Location… Yeah, Still Important

Choosing a place to set up shop? Here are some things to think about before you sign on the dotted line.

Tax incentives: Many cities have enterprise zones where businesses can enjoy lower taxes. Ask the local chamber of commerce or your city’s business development office whether any tax havens exist in your city or one nearby.  

HUBZone Program: The federal government has set aside procurement opportunities for businesses located in certain urban or rural communities. Moving into a HUBZone can give you an edge in gaining those lucrative contracts. 

Traffic patterns: Do you need an area with lots of foot traffic, or will most customers drive to your location (meaning you’ll need plenty of parking)? Ask your commercial real estate agent for traffic data.

Utilities: Be sure you know what costs are covered in your lease. Is the building set up for high-speed Internet? Are janitorial, groundskeeping or maintenance costs included? 

Exclusive use: Always ask the landlord for “exclusive use”—a restriction on leasing part of the building to similar businesses. Otherwise a competitor can move in and threaten your small business.

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