Finding premises for your business is one of the most important decisions you will make. Getting the right premises will help your business operate effectively with fewer unnecessary costs.
Are you looking to relocate or expand into Oxfordshire? The Invest in Oxfordshire team can help you get set up in the county.
Below are some guidance points on how to find your ideal business premises:
- List what you're looking for - What do you need from your premises for your business to operate successfully? Factors to consider are:
- Location - a remote location can negatively affect your customers and staff. Good accessibility is also important (public transport, car parking, etc.)
- Size and layout - poor space and layout can affect staff productivity and limit future growth if you plan to expand
- Facilities - are there adequate facilities for your employees? (disabled access, water, power, toilets, drainage, etc.)
- Write down some locations you are willing to consider, along with a rough size of building you need and your other requirements.
- Assess your financial options - What can you afford? An important factor is whether you want to rent or buy.
- Buying can be beneficial, as you have the freedom to do what you want with the premises (e.g. layout and decoration). The premises may also go up in value, so you could make a profit if you no longer need it later or rent it out to another business.
The main costs will be:
- purchase price
- maintenance and repairs
- solicitors fees
- building surveys
- stamp duty
- Renting is the option most commonly chosen, as it is cheaper and more flexible. You can agree conditions in advance, and you are legally well protected. Be aware that commercial leases often run for a minimum of 15 years, so it is important you chose the premises that are right for your business. The main costs will be:
- Premium on the lease
- Repairs and maintenance
- Possible rent increases
- Always check the legal terms before you agree to anything to make sure there are no hidden clauses, obligations or costs, and make sure you are not committing to an overly-long lease. It is worth getting a commercial property solicitor to read through your lease or mortgage.
- Take into account your other costs, such as furniture, computers, phones, broadband, stationary, or vehicles. You may need to pay a company to move all your furniture into your new building.
When you're ready to explore the right premises for your business, get in touch with one of our District Navigators who can conduct a commercial property search to help you find suitable premises within their district.
Please click here for a list of innovation centres in Oxfordshire.
Working from home
Working from home can be much cheaper than renting office space. It is simple to start a business from home and growing numbers of people are doing it. There are 2.9 million home-based businesses in the UK and they contribute £300 billion to the economy. As part of its long-term economic plan to back businesses, the government has made it even easier to start a business from home.
To find out more download The Home Business Guide: a Guide to Starting and Growing a Business from Home here
Small business tax relief
Small business tax relief has been extended for a year. You can get small business rate relief if:
- you only use one property
- your property’s rateable value is less than £12,000
Contact an District Navigator to apply for small business rate relief.
You’ll get 100% relief (doubled from the usual rate of 50%) until 31 March 2017 for properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less. This means you won’t pay business rates on properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less.
The rate of relief will gradually decrease from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000.
Effective facilities management plays an important role to support the day to day functions of your business. You may decide to manage your business premises in-house, have these services provided as part of your rental package or chose to outsource facilities management services to an external provider.
Oxford Direct Services is a commercial division of Oxford City Council who offer services such as repairs, maintenance, recycling and pest control to businesses in Oxford and the surrounding areas. The video below gives an overview of the services they can deliver for local businesses: