What is 1031 Exchange? All Your Questions Answered

The 1031 Exchange was introduced to the Internal Revenue Code of the United States in 1921, to stimulate business and economic growth by providing relief to taxpayers through a deferral strategy. In the hands of a savvy and experienced investor, the 1031 Exchange is an excellent way to increase one’s buying power, expand one’s portfolio, and build wealth.  Section 1031 of the U.S. tax code is, however, a complex labyrinth of rules and regulations. 1031 exchanges are governed by strict IRS guidelines and can be quite complicated. This Q&A is intended to address some of the questions frequently asked by CRE professionals.

What is a 1031 exchange and how can I leverage it to my benefit?

If commercial real estate investors were required to pay tax every time they sold a property, it would limit transaction volumes, force longer hold periods, and restrict their ability to respond to – and capitalize on – changing industry and market dynamics. The 1031 exchange was designed to address these limitations by making it possible for an investor to buy and sell – or “exchange” – one commercial property for another, while deferring the capital gains tax payable on it. To qualify, the equity needs to be reinvested into a new property of equal or greater value. A 1031 exchange provides the flexibility to buy and sell more frequently, reinvest in more productive property, offload underperforming assets, and respond quickly to opportunities within the market. It is also an excellent depreciation reset tool.

What are the basic rules of the game?

To qualify for a 1031 exchange, the transaction must meet the following criteria: 

  • Both relinquished and replacement properties must be bought and sold by the same individual taxpayer or corporate entity. The only exception is a single-member LLC.Both properties must be held for investment or business purposes only. 
  • Both properties must be in the United States.The properties bought and sold must be “like-kind”. Most real estate assets qualify, but property purchased for personal use is generally excluded.
  • All proceeds from the relinquished property must be used when purchasing the replacement property. The replacement property must be of equal or greater value to the relinquished property: If the value is lower, surplus funds – sometimes called a “cash boot” – will be subject to capital gains tax.
  • A qualified intermediary needs to be commissioned to complete the exchange.Proceeds from the sale will be held in escrow by the intermediary and used to purchase the new property.
  • The property title holding cannot be altered or dissolved during the exchange process. 
  • The replacement property must be identified within 45 days and purchased within 180 days of the sale of the relinquished property. Under the “200 percent” rule, you may identify any number of replacement properties as long as their combined value does not exceed 200% of the value of the relinquished property. Under the “95 percent rule” you may identify any number of replacement properties, but you must close on all of them. 

What assets do, and don’t qualify for a 1031 exchange?

Assets bought and sold in a 1031 exchange must be considered “like-kind” – a misleading phrase that doesn’t quite mean what it implies in that properties do not need to be of the same size, composition, grade, or even asset class. You can exchange an office park for raw land for example, or a ranch for a strip mall. “Like-kind” refers more to the value of the property, than its nature and usage. The replacement property must simply be of an equal or higher value and purchased for investment or business purposes.

‍All forms of property can be exchanged, including raw land, multi- and single-family rentals, retail centers, office buildings, warehouses, industrial facilities, self-storage etc. REITs and other securities do not qualify for 1031 exchanges. Exchanges of former principal residences and vacation homes may be permitted under certain circumstances, and within strict guidelines.

What steps do I need to take, and within what timeframes, to complete the exchange process?

In a typical delayed 1031 exchange, the following steps and timelines apply:

  • ‍List your property for sale.
  • Appoint a qualified intermediary – one who is reputable, credible, and experienced – as they will play an important role in the exchange process. When the property sells, proceeds are transferred to the intermediary who holds them until the replacement property has been purchased. It is advisable to start your search for a replacement property as soon as possible; you only have 45 days to do so.It is common practice to identify 3 potential replacement properties unless you plan to invoke either the 95% or 200% rules.
  • Identify your replacement property and designate this in writing to your intermediary.
  • Conclude the purchase within 180 days of the sale of your relinquished property. (Note: the two time periods run concurrently, which means that you start counting on the closure of the sale, not the identification of a replacement property). 

The 1031 process ends when both the sale and the purchase have been concluded. In a simultaneous exchange, the sale of the original and replacement property must close on the same day.In a 1031 exchange, timing is critical.  

How long do I have to hold an exchanged property, and are there any limits on how many exchanges I can do at any given time?

For an exchange between related parties, properties must be held for at least 24 months; there is no prescribed length of time in an arm’s-length exchange providing that the property has been acquired for business or investment. There are no limitations on how many times a 1031 

Exchange can be entered into, providing that the investor has the necessary means to do so.  

