What do you need to ask before choosing a location?

You have your business plan, you have filled out your paperwork, filed documents, received the necessary licenses and permits, and now you are finally ready to find a building in Minnesota so you can open your doors to the public. But how do you choose a location?

Bplans.com notes that one of the major location considerations you have is whether any given location is zoned for your type of business. You may not be able to conduct any type of business on a property that is zoned for residential use only. The same is true for properties that are zoned for agricultural or industrial use. Even in areas that are zoned for commercial use, there may be restrictions on the type of business, parking or signage you can have.

Location can make or break your business if you are opening a retail business or a restaurant. You want to be near your target market, but you may or may not benefit from being in an area near other, similar businesses. Foot and vehicle traffic and accessibility are also factors. Regardless of business type, the location could also affect you if you are too far from your suppliers, or if there are safety issues. 

Regarding the building itself, you will need to evaluate the rent, utilities and other expenses, and whether they are reasonable given your budget. You should also check tax issues, such as property tax, and the rates for state income tax and local sales tax in that area. Minimum wage rates differ from one place to another, too, so you need to assess how much you would need to pay your employees.

These are just a few of the things you should think about before you choose a location. Because there are many other considerations that may be unique to your situation, this general information should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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