How to choose premises

Checklist

  1. 1 Identify the type of premises you need for your business (eg office, retail or light industrial premises).
  2. 2 Consider how accessible the premises need to be for customers, visitors and for employees travelling to work (eg parking, roads and public transport).
  3. 3 Determine your space requirements.
  4. 4 Plan the type of layout you will need, taking into account workflow, the working environment (eg lighting and ventilation) and health and safety.
  5. 5 Consider how important the appearance of the premises is, and how this will affect your image.
  6. 6 Determine what infrastructure you need (eg utilities, cabling and security).
  7. 7 Consider how likely your premises requirements are to change in future, for example, if your business grows.
  8. 8 Consider any possible restrictions on your use of the premises (eg planning permission).
  9. 9 Decide what tenure will suit you best: a licence, a lease or outright freehold purchase.
  10. 10 Decide how flexible you are prepared to be in acquiring premises which need to be adapted or improved to suit your particular needs.
  11. 11 Decide how much you are prepared to spend on acquiring the premises and paying continuing rental and running costs.
  12. 12 Use contacts, commercial property agents, local business organisations and publications to find potential premises.
  13. 13 Consider employing a professional adviser, such as a local chartered surveyor, to help find suitable premises and negotiate the deal.

Cardinal rules

Do:

  • choose a location which suits customers, suppliers and employees
  • consider how you will use the premises to determine the type of premises you need

Don't:

  • overspend or underestimate continuing costs
  • get tied in unnecessarily to inflexible premises