What alternatives, if any, are there to the “like-kind” exchange rule?

While the traditional delayed ’like-kind’ 1031 exchange is the most widely used, there are a number of alternatives that offer tax deferment benefits:

  • A Reverse 1031 exchange allows for the replacement property to be purchased before the relinquished property is sold, providing that the investor has the necessary funds to complete the purchase. To qualify, you must transfer the new property to a qualified intermediary, identify a property for exchange within 45 days, and then complete the transaction within 180 days after the replacement property was bought.
  • A Partial 1031 exchange does not require all the proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property to be spent on the replacement one. The investor will, however, be required to pay capital gains tax on the reserved cash or cash boot.In an Improvement 1031 exchange, the replacement property can be purchased for less than the sale price of the relinquished property, providing that the remaining funds are used to make improvements to the property. 

The advantage of this exchange is that investors are not limited to existing opportunities; their exchange can fund the development of vacant land, reinvigorate derelict buildings, or build new residential communities.

Can I take cash out of a 1031 exchange?

The main purpose – and benefit – of a like-kind exchange, is to defer tax by trading “up or equal” in value, ensuring that there is no net debt relief. That said, there can be compelling reasons for wishing to generate cash from the transaction. A partial exchange is the most common means of doing so, but you will be liable for capital gains, depreciation recapture and other taxes. Two further options exist: either by refinancing the relinquished property prior to closing, or the replacement property after closing­: In the case of the former, an investor with high equity and low debt, may wish to finance or refinance the property, thereby pulling cash out, and closing with higher debt and lower cash equity. In this scenario, the investor essentially walks away with debt on the property paid off, cash in his pocket, higher debt and lower equity in his replacement property, and total tax deferral.   

To be clear: this is not a practice generally condoned by the IRS, but one could perhaps argue that if refinancing was done well in advance of the exchange, and not in anticipation of it, or if it was done for reasons other than to swap debt for equity – to mitigate cash flow problems or fund repairs or refurbishments, for example – then the investor should be able to refinance without fear of reprisal.  

The second option is to refinance the replacement property after closing, and this is perfectly permissible given that the investor’s position is no different to that of anyone else owning and paying off a property. 

Is the 1031 Exchange living on borrowed time?

Yes. And no. We can take some comfort from the fact that a total elimination of the 1031 exchange doesn’t appear to be on the cards. On the other hand, the proposed amendments and imposition of a $ 500,000 tax deferral cap, will definitely negatively impact commercial real estate trading, going forward.According to a study by Ernst & Young, “President Biden’s proposal will not only severely limit the property values that investors can use in an exchange, but also adversely impact the overall economy. While this proposal is intended to generate $1.95 billion in revenue for the government through taxing the sale of real estate, many people don’t realize that taxes paid and related to businesses using like-kind exchanges were already projected to produce $7.8 billion for the IRS last year”. 

There are many compelling reasons to leave the 1031 exchange just as it is – and many supporters lobbying congress – so we should remain hopeful that common sense will prevail. That said, you’d be well advised to prepare for some tightening of federal tax regulations in the coming months along with further restrictions on deferral thresholds. Stay vigilant, monitor any potential reforms closely, and start considering some alternatives – like qualified opportunity zone funds, tenants-in common cash-outs, direct purchases of triple-net (NNN) properties, and Delaware statutory trusts – all of which offer tax deferral opportunities.

When to Use Financing to Expand Your Business – Balancing opportunity cost and risk.

As a business owner, you know that growth is essential for success. But expanding your business can be expensive, and you may not have the cash on hand to cover the costs. That’s where financing can come in.

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether or not to use financing to expand your business. One is the opportunity cost of expanding. In other words, what are you giving up by not taking on debt? This could include future profits, market share, or even the ability to stay competitive.

For example, if you don’t expand your business, you may lose market share to your competitors. Or, you may not be able to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. In these cases, the opportunity cost of not expanding could be significant.

Another important consideration is the current state of your business. If your business is profitable and has a strong financial foundation, then financing may be a good option. However, if your business is struggling, then taking on new or additional debt is likely a high-risk decision.

Looking to buy instead of lease? A commercial mortgage can be used for many kinds of property, including warehouses, offices, apartment complexes, stores, and restaurants. And the scope extends beyond just purchasing a property. You can also use this type of financing for new construction, renovating an outdated structure, removing yourself from a lease, or refinancing for a better repayment term. Learn more about commercial mortgages here: 10 Considerations When Shopping for a Commercial Mortgage

If you determine that taking on debt to expand your business is the correct move, there are several different types of financing available. Remember, each business is different – it is crucial to evaluate your needs and expectations. Always consult a financial expert and conduct the appropriate research before making any financial decisions for your business.

