When you buy a commercial property, you'll have to budget for:
- fees for the surveyor and solicitor and any other professional advisor required
- VAT (not in every case, and if you're registered for VAT you may be able to claim it back) and Stamp Duty Land Tax - see stamp and property taxes
- fees for making searches or enquiries with the local council or Companies House
- alterations and fitting it out
Ongoing property costs
You will also need to consider the ongoing costs:
- Business rates are based on what the property would rent for at a given date. Land and Property Services is responsible for these valuations.
- Local council charges for services including waste collection and parking.
- Commercial property insurance for your business premises.
- Property repairs and maintenance.
- Running costs - eg lighting, heating and charges for services like cleaning or security.
- Commercial mortgage payments - if you can't afford to purchase the property outright. See commercial mortgages and lenders. You'll need to assess carefully how much you can afford. Speak to your bank manager to find out how much the bank may lend and check what financial security this will require. See bank finance.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
All sellers - or construction firms in the case of new buildings - are now responsible for providing prospective buyers with an EPC with an energy rating. An EPC can give you a good indication of a building's energy efficiency and the likely energy costs. See EPCs for business properties.
Environmental performance of your business property
Air conditioning systems and boilers can have a significant effect on your overall energy bills. You can make considerable savings by keeping these well maintained and having them regularly inspected by a qualified engineer. See our case study on installing an efficient heating system - Marine Hotel (video).
You will need to check whether any air conditioning systems you have require an energy inspection. A valid energy assessment may already exist for any installed systems. Ask for this to be handed over by the seller. Air conditioning energy inspections are required for equipment greater than 12kW and every five years.