There are a number of reasons why a business owner may feel the need to relocate within, or outside of, its state of operation. A business may experience a decrease in cash flow as consumer trends change, or an owner may feel as though their business needs to branch out into new markets. Moving a business can be one of the most influential factors on growth, as it can present new and unanticipated opportunities.
However, when business owners do not properly plan for relocation they may find that things do not go as well as expected. Setbacks often occur after a move as a result of making rushed decisions about location; unrealistically budgeting for costs of relocation; and failing to adequately conduct governmental, regulatory and environmental research about the new jurisdiction.
Create a Plan
When in the initial phases of planning for relocation, it is important to make a list of the explicit reasons you have made this business decision, and what other locations may better suit your entity. Gather information from real estate brokers, other small businesses, economic development agencies and chambers of commerce about the new locations you are assessing. Make a list of specific criteria and develop questions based on your objectives.
Making the Move
After you have conducted your due diligence, consider how you will move your business and what steps you need to take both physically and digitally to ensure operations transfer smoothly. This phase of relocation includes deciding what physical property—such as equipment and inventory—is essential for the move, and what can be sold off to save transport costs.
It may be beneficial to assign a trusted business associate the task of overseeing this transition. This responsibility can include facilitating contracts for moving companies, overseeing the transport of inventory, and arranging for computer/tech support and utilities to be functioning at the time of the move.
Once all of the details of the relocation have been sorted out, consider the effect that the move will have on your business’s digital presence. It is important that you properly adjust the address on the business website and social media platforms. This is vital to preserving your digital brand, and for attracting customers in your new market, as more consumers are using search engines to find businesses than ever before.
Consult a Business Attorney
There are many aspects of relocating a business with which an experienced business attorney can assist you. In addition to having legal counsel review your vendor contracts and lease, there will be different obligations that you will need to consider and fulfill with state and local governments about which your attorney will be able to advise. The first and most important step in the relocation process is to retain an attorney who can guide you through the steps, while having your best interests in mind. Contact the business law attorneys at SLH for more information, or to schedule a consultation.