Bank loans

Bank loans are a traditional form of financing that can be used to finance a variety of business expenses, including leasing a new space.

SBA loans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan programs that can be used to finance business expansion.

Venture capital

Venture capital is a form of equity financing that can be used to fund high-growth businesses.

Once you’ve chosen a type of financing, you’ll need to negotiate the terms of the loan. This includes the interest rate, the repayment schedule, and any collateral requirements.

Taking on debt comes with many risks. If you’re not able to repay the loan, you could lose your business. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider the risks and rewards before taking on financing to expand your business. 

If you’re not sure what types of financing you might be eligible for, Lendio gives you access to small business loan options from 75+ lenders. Lendio is a marketplace that shows you all of your loan options in one place. 

The opportunity cost of business expansion 

When you expand your business, you are investing in the future of your company. However, there is always the opportunity cost of expanding. In other words, what are you giving up by taking on debt and expanding your business?

Some of the potential opportunity costs of expanding your business include:

Future profits

If you take on debt to expand your business, you will have to make loan payments. This can reduce your profits in the short-term.

Market share

If you don’t expand your business, you may lose market share to your competitors.

Ability to stay competitive

If you are unable to expand your business, you may not be able to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.

It’s important to weigh the potential opportunity costs of expanding your business against the potential benefits. If you believe that the benefits of expanding outweigh the costs, then financing may be a good option for your business.

Evaluating opportunities, and risk

In addition to assessing the opportunity costs associated with expanding your business, there are several other factors to consider when evaluating whether or not to use financing to expand your business.

Your business plan

Before you begin expanding your business, or take on any new or additional financing, you must have a clear business plan. This plan should outline your goals for the future of your business, as well as how you plan to achieve those goals.

Your financial situation

Carefully consider your financial situation before taking on financing. Make sure that you have a strong financial foundation and that you can afford the monthly loan payments. Consult a financial professional if necessary.

The type of financing

There are a variety of different types of financing available, first evaluate your options then choose the type that is right for your business. For example, if you have a good credit score, you may be able to get a bank loan with a lower interest rate.

The terms of the loan

Once you’ve chosen a type of financing, you’ll need to negotiate the terms of the loan. This includes the interest rate, the repayment schedule, and any collateral requirements.

Expanding your business can be a great way to grow your profits and market share. But it’s important to carefully consider the risks and rewards before taking on financing. By following the tips in this blog, you can make sure that you’re making the best decision for your business.

How to Create a Work Culture that Supports Employee Mental Health

Mental health has always been important, but the need for supportive and empathetic workplaces has increased with the pandemic and the transition to unconventional work environments. Poor mental health can directly affect productivity and job satisfaction, which can lead to burnout and turnover.

With a record 4.5 million Americans quitting their jobs during the Great Resignation, it’s clear that people are more than willing to find new companies that support their needs. To retain top talent, companies must take care of their employees.


Now is the perfect time to revamp your company’s work culture and make it more focused on the emotional well-being of your employees. Here are a few ways you can start.


Recognize Your Employees

Sometimes supporting your team’s mental health is as simple as recognizing them for their hard work. Recognition is one of the lead drivers of employee satisfaction, which can lead to higher productivity levels. In fact, in a recent survey, 80% of employees claimed they would work harder if they felt they were being adequately recognized for their efforts.


Employee recognition often gets overlooked in the workplace, and when neglected can have a significant impact on your work culture. Making sure employees feel appreciated and valued for their contributions to the company can increase their overall satisfaction and engagement.


This can be in the form of a shoutout, award, fun event, catered lunch, etc. Offering positive reinforcement and showing gratitude to your employees can boost their morale and create an environment that values mental health.


Provide Financial Education

Finances are often a major cause of stress, resulting in poor mental health. Employees of all ages face various financial challenges, which have only been amplified by the effects of the pandemic and current events. For most people, their single job is their only source of income, which makes financial literacy even more important.


Although not directly tied to work, financial stress can still disrupt your team’s focus and productivity. It’s important to give employees proper education and resources to manage these hardships to foster a supportive work culture that values mental well-being.


