It is essential to match your premises to your business needs. There are a number of ways to search for appropriate business premises to rent. You could consider:
- use our commercial property search tool
- agents' letting boards outside the premises
- local newspapers
- the internet
- your local council - through their Economic Development Unit
- estate agents
- trade associations - if an existing member is retiring or selling up
Another good way to find suitable premises is through appointing a commercial agent or commercial surveyor. You can find one in phone directories, or via a trade association, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or a local Chamber of Commerce.
Commercial agents and surveyors have expertise on the property market in the area and can keep you up to date with any new developments. They will also send you detailed specifications of suitable premises, which can be very useful, particularly if you are limited by time.
You must pay commission to a commercial agent for acting as an intermediary between you and the landlord or seller. You will need to fully brief the agent, manage the relationship well and maintain regular contact to ensure that they find you the most suitable premises.
When employing an agent to act on your behalf, you should also draw up a contract, even if the relationship is informal. This will help to set out expectations and clarify your legal obligations to them. See choose and manage a commercial agent.