Choosing a commercial premises

While you may decide to start your business from home, or some other location with low overheads, as your business grows you’ll need to consider finding commercial premises.

Not only will commercial premises offer you room to grow they’ll also mean that your business is taken more seriously, as customers and competitors realise that you’re in it for the long haul and that you really do mean business!

 

Where to look

 

You’ll have already done your research on where your business should be aiming in terms of your target market and this should extend to geography too, so you should know whereabouts you need to look for your new business premises. But the search doesn’t stop here. Whether you’re looking for a small amount of office space, a retail unit, a workshop or something much bigger, available space may be limited or it may be unsuitable in terms of budget, competition surrounding it, lack of facilities and/or transport links nearby.

 

What to look for

 

While you’ll know the facilities that you need within your commercial premises, in order for it to really work for your business, you also need to take your future plans into account giving yourself room to grow.

Commercial property is also classified for certain types of business (governed by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987) so you’ll need to check whether your company will be able to operate there.

If you’re planning to rent it’s also worth checking out the services that the landlord will include within your package, these questions may include:

  • Does the premises come furnished?

  • Are utilities included within the price?

  • Is there a monthly service payment expected?

  • Can you refit the premises if the layout isn’t suitable?

  • Who is responsible for internal and/or external maintenance and repairs?

 

Budget

 

Whether you’re planning to buy or to rent having a budget firmly in mind when looking for your commercial premises is essential.  If you’re planning to buy your commercial premises this will be dependent on the mortgage you can get to finance the purchase, as well as your business’ current financial situation and your plans for growth.

If you’re renting you’ll also need to establish:

  • What deposit would you need to pay?

  • Will there be a service charge? And who’s responsible for maintenance?

  • What is the rental contract length and is this negotiable?

  • Is a break clause possible? This will allow you to give notice and leave the property if things aren’t working out.

  • Is there a rent review clause and, if so, can this be removed for the first few years?

 

Other considerations

 

There’s a lot to consider when choosing your commercial premises. Here are five things to look out for:

  • Can the premises grow with your business?

  • How easy is it to get to your premises, both for your customers and your staff?

  • Is there adequate parking included or nearby?

  • How far away are the local amenities (shops, banks, post office, transport links, etc.)?

  • What about insurance?

Your commercial premises can offer your business a lot of benefits and you need to make sure it fits all of your requirements, as well as providing a location that is suitable for employing staff and meets your health and safety obligations. 

 

If you need any further information then head to our help centre to find out more.

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