that makes writing a business plan more approachable. 

Sadly, the tool doesn’t take advantage of all the information it collects. The broken formatting, low-quality AI writing, and high cost to even view the full plan make it a bad investment. You’ll get better results with ChatGPT and a solid tutorial.

Pros:

  • The builder walkthrough is quick and simple.
  • It attempts to simplify starting financial information.
  • One-time cost.

Cons:

  • Output quality tends to be lesser than other AI tools
  • It doesn’t follow a traditional business plan format.
  • You need to know a lot of business information up front.

Pricing:

15MinutePlan.AI offers one-time payment options for the plans it generates. The starter option limits the number of plans you can generate and how many users can access. Going for Professional will expand what the tool generates and use GPT-4 to improve the output quality.

  • Starter: $99
  • Professional: $139

A quick note about other AI tools

To be fully transparent, I originally had Copy.Ai, Simplified, and Bizway on this list since they ‘offered’ business plan templates. 

However, after exploring the tools, I dropped them because I found that the templates were not a focus and, in some cases, no longer existed.

These may be useful AI tools, but they are not focused on helping you write a business plan and should only be considered if you have other use cases in mind.

Can AI really write a business plan?

No AI tool can replace the process of actively working through your business plan on your own. The best tools guide and support you, not replace you.

AI can generate content and ideas, but the details, creativity, and critical thinking you bring are what make a plan valuable. The more information you provide, the better the AI output will be.

So, don’t trust any tool to do all the work for you. By staying in the driver’s seat, you’ll ultimately have a stronger plan and better understand your business.

Not ready to invest in a tool? Download our free business plan template instead. It offers a structured framework to guide you through the planning process – no AI required.

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Kody Wirth
Kody Wirth
Kody currently works as the Inbound and Content Marketing Specialist at Palo Alto Software and runs editorial for both LivePlan and Bplans, working with various freelance specialists and in-house writers. A graduate of the University of Oregon, he specializes in SEO research, content writing, and branding.
Posted in Business Plan Writing

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