Moving a business

Moving to a new commercial space?  Here are some thoughts to keep the process as smooth as possible.

The search for a new office, retail, or industrial space is an important process, both to ensure that the subsequent space is in an advantageous location and is the appropriate size.  What is the reason for the move?  Are there any goals you are trying to accomplish, or any particular requirements that the new space must satisfy?  Is the new building maintained properly?  Is the relationship with the prospective landlord a positive one?

Signing a lease typically is a decision that will impact the business for several years, so the choice should be made thoughtfully.  It may be worthwhile to work with a broker who is familiar with the buildings and the market trends.  He can help the business determine the most important factors that need to be present in the new space, identify buildings that best fit the criteria, and be a point of contact with prospective landlords during the search phase.

Not every business is appropriate for every location.  Before signing a lease, make sure that the use, occupancy, and any non-compete restrictions will not impede the intended type of business or practice.

Research the moving company to make sure it is reputable and without a lot of complaints.  Also, if you have equipment leases or servicing agreements, find out whether the equipment can be moved with the general furnishings and office items, or whether separate arrangements are required.

Some larger buildings within the City of Chicago have specific times, fees and rules that govern moving in or out.  Also, proof of insurance coverage may be required before the move.  Be sure to find out what they are in advance, so that you can coordinate the timing and other requirements with the movers, make any necessary reservations, and obtain coverage as needed.

Finally, make a list of the services used at the business before the move.  Provide each with updated contact and billing information to ensure a smooth transition to the new location.  Also, be sure to arrange any internet, telephone, technology and utility services, and update contact and marketing materials in advance, so that they will be ready to go in the new location.