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What Retail Business Owners Should Know about Zoning

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Retail business owners have a lot on their plate. Understanding laws about zoning of their brick and mortar store is an important part of business success. If you are in the process of launching a new business, what do you need to know?

Choosing Your Business Location

Your business location is extremely important. Choosing a location that appeals to customers and allows easy access to anyone who might be interested in your products is of course critical. However, your location requires more than just consideration of customer appeal or convenience. You must also consider the zoning rules and requirements in an area.

Zoning laws define how structures can be built on a property and how those structures can be used. For instance, zoning laws can govern the height and position of your store on a piece of property, in addition to determining what type of business you can conduct in that store.

Zoning laws are created by city or county government officials, usually with the assistance of a planning commission. They divide parts of a community into districts or zones and determine whether each zone will be used for agricultural, residential, industrial, or commercial use. It might be possible to receive permission to use land for an alternate use than its originally zoned purpose, but you will need to request a special or conditional permit.

In order to choose an appropriate location for your business, you should determine what the zoning restrictions in your business location are. For instance, you might have the option of opening a business in a particular area, but face restrictions concerning what you can sell from that location. It is extremely important you understand the rules governing what type of business you can conduct in an area. The last thing you want to do is rent or purchase a property only to learn you cannot sell your particular product from that location.

You should also determine whether you will have the option of altering the zoning for the location to meet your needs in the future should your business grow or change.

Getting the Support You Need with Zoning

Launching a business requires you submit a series of applications and requests to local authorities. Smart business owners will seek the support of an experienced attorney that can assist with this process. Having assistance reduces the odds your various requests, including zoning permits, will be rejected. Your attorney can assist you if your requests are rejected or if you need to request a change to a current zoning restriction, or he or she can help you if the city or county makes zoning changes once your business is running.

If you are in the process of launching a business or you need assistance with zoning issues, contact Miller and Steiert, P.C. to schedule a consultation.

 

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