Guide

Choosing business property

Six tips for choosing the right business property

1. Draw up a list of what you need from your business premises
How important is property size, layout, location, facilities, structural requirements and parking to your business needs? Also think about your long-term business plans and how these might affect your choice of business premises. For example, you might want to expand or alter the property in the future. See business property specification.

2. Location, location, location
Choosing the right location for your business premises can be a bit of a balancing act. You may want to choose a location that is convenient for your customers, employees and suppliers, but isn’t too expensive. Some factors you might want to consider when deciding on location include, footfall, where competitors are located, delivery restrictions, parking restrictions and business rates.

3. Buy or rent business property?
You will need to determine whether either buying or renting a commercial property is best for your business needs. The advantages of renting business premises includes less capital is invested than buying, so it can give you flexibility to relocate if the premises become unsuitable. Advantages of buying business property include the flexibility to manage or repair the building as you choose, potential profit from selling the building in the future if it increases in value, and future letting of the property as an additional income stream. This short video will help you to weigh up the pros and cons when deciding whether to rent or buy business premises (video).

4. Help with business rates
You may be eligible for assistance with business rates. For example, the Back in Business rate support scheme provides a 50 per cent rate reduction for one year when a retail premise, which has been empty for 12 months or more, becomes occupied. See help available for business rates.

5. Legal considerations for commercial property
There are a number of legal considerations when choosing business property including planning permission, health, safety and fire regulations, insurances, accessibility and licences. You will probably need to pay stamp duty if you purchase the property or if you rent commercial property you will need to comply with the terms of the lease. Ensure you get advice from a solicitor when buying or leasing business premises.

6. Search for commercial property
You can search for commercial property through local commercial property agents, visiting potential areas to see commercial properties for sale or rent, or searching our commercial property finder. Check potential premises against your requirements to create a shortlist of the business properties you might want to view.