If you’re setting up a business in the UK for the first time, you’ll probably need to invest in a suitable commercial property. But what exactly should you be looking for?
Starting a brand-new business in the UK can be a daunting prospect, particularly if you are coming from overseas. There is plenty to consider, including any specific industry restrictions, the methods you use to employ your staff, and any UK business immigration laws.
In addition to this, you’ll also need to consider investing in an appropriate commercial property. While remote working has become a more conventional approach as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s still important for most businesses to have a base of operations, such as a central office.
In this post, we discuss everything you should be looking for when it comes to commercial properties in the UK, including what potential employees will be interested in so you can attract a keen workforce right from the moment you set up your new business. So, to find out more, make sure to read on below…
7 Things You Should Look for in a UK Commercial Property
Location is arguably the most important factor when it comes to choosing a commercial property.
On a wider scale, if you’re setting up a business in the UK, you’ll have to consider where you want to set up camp. You’ll have plenty of options at your disposal, and each will come with various pros and cons.
For instance, you might initially think that opting for a commercial property in a city like London may be the best approach. This will mean you have access to a wider pool of skilled employees and there will be countless transport options, but the property itself is likely to be very expensive.
On the flip side, commercial property in a rural area will certainly be cheaper, but it may be tricky to attract the sort of employees you’re looking for. It’s all a very careful balancing act that you’ll need to carefully assess before you make a decision.
On a more focused scale, once you pick the area you want your commercial property, you’ll need to consider its location with respect to transport links. It’s no good investing in a commercial property that none of your employees will be able to easily reach.
2. On-Site Facilities
What sort of facilities do you want your commercial property to have? Of course, this will be determined by your budget and what industry your business operates in, but it’s a good idea to consider what you’re looking for at an early stage.
For instance, do you have the capacity to look for a commercial property that has catering facilities? Or are you simply looking for the bare minimum?
The answers to these questions may also be determined by your approach to remote working. There’s no use in spending extra money on a commercial property with fancy facilities if no one is around to use them most of the time.
3. Contract Length
If you’re leasing commercial property, you’ll be tied down to a contract that details exactly what you can and can’t do, as well as how long you can use the property. You should pay close attention to the contract length when you’re looking for a suitable commercial property, as the wrong contract could have serious knock-on effects.
For instance, if you’re in a contract that is too long, you may be stuck having to pay more than your business can afford, or be unable to expand if you’re experiencing great success.
4. Growth Potential
It’s a good idea to think about your short and long-term commercial goals when you invest in a commercial property. Do you plan to simply establish yourself in the UK for the first few years? Or have you got aggressive expansion plans in mind?
These sorts of questions will influence the type of commercial property you choose. For instance, if you want to quickly develop, you don’t want to find yourself trapped in a property that will quickly be unfit for purpose as your operations expand, right?
5. Property Flexibility
What purposes do you want the commercial property to serve? If you simply need a roof over your employees’ heads, then you only need your commercial property to serve one function. But, if your UK business will require commercial property to serve multiple functions, you need to factor this into your search.
Many commercial properties are likely to come with certain covenants that prevent you from being able to make certain changes to the property, such as building extensions or knocking down any internal walls.
6. Interest Rates
When you’re considering a commercial property, you should keep a close eye on interest rates as, in the UK, they are constantly fluctuating. It’s a good idea to take advantage of properties with relatively low-interest rates, as this will allow you to protect your initial investment.
7. Accessibility Options
If you want to attract a diverse workforce, you should make sure to prioritise finding a commercial property that has plenty of accessibility options. This could include wheelchair access and functioning lifts.
This is also important if you expect to receive visits from clients, partners, and customers. The last thing you want is for your commercial property to be inaccessible to anyone who has specific requirements.
What Else Are You Looking for in a Commercial Property?
If you’re ready to set up a business in the UK, the tips in this post should help you in your search for a suitable commercial property. It’s not an easy task by any means but, with some careful planning, you should be able to find a property that’s perfectly suited to your commercial endeavours.
Is there anything else you think a business owner should be looking for in a UK commercial property? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!