Finding the Best Place for Your Business
By Vanessa Wagner, Loudoun Economic Development
Congratulations, your business is ready to grow into its own commercial space! This is a big decision for any entrepreneur. Prior to signing a lease, it’s important that you make sure you’re selecting the right location for your business. The price per square foot should not be the only factor in determining if a location is right for your business.
To help you start thinking about your first commercial space, LoudounSmallBiz partners suggest you ask yourself these important questions before and during the process:
- Is this type of business* allowed in this location?
- What type of space works best your business, retail, office or industrial?
- Do you have a business plan? A business plan will help you with many of the following questions!
- Who is your customer?
- Can your customers and suppliers find you?
*Your local county or town zoning ordinances determine where various types of businesses can operate. This can help protect the value of a property and keep compatible uses together.
- How are you going to fund your new business?
- What resources are available for funding?
- What is included in the rent? For example, utilities, maintenance fees, taxes, insurance?
- What is not included in the rent? For example, utilities, maintenance fees, taxes, insurance?
- What will it cost to make the space safe and ready for customers*?
- What professional expenses will you have? For example, real estate attorney, engineer, architect, contractor, etc.
*Be prepared for costs to make the space safe for customers, especially if you are changing the use of the location.
When do you want to open your business? Plan your timeline to include lease negotiations, construction, inspections and more.
There are a lot of real estate terms that may be unfamiliar. A basic understanding of the terms can help you start this process: NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, has created a helpful list of terms and definitions you may encounter in your lease. They also explain pricing structures.
You don’t have to do this alone! Your local jurisdiction has resources to help you identify a location, work through permits and get your business doors open. Contact the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development today to find services available to help you start and grow your company in Loudoun County, Virginia: 1-800-LOUDOUN.