If you own or occupy business property, you need to understand the legal obligations and restrictions that may affect you. For example:
- The property must have planning permission that allows them to be used for your type of business.
- You must comply with building, fire, and health and safety regulations. See fire safety and risk assessment.
- Stamp duty is payable on commercial leases and you are likely to be liable for business rates, though in rented premises these may be paid by the landlord.
- You are responsible for the health and safety of employees and visitors. See what workplace facilities do you need to provide?
- You also need to provide a suitable working environment.
- If you provide goods or services to the public, you must take reasonable steps to make your premises accessible. See disabled access and facilities in business premises.
- You need to comply with the terms of any lease or licence agreement. See commercial property: landlord and tenant responsibilities.
- For some businesses, you may require a licence to operate or to sell certain products.
- There may be restrictions on times when deliveries are allowed, noise and pollution levels, and how you or your customers dispose of waste.
- Whatever premises you choose, you need to ensure that you are properly insured. See insurance: business property and assets.
If you are in any doubt about your legal obligations, you should take legal advice from your business adviser or solicitor. Choose a solicitor for your business.
Structure your business
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