Embarking on Commercial Expansion – Property Advice

So your company has experience relative success and is currently growing at an alarming rate.

You haven’t enough space in the current location, so why not branch out to a second office/retail store? A commercial expansion is one way of expanding your business out to another location in order to increase profits and expand your client database. However embarking on a commercial expansion can be a risky procedure so it important to make sure you get professional advice when it is needed most.

Choosing the right location

Are you a retailer or do you provide a service? Are you location based or is your company online or worldwide? How flexible you are with regards to your client base will affect the new location of your business. If, for example, you are client facing and local, you will want to choose a good location in the centre of town, where clients can easily reach you.

Service based businesses such as cleaners, engineers or architects can afford to move towards the outskirts of a town or city, where it is cheaper to establish a commercial property, but you will not be able to conduct so many client meetings. It is all about a balance and doing enough market research on your target audience.

Documentation for the Prospective Property

If you have looked at potential properties for your commercial expansion, you will need to request a number of services for these properties in order to make them suitable for a working environment. A few examples of these services are;

Fire Insurance Valuation – A valuation of the property to be used for insurance purposes in the event of a fire. It is important to get this done as an ‘under-estimation’ or ‘over-estimation’ of the value of the property could lead to nasty fees if anything happens to the property.

Access Audit – The disability discrimination acts of 1995 and 2005 made it illegal for a person to be discriminated against in the working environment on the basis of their disability. An access audit is a report documenting any amendments that might need to be made to the property and its entrances and exits to make it suitable for people with disabilities.

Health and Safety Audit – A report conducted looking at the health and safety procedures of the building. The report will review the effectiveness of the procedure and provide advice as to how it can be improved. It will also provide advice on how to help certain vulnerably staff members in the event of a worst case scenario based on their mobility and location to emergency exits. It is required when purchasing a commercial property.

Construction (in the case of new builds)

If you are considering building a new property from scratch, you will need to appoint a project manager who will oversee the running of the entire build. While you may think it ‘not that big of a deal’ there is a whole host of documentation that needs to be filed out and approved off before planning permission is given for commercial buildings, so requesting the assistance of an experience solicitor or project manager is always a good call. They will be able to provide you with professional advice on a range of matters and will also ensure that the project runs smoothly.

While a commercial expansion in itself can be a great step forward for your company, particularly if you’re branching out to a new town or city, it is important to make sure you do your research properly, take the advice of professionals and collect all the relevant documentation before doing anything rash. Embarking on any kind of new property project takes a lot of time and money and if not done correctly, this could work out disastrously for your company.

By ensuring that you have all the relevant information and advice before you start working on your project, you can help minimise company losses and confirm minimal downtime in the lead up to the establishment of the new building. Perfect!

Article provided by www.georgeide.co.uk, an independent full service law firm that has been offering specialist legal advice to clients from the London & Chichester offices since 1966.

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