- Do you need separate premises?
- If not, can you work from home effectively?
- If working from home:
– Do you need a separate phone line, broadband internet access, etc?
– Do you need planning permission?
– Do you know whether there are any capital gains tax implications of working from your home? Off to see my lawyer can advise you on basic taxation issues, and where necessary refer you to a specialist tax lawyer whose services we recommend.
– Have you discussed implications with other householders?
– Have you considered whether you will feel isolated?
– Do you have other home-workers to discuss work issues with?
- If seeking premises:
– How much space do you need?
– Does this allow for all your equipment dimensions?
– Does this allow you room for growth?
– Do you require any planning permission?
– Is location important to you and your customers?
- Purchase or lease: remember that purchasing your premises is essentially a separate business proposition.
- Lease contract:
– Get professional advice.
– Negotiate your terms: at the outset you have your best chance to get the lease you want.
– Ask about rent-free periods, break clauses, assignment rights, and rent-review terms.
– Make sure you understand the fundamentals: what upkeep and charges you are responsible for; who pays the insurance; and what your arbitration rights are.
- Asset financing: familiarise yourself with all the options, such as:
– contract hire;
– finance leasing;
– lease purchase;
– hire purchase;
– personal contract purchase.
- Insurance: double-check you have all your legal obligations in place:
– public liability;
– product liability;
– employer’s liability.
- Think through your other insurance risks:
– building and plant;
– professional indemnity;
– key staff cover;
– business interruption;
– credit insurance;
– transit insurance and so on.
- Risk mitigation: have you thought through a crisis management plan?
Please note that while we at Off to see my lawyer specialise in providing business law advice, we are trained in elementary property law. And for any property-related issues beyond our level of expertise, we can refer you to a recommended property solicitor.
Checklist Source: Start Up & Run Your Own Business: The Essential Guide to Planning, Funding & Growing your New Enterprise by Jonathan Reuvid (Kogan Page; 8th edition 2011)