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Choosing the right commercial property for your business

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It’s important when deciding on a property for your business that you consider your requirements both now and in the future. As well as the size and layout you need now, you should consider the future needs for your business premises.

Is your chosen property in the right location for your customers and employees? Does it have good transport links? Are you aware of any planned changes to the local environment which may affect the area and trade (building work, new roads, a high speed train line)? These and many more factors must be considered before deciding on premises for your business.

Buy or lease?

As well as thinking about the size and location of new premises, it is also important to consider what the most suitable property tenure is for your needs.

Short-term commercial property licence

Property licenses are ideal for start up businesses or those wanting to be in a property for a maximum of two years. They provide a business with premises without having to find a lot of capital up front, or commit to the premises for a lengthy period. They can however offer little security, as the landlord of the premises can terminate the license at any time and once terminated, you do not have the right to renew the license.

Long-term commercial property lease

Leases typically are over a longer period and require more significant payments upfront; usually a large deposit as well as stamp duty land tax (SDLT), legal fees for yourself and your landlord and occasionally VAT. A lease is a good option if you are looking for a secured location from which to build your business and client base, without the financial outlay of purchasing outright. When leasing premises it is important to agree with your landlord at the outset who is responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the property, and what (if any) changes they will allow you to make to the premises. We can help you with this so problems don’t arise down the line.

Freehold commercial property purchase

Buying your commercial premises outright could be the right approach for your business; however any decision to purchase must be considered carefully using good legal advice. Purchasing your premises gives you control over the property, but it also means you are committed to maintaining and paying for the property. When buying (or leasing) premises you need to consider whether the chosen property is fit for purpose or if significant changes will need to be made to the building. Changes to the building structure or to the type of business carried out at the premises are likely to require planning permission. We can provide you with advice based on the types of changes you want to make.