This can be as simple as setting up a financial wellness program, where employees can gain the knowledge and resources they need to alleviate money struggles and fulfill financial goals. If a remote employee is looking to relocate closer to the office, a financial wellness program can help them figure out credit score requirements for a home. Similarly, if an employee has student debt, a financial program can help them create an action plan to help give them proper guidance to pay it off. Programs like this are a great way to provide employees with the help they need to lower stress and increase productivity, without breaking the bank.


Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is a vital part of a company’s culture and can also have a significant impact on employee mental health. Making sure employees aren’t overworked and have time to enjoy themselves outside of the workplace is key to supporting their emotional well-being.


Offering flexible working hours, remote or hybrid work options, and encouraging your team to use their PTO are all effective ways to promote a healthy work-life balance. These initiatives will allow employees to focus on their needs and mental health without feeling overwhelmed by work.


Offer Ways to Destress

Stress in the workplace is often inevitable, no matter what job you have. However, too much stress can be overwhelming and can quickly lead to burnout.


To help employees cope, offer them ways to de-stress during the workday. This could be creating quiet spaces and game rooms, offering meditation or fitness sessions, or giving them walk breaks during the day. Offering employees easy access and opportunities to clear their heads in the workplace can help lower stress levels and feelings of burnout.


Incorporate a healthier work environment, whether it be fixing the office or giving employees a stipend to improve their work from home set up, to help promote a comforting work atmosphere.  Increasing natural light, decorating walls with calming colors and designs, and providing ergonomic workspace options are great ways to create a healthier office environment. Although small, these efforts can show you care about your employees and value their mental health.

Take the time to listen and understand your employee’s needs. Once you’ve taken everything into account, you can facilitate a plan of action to create a supportive work environment. In the end, having a positive company culture doesn’t just help your employees, it helps your company as well.

Ready to start your CRE search? Explore listings on Biproxi.com

How Buying CRE is Different than Residential

Commercial real estate (CRE) is different from residential real estate. When most people think of buying a home, they think of finding the right house in the right neighborhood and making an offer. With CRE, it’s not that simple. There are extra factors to consider, and the process can be complex.

CRE Is Typically Bought and Sold as an Investment

Most people think of real estate as residential while overlooking CRE. While both types of real estate can be bought and sold for a profit, they are quite different. For instance, while people who purchase residential real estate often intend to live in it, the purpose of investing in CRE is to generate income. This income can come from renting out the space to tenants or from the appreciation of the property’s value.

CRE is usually financed with commercial loans rather than traditional mortgages. These loans typically attract higher interest rates and require a larger down payment than residential loans. As a result, buying CRE is a more complicated and risky endeavor than purchasing a home. However, if done successfully, it can also be much more profitable.

Looking for your nexts CRE investment? Start your search on Biproxi.com.

The Focus Is on the Bottom Line, Maximizing Profit for the Company

A significant difference between residential and commercial real estate is the focus of the purchase. When buying a home, individuals are focused on finding a property that meets their personal needs and wants. They may be looking for a certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms or enjoy a home with a big backyard. They will be considering decor-related issues like bed frame dimensions, mattress dimensions, and buying a medium-firm mattress.

In contrast, when companies buy real estate, they are focused on finding a property that will help them maximize profits. This means that they are looking for a centrally-located property with a high traffic flow large enough to accommodate the needs of organizations.

Properties Are Often Leased to Tenants, Rather Than Occupied by the Company Itself

With CRE, the company will typically lease the space to tenants rather than occupy it directly. As a result, it’s essential to consider the local economy and the availability of potential lessees when evaluating a commercial property.

Commercial leases tend to be longer than residential ones, so you’ll need to factor in the potential for a long-term vacancy when considering your investment. But if you do your homework and choose wisely, buying commercial real estate can be an intelligent way to build your portfolio.

There Is a Lot of Paperwork and Legal Red Tape to Go Through When Making a CRE Purchase

There is significantly more paperwork and red tape in purchasing in the commercial realm. This is due primarily to businesses being subject to a greater degree of government regulation than individuals. Buyers sometimes need to jump through many hoops to finalize a CRE transaction. However, working with an experienced broker can help streamline the process and make it as smooth as possible.

Commercial Properties Tend to Cost More

Another key difference is that commercial properties tend to be much larger and more expensive than their residential counterparts. Therefore, buyers must have deep pockets to enter the CRE market. But for those who do, the rewards can be significant. Commercial real estate can provide an excellent income and appreciation over time.

Location, Location, Location! CRE Deals Are All About Finding the Right Property in the Right Market

The adage “location, location, location” is just as valid for corporate properties as residential ones. The difference is that in the world of CRE, the focus is on finding properties that will be profitable. That means being in the correct market and finding the right type of property to meet the needs of the business.

