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Commercial Property.

Brian McIntosh

New Member
I've been looking for a commercial property recently with a view to opening a portrait studio. A property has become available in my village that fits the bill. Being that this is my first venture into commercial property is there anything that I need to be aware of before deciding to go ahead with maybe trying to buy it? The inside needs totally gutted and rebuilt, maybe rewired and a couple of partitions built. Apart from the rewiring, which need a qualified electrician nowadays, I could do most of the work myself. The premises used to be a shop so do I need a change of use? The other fly in the ointment is that there is another photographer about 5 doors away but he specialises in weddings and I don't. His customer base would probably overlap with mine but a bit of competition is always healthy. It's a big step for me and i just want to cover as much bases as I can before making any commitment so any advice would be helpful.


Active Member
Verified Member
All I can really suggest is that you make sure you know what other expenses you're going to be exposed to.

Here's a few:

Business Rates (calculated on the Rateable Value of the property - but as a small business, you have discounts available)
Water and Water Rates (drainage etc.)
Insurance (obviously this will increase in cost, and you'll probably need more than just a standard insurance package if your clients are visiting you at the studio).

Hope this helps, but you probably already know these :D
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Hi Brian,

I think it's fair to say that even in the current climate demand for commercial property is still outstripping supply. You may be able to negotiate and this will increase the longer the property is vacant. I'd be careful you dont overpay.

I worked in a business a few years back where the owners had committed to leasing two floors of a new build office development. Within four weeks of me joining we halved the workforce and then were committed to this move. We ended up having all the staff in one half of one floor. Cost the business dearly.

Stuart makes some good comments, make sure you know ALL the expenses of the building. On the postive side it's a really positive step forward and a bold one. If you do decide to go down this route I wish you all the best with it and I hope it works out :)

Brian McIntosh

New Member
After thinking long and hard, I've decided to pull out. After another conversation with the sellers solicitor there has been a shed load of interest in the property, despite the price. I'm not getting into a bidding war at a closing date. My plans for world domination will have to be put off for a wee while.


New Member
Staff member
Where possible I would look to rent premises rather than buy them outright. In the vast majority of cases you could make the money work much better within your business to create a better return. There may be potential for long term capital growth on the premises but personally I think it could be better used expanding and building the business.

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