Choosing business property

Six tips for choosing the right business property

Guide

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. Order your list by prioritising your desired requirements from the top down. This will help you visualise what the most important factors are for you and your business when deciding on a suitable commercial property. 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. You should compare the advantages of renting commercial property with the advantages and disadvantages of buying business property This short video will also help you to weigh up the pros and cons when deciding whether to rent or buy business premises (video).

4. Business rates
Before agreeing to buy or rent commercial property you will want to get an idea of what you are likely to pay in business rates - estimate your rate bill. You may be eligible for assistance with business rates. 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.