Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and move your home-based business to a commercial office space there are a number of decisions you’ll have to make. First, where will you go and what facilities will you need?

Taking an office close to your home and your employees’ homes is always a good bet, as it will cut down both on gas costs and on driving time. An office outside the home should provide a comfortable space–such as a conference room–where you can meet with customers and employees, particularly if one of your motivations for leaving home is to impress clients and appear more professional.

Be cautious about the length of the lease you sign, Robin Lasher, a consultant with the Tarrant County College Small Business Development Center advises, no matter how good a deal a landlord offers you on a long-term lease.

“Try to negotiate a one-year lease with a one- or two-year option if you have any reservations about your move or whether the space will meet your future needs.

Once you’ve settled on a location, draw up a list of costs to include in your budget.

You should include one-time costs associated with the move and the purchase of new furniture and equipment, as well as ongoing fixed costs, such as rent, insurance, and utilities.

Will the building provide adequate parking for you and your employees? Make sure you include parking costs in your budget.

A final expense will be changing your business address to reflect your new location and revising all your marketing materials.

Photo by ©hris.