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Questions to ask when picking a facility for your new business

So you're ready to launch your new business. You have your business plan, you've researched the topic as much as you can, and you want to go out and buy or rent a facility so you can really get started. This is an exciting time, but it's important to consider your new facility very carefully. Here are some questions you may want to ask.

1. Is there enough parking? Consider your clientele carefully. Are they going to be willing to park at meters, or do you need a dedicated lot?

2. How is the facility zoned? Do the zoning laws allow you to use it in the way you are planning? The last thing you want is to make the purchase and then find out it's zoned in a way that means you can't start your company.

3. What type of repair work do you need to do? There's a huge difference between a building that's ready to go tomorrow and one that needs six months of work before you can open your doors. Even if you don't have to do repairs, consider what work needs to be done to make your specific business possible.

4. What will the landlord pay for? If you're renting, some landlords will pay for repairs and improvements, while others won't. Always make sure you know before signing the lease.

5. Are there any time-related restrictions? For instance, are there restrictions on business hours or when employees are allowed to work?

6. What other clauses are in the lease? With some leases, for example, you can have a clause that allows you to break the lease if sales are too slow, while others lock you in for a year.

Finding the right commercial real estate can be tricky, but the key is to do your research and ask all of the right questions in advance. Be sure you understand any local laws and ordinances that can impact the business and the legal side of signing a lease or a purchase agreement.

Source: FIndLaw, "Choosing a Facility Checklist," accessed Oct. 20, 2016

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