The Definitive Guide to Setting Up Your First Business Premises

Most students start off running their businesses online, from their dorm rooms or maybe from their garage at home. But there comes a time when you’ve outgrown your small setup, and you need to find a larger, dedicated place to run your business from. Depending on what sort of premises you need, you might set them up while you’re still a student. For example, if you just need some more storage space, it’s easy for you to manage that sort of venture while you complete your studies. However, it’s more likely you could be gearing up to do it as you approach graduation, especially if you’re opening something like a store front.

Deciding to move into official business premises is a significant decision. It can be very costly and become one of your biggest expenses. You should think carefully about whether it’s a necessary move for you to make. If you do choose to start setting up somewhere other than your bedroom or garage, try these tips to find somewhere suitable and customize it for your business.

Cost and Purpose

Your business premises are likely to be a significant expense for you, so you need to make sure you’re setting them up for the right reasons. You might need somewhere because there’s no space in your bedroom, or you want to separate your business more from your home and student life. Some business owners also find that they need more storage space if they ever want to expand their business. Perhaps you’re currently keeping your stock in the garage or under your bed, and it’s starting to take over all your spare space. If you first work out what sort of property you need you, you can make sure that you’re able to afford it. There are lots of options for finding somewhere from which to operate your business. It doesn’t have to be a huge office or warehouse.


Marja van Bochove

Temporary or Permanent?

When you know you’re ready to move your business somewhere new, will you look for somewhere you can stay for a while or somewhere more temporary? If it’s your first business premises for a fledgling business, it’s better not to commit yourself to an extended lease. Temporary and flexible options are much more suitable. For storage space, there’s no need to look for massive amounts of warehouse space to rent. You could use self-storage units or even rent someone else’s garage. And if you need office space, there are a few different options you could try. When it’s just you on your own, you can look for places where you can hire a single desk space for however long you want. Many places allow you to rent daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly. However, if you have employees and need more room, you could try a larger coworking space.

If you want to set up a storefront, your options could be less limited. For a cheaper alternative, a market stall could be an excellent idea. You could also rent a unit in a retail park or mall, instead of looking for a free-standing store. You may also be able to find a space to use for a pop-up business. If you’ve been running a retail store online, think carefully about whether moving to the high-street will work for you.


The location of your premises varies in importance, depending on what sort of company you run. A business that relies on foot traffic from passersby needs to be in a prime location for people to see it and be curious enough to look inside. You need to be somewhere busy, but not too close to any competitors. But if you want storage space or an office, you’ll be more worried about how close it is to you and any employees you may have. If you’re still studying, you’ll want somewhere close to your dorm. However, you may be looking for a temporary location for a project during the summer.

How to Start Looking

As well as the location and the type of premises you need, there are other things to think about. You need to set a budget and think about the layout and appearance of the building that you want to use. Some of these things are less important if you just want storage space, but they’re still worth thinking about. When you have an idea of what you want, you can start searching. There are several places that you can look, including in newspapers, online and trade press. It’s important that you don’t go for the very first property you see. View as many places as you possibly can, and when you find somewhere you like you should negotiate hard.

Design and Branding

The design and branding of your new business location are significant, whether you have customers come to you or not. If you have employees or will ever have clients or business collaborators visit you, they will notice whether the interior suits your business. Your offices or store can say a lot about who you are as a company, so the personal touch is essential. Whether it’s hanging Virginia neon signs in your window or painting your office in your brand colors, it can have a prominent effect on the image and atmosphere you project. If you haven’t given a lot of thought to your branding before, now is the time to do it.

Safety and Security

Setting up your business in its new home isn’t just about making it look good. The safety and security of the place are critical too. Firstly, you should make sure you’re complying with any local and federal laws regarding safety and health. This is especially necessary if you have employees or regular visitors. You also need to take measures to secure your business against any criminal damage, accidents, and disasters. It’s your responsibility to make sure you run your business safely and efficiently. Pay close attention to any potential dangers and protect your new premises from damage.


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