Maybe you are in the beginning stages of turning your brilliant business concept into a tangible reality. Perhaps you run a web-based service and business is booming, as they say. With demand so high, you are ready to open a brick-and-mortar location. Fantastic. Now comes the real legwork: finding the perfect location.
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Things to Consider
Choosing a business location requires consideration of a broad range of factors, from local zoning and tax laws to the accessibility of your business to customers and employees. If you are opening a coffee shop, for instance, ask yourself if you really want to be right across the street from a monolithic coffee brewer with a world-wide presence. Think Starbucks.
Depending on the nature of your business, you'll likely want to find a spot that has both heavy foot traffic and good exposure. It's important to remember that you'll also have to balance the cost of a commercial lease agreement, along with issues that may actually keep people away such as difficult parking in the area or little to no access to public transportation.
Consider joining your local Small Business Association (SBA) which can provide valuable support to new businesses trying to make a name for themselves. You'll also be able to attend various networking events and meet other business owners like yourself.
The following checklist includes several questions you should answer before making your ultimate decision on where to open your business. Be careful to factor in your own special circumstances, which do not necessarily appear on this list.
Is the area zoned for this type of business? ____
Are qualified employees available in the area? ____
Is the site close to the markets served by the business? ____
Are any competitors in the area? ____
Are the inventory and supplies the business needs available in the area? ____
Can suppliers conveniently make deliveries to this area? ____
Is public transportation accessible? ____
Are the utilities needed to run the business available? ____
Are there facilities nearby for transporting goods? ____
Are the rates for transporting goods similar to or lower than in other areas? ____
Does the cost of this facility in this location compare favorably with other areas? ____
Do the taxes on this facility compare favorably with other areas? ____
Do the taxes on the business compare favorably to those in other areas? ____
Is the area suitable for expansion in the future? ____
Are there adequate parking facilities for customers? ____
Are there adequate parking facilities for employees? ____
Is the traffic in the area compatible with this type of business? ____
Are the wage scales in this area similar to or lower than other areas? ____
Is this a safe area for employees, suppliers, and clients? ____
Get your Legal Questions Answered
As you scout out potential locations for your new or expanding business, you'll likely have some important questions about zoning laws, competitors, and wage scales. Reach out and speak to a qualified business law attorney in your locale today to help you.
For more information, visit FindLaw's Small Business section to do further research and find answers to commonly asked questions about starting a small business.