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Choosing a Business Premises

Choosing a business premises © Lightkeeper | Dreamstime.com

There are so many different types of business premises available now, when you are setting up business, or even expanding your business, how do you go about choosing a business premises that is right for you and your company? In this article we will explain some of the different types of property available and the sorts of businesses it may suit.

The first things to think about when choosing a business premises are:

  1. Your requirements as a company - how many staff will be using the premises, what equipment will be needed, and what sort of business will you be performing there.
  2. How much you are willing to spend on business premises – how much of your budget you are willing to allocate.
  3. Do you want to buy or rent a premises – each has it’s own advantages.

When drawing up the list of requirements for your premises, there are several points to consider:

  • Structure and appearance – both internally and externally
  • Any special structural requirements – for example, wide doorways, high ceilings, etc
  • The size and layout of the premises – can you fit everything in that you need to?
  • Is there flexibility for you to make alterations or expand the premises if the need arises?
  • Has it got adequate facilities to ensure the comfort of your staff and any visitors – is the lighting sufficient, are there enough toilets, is there a kitchen area to make drinks and food?
  • Are the utilities sufficient for your company – for example three-phase electricity?
  • Do you require any sort of planning permission to use the property for your sort of business?
  • Is the property suitable for you long term? – no matter if you are buying or renting, this is a huge investment of both your time and your money, you don’t want to have to be relocating again because you haven’t considered your future needs.

If after you have drawn up your list of requirements, you realise that you don’t need a lot of space, or anything special in the way of utilities, you may discover that working from home is the best way forward for you at this time. If you decide to go this route there are several important legal and practical issues you need to consider including any possible impact on your mortgage. For more information on home working be sure to read our other articles in this section.

As well as the physical requirements, your available budget will have a large influence on your choice of premises. There are many costs that are involved no matter if you rent or buy a property a few of which include:

  • The initial cost, which can involve legal fees, deposits, and removal fees
  • There may also be a cost if there is any decoration or alterations needed to the premises, including any that are required to meet any of the health & safety, or building regulations
  • Any ongoing rent, service costs or utility bills
  • Business rates
  • Any maintenance and repairs that you may be responsible for.
  • Building and contents insurance.

You also need to think about where you want/need your property to be as the location of your desired premises can impact on the cost of it – for instance, if you decided that your property must be city centre you will have to pay more of a premium on that then you would if you were happy to have a more “out of town” location. It may well pay you to be as flexible as you can about your requirements and the location you would like, make sure you prioritise them, so you know which you can move on, and which you simply must have as it will make choosing your business premises easier and help you prevent having only a very limited selection that you would struggle to afford.

Another option that you may want to consider when choosing your business premises is a serviced office. Serviced offices are found all around the world and provide a more flexible option as they are furnished, often have all the equipment that is needed for an office to function, and the leases normally allow for additional space to be added at short notice should your business require it. Many serviced offices have the ability for tenants to share resources like reception services which further help to reduce the cost to your individual business.

Whichever route you go, choosing your business premises is a decision not to be taken lightly or rushed. It is a big step whatever your trade, and one that it is important to get right. Take your time to talk to other tenants in a building, and look at several options before deciding – if you follow the basic guidelines here, you will soon be choosing the right business premises for you and your company.

 

 
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