5 Things to Consider When Choosing Premises for Your New Business

Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or starting up a business for the first time, choosing the right premises is vital if you want the enterprise to succeed.

At the start of 2012, small and medium enterprises accounted for 99.9% of all private sector companies in the UK according to the Federation of Small Businesses. What’s more, these businesses employed 14.1 million people and had a combined turnover of £1,500 billion.

However, while the potential for success is evident, locating and purchasing the right premises is a major undertaking, so here is what to consider.

Buy or lease?

Buying commercial premises is potentially a huge expense and will need to be considered thoroughly. The services of a surveyor, estate agent, solicitor and mortgage broker may be required. The building will be considered an asset of the business and you will have complete freedom over decoration and furnishings.

When it comes to employee safety, you will be solely responsible for ensuring they work in an environment free from dangerous or hazardous materials. An asbestos claim against conditions like mesothelioma can result in substantial compensation.

Renting premises is a much cheaper and less complicated option. However the potential cost of leasing over a long period of time could be huge. Even if the business is struggling, you will need to meet regular rental payments or face the consequences.


Deciding where to locate the business is largely dependent on the market and industry you operate in. Ultimately, the customer will either be prepared to come to you or the business needs to be situated in a convenient location.

A built up area such as a town centre will be suitable for a coffee shop or convenience store, as footfall and exposure is high. However, rates tend to be expensive and you will need a high volume of customers to make money.

Other ventures such as a garden centre or car showroom are better suited on the outskirts of a city. You will benefit from bigger premises, parking facilities and cheaper overheads. You will, however, have to rely on customers specifically coming to visit you.


Think about furniture, how much storage is required and the number of staff members. Health and safety regulations for space could have an impact on the amount you need, so ensure you are aware of any legal requirements.


What may be an adequate amount of space now might not be enough when the business expands, so take this into consideration.

Although keeping your feet on the ground is advisable, having a bit of ambition and predicting future success could avoid a potentially strenuous relocation later on.

Fully furnished or an empty space?

If you require an office space for the short-term or are unsure of future growth, serviced locations are a great option. Although they may seem expensive, they are very convenient and you can begin trading quickly.

Obtaining a property with no furniture or fittings means you can put your individual stamp on the location, though this expense will need to be factored into your budget.

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