Where are you going to set up in business?
Buying or Renting Premises.
Several new businesses start in spare rooms or garden sheds,
but many start in small business premises where a feeling of
independence can be gained and the 'right impression' given
to customers, clients and prospective employees.
Acquiring suitable property can involve considerable outlay,
so care is needed to ensure that expensive mistakes are not
The new business should consider modest premises where overheads
such as heating, lighting and rates can be kept to a minimum.
There is little point in moving into premises where much of
the space is unused, yet has to be heated and paid for!
See our list of commercial properties and premises offered to see what's available or submit a premises request to encourage landlords and agents to approach you.
Should you buy or rent?
Generally the latter is preferred by new businesses. This
is because buying a property involves either a capital outlay
or borrowing capital, or a mixture of both, which means less
capital for buying stock and equipment.
What is a Lease?
A Lease is a contract between the property owner (landlord)
and the occupier (tenant). The Lease document states the rules
and regulations of the occupancy as well as confirming the amount
of rent. Because the lease is a contract, either party to it
can be sued by one another.
Rates are a form of tax and are paid to the Local Authority
as a contribution towards the costs of providing services for
the district such as street lighting, refuse collection, etc.
There is a legal requirement to pay rates and unless arrangements
are made otherwise, the Local Authority will bill the occupier.
The amount of rates depends on the type and size of property
and not the ability of the occupier to pay, so the more modest
the premises the lower the level of rates.
Repairs and maintainance.
Consideration must be given to the repairs of premises. As
a tenant you may be responsible for some or all the repairs,
and as an owner, you will certainly have to carry out all repairs.
It is wise therefore to have premises surveyed prior to buying
Establishing your own business has many advantages and one
is being your own boss, and this will be brought home when you
take occupation of your first business property and put your
name over the door. However, there are many pitfalls in acquiring
suitable premises and advice should be sought before any commitment
is made. Location is usually the most important aspect of a
retail / service business premises.
by JONATHAN REUBIN. ARICS
Chartered Surveyor, Colchester.
In the UK, there are limits to the activities that can take place within a specific property as defined by its Use Class.
A property with an A3 Use Class, for example, can be used for "the sale of food or drink for consumption on the premises or of hot food for consumption off the premises". Therefore, select a property that has the correct Use Class for your business purposes or ensure that you thoroughly investigate the possibilities of changing its official usage before you take it on. Read more about the various property Use Classes in the UK.
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