Laser assisted machining (LAM) is a promising technology for machining of difficult to cut materials with reduced cutting forces, improved surface finish and tool life. This paper is mainly focused on study of cutting forces during laser assisted machining of Inconel 718 superalloy using finite element (FE) approach. An iterative procedure was adopted in this work to determine the coefficient of friction at tool chip interface to obtain rational values of cutting force for the identified cutting range. Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian (ALE) formulation was included to simulate the chip formation process. Johnson-cook material model for flow stress behaviour of workpiece material was incorporated during simulation. To validate the FE model, LAM experimentations were done under orthogonal cutting condition. The experiments were conducted according to Taguchi's design of experiments. The cutting force results obtained through experimentation and simulation were compared and presented here. The FE prediction of cutting forces agrees with the experimental conditions for most of the cases within 15% deviation. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.