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It depends on when you started your business. If you were actively “open for business” in 2016, you may be able to deduct operating expenses even if you didn’t earn any income. 

However, if you really started doing business after 2016, you may have incurred start-up expenses.  Those are expenses that you paid prior to the actual start date while you were preparing to go into business. 

You can elect to claim up to $5000 in eligible start-up costs in the first year of your business. The $5,000 deduction is reduced by the amount your total start-up or organizational costs exceed $50,000. Any remaining costs must be amortized.   

Please see this information from the IRS about  Business Start-Up and Organizational Costs., which also explains what type of expenses may be included.

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