Mistakes commonly made when choosing the location for a business

Choosing a business location can be a complex process, requiring owners to consider their commutes, business plans and much more.

Many enterprising people form businesses every year in California. Some of these companies survive many years and thrive. Unfortunately, however, quite a few do not and many times the location of a business has a lot to do with the business failing. Here is a look at some mistakes made when deciding on the location of a business.


Perhaps the biggest mistake owners make is rushing to select a location. That is, being so excited about a business idea that they neglect critical research on foot traffic, demographics, competitors, and parking, among other issues.

Then there is the issue that the business idea itself may not be viable. For example, a cupcake business owner may want to try working out of his or her home for a while to see how receptive potential customers are to the cupcakes. Otherwise, he or she may have invested thousands of dollars in a costly location for a cupcakes business that will fail.

Agreeing to an unfair contract

Many factors go into negotiating the lease or purchase of a location. For example, the space may need renovation and the landlord promises orally to pay $10,000 of the cost. It never gets into the written contract, which will make it hard, if not impossible, to enforce later. Or a landlord could even rent space in the same building to a competitor of the business. To avoid these types of mistakes, an attorney will advocate for a business going through contract talks or disputes.

Forgetting about zoning

Zoning requirements can be complex. Too many times a business owner has signed a lease and finds out that the leased space does not allow the zoning the business needs.

Mismatching with the owner's life

What also happens sometimes is that a business owner finds an excellent location. It really is excellent, maybe even perfect, that is, objectively speaking. Problems may arise when the owner realizes that the hour-long commute each way really is a pain, which cuts into the time that could be spent with family or on business matters. In such a case, a location much closer to home may have been better for this particular business owner even if a few compromises had to be made.

Location is one of the first considerations a new owner needs to address when opening a business in California. Sometimes it can be as simple as deciding to work from home or to share an office. Even then, a business such as making cupcakes or other low-risk food types requires approval. Other times, location gets more complicated and involves contract talks. An attorney's help can be invaluable in dealing with these important issues.