Your initial premises are an important consideration and many factors will influence the decision such as permissions, planning consent, insurances, communication needs, location of labour, building regulations, fire protection, disabled access, smoking laws, environmental concerns, security, flood planning and crime prevention to name a few.
Premises such as a warehouse or a production area may be critical for the business, but you may be a service business that you wish to start from home.
For many small businesses the use of home is a serious consideration as it is simple and saves costs.
We suggest that you consider all the requirements that will make your business operate to the best of its ability in terms of efficiencies, overheads, facilities available and location. Write out lists of what the premises must have and what you would ideally like, but happy to sacrifice, and this will make your search and choice much easier and importantly correct for the current purpose.
To find the appropriate premises you can look in the local press, search in your preferred location, contact the commercial property agents or sometimes the local authority have a database of available premises. During your search try to find out what potential neighbours are paying in rent and rates, as this will help your own negotiations.
The choice of premises could be a key ingredient to your success, but don’t run before you can walk and take on premises that are surplus to the immediate start up requirement, unless your business plan demonstrates use of the surplus space in the near future or you are securing a premium location with available resources.
If you are going to start from home, consider an area that you can separate from your personal and family life. Can you lock the door and not be tempted into the office at any time? Is your business documentation secure from others eyes? Where will you meet customers? We also recommend that if you work from home, that you still dress for work and create the right mindset for the day ahead. You should also check your mortgage deed or tenancy agreement to ensure there are no restrictions in doing this.
If you decide to take office space that is not critical to the operation of the business, then take care with the rent or lease agreements that you are asked to sign. You may want flexibility in the early years to increase or downsize your space without being tied into long term arrangements.
If you need or desire to have premises for your business, then you have the option to lease, rent or buy the premises. We recommend that you seek your own professional advice to consider the financing options, affordability and any legal or tax implications.