An outlay is the amount spent to acquire an asset or achieve a goal. For example, if a company buys a machine, the total outlay is the purchase price, sales tax, import fees, site preparation, and testing. As another example, the outlay for a new product line may include development costs, production line tooling, and production staff training. In these situations, some of the outlay costs can be capitalized, while others must be charged to expense as incurred, depending on the relevant accounting standards.