A company seeking to expand its operations may seek a warehouse in an industrial park. A company looking to open a retail store would want to be in a high-traffic area with good visibility. Regardless of the type of business, the goal is always to find a property to help the company succeed. 

Do your homework to understand the local market before making any decisions. What types of businesses do well in the area? What is the vacancy rate? What is the average rent on similar properties? Researching these elements will give you a better idea of whether or not a particular location is right for your business.

Also, consider the type of property you need. As mentioned above, businesses have different needs regarding real estate. Make sure to choose a property that will suit the specific needs of your business.

Time to Consider CRE

CRE can be an excellent investment for those prepared to do their homework and navigate the process. While there are some critical differences between CRE and residential transactions, the rewards of CRE can be well worth it for those who are up for the challenge.

Ready to enter the CRE market? Read How to Navigate the Commercial Real Estate Buying Process.


Ready to start your CRE search? Explore listings on Biproxi.com

7 Best Ergonomic Chairs That Will Fit for Your Work From Home Setup

Since the exponential growth of working from home over the last couple of years, a lot of workers are deciding to upgrade their “work from home” setups. This is in part due to the uncertainty of their working situation moving forward and because a lot of these workers did not have a suitable office setup in their homes.

Before, these workers could move around in their office, go for lunch and get exercise through their commute every morning and evening. Now, they are spending more time in one place, and if that time is spent in a chair that is not designed for working, it can take a toll on their body. Dining room chairs and couches are made for lying back, not sitting up, and getting work done.

So, what can be done? The first thing you can do is change where you sit. Sitting at your dining room or coffee table in the sitting room is not a suitable workplace, and you will feel that in your back! A proper workspace that is conducive for productivity will consist of enough space for a desk and an ergonomic chair, along with accessories to further improve the user’s posture. Therefore, we have put together a list of the best ergonomic chairs for your work-from-home setup, it is an extremely worthwhile investment for your long-term health.

Best Ergonomic Chairs That Will Fit for Your Work From Home Setup

Here are our top picks for the best ergonomic chairs that will help you with your posture and keep you fully focused throughout the day.

1. HermanMiller Aeron

This extremely ergonomic chair comes with a high mesh back and head cushion, giving the user the option to rest their head while still maintaining good posture. You can get this model in three different sizes, small, medium, and large and they all come with a 12-YEAR warranty. Seat angle adjustment, adjustable arms, and adjustable lumbar support can all be added to this chair for an extra cost. A list of the best ergonomic chairs for your home office would not be complete without this option from HermanMiller.

2. Flash Furniture Mid-Back Ergonomic Office Chair

If you are looking for a more affordable option, this model from Flash Furniture comes in at a fraction of the cost of the above HermanMiller office chair. It features a breathable mesh back that has a curve to provide ergonomic support, padded arms that can be flipped up for a larger seat area and a thick (three-inch) cushioned seat. This chair can also be customized to the user’s preferences, with the backward tilt and the seat’s height both customizable, along with the ability to lock the chair in an upright position.

3. Steelcase Leap Executive Chair

This office chair from Steelcase can morph its shapes to perfectly fit the body that is sitting in it and to support all movements throughout the day. It has four-way adjustable arms, with the width, height, pivot, and depth being customizable. The lever that lives below the seat makes it easy to control the height of the seat and the rollers on the bottom are smooth for easy maneuvering.

4. Branch Ergonomic Chair

If a desk chair that skips all of the bells and whistles and just gives you the basics is what you’re looking for, then this option from Branch could be the right choice for you. This chair is less the half of the price of some of the other options on this list and can come in three different colors: Gray, Light Blue, and Black. It has seven points of adjustment, including lumbar support, seat depth, and tilt. The weight limit for this seat is 300 pounds, the mesh back provides breathability and the contoured seat cushion ensures a comfortable experience.

5. X-Chair K-Sport Mgmt Chair

This chair from X-Chair gives the user the ability to choose what it is using this chair for, with adjustability in the backrest height, headrest and optional footrest and wheel casters, among other adjustable features. The armrests move in every direction and the headrest and footrest both move to ensure that the user is as comfortable as possible. This company also claims that the chair is stain and spill resistant as well, but we would advise to not test that!

6. HermanMiller Sayl

This desk chair from HermanMiller has a distinctive look that will be sure to make your home setup pop. It can come in many different color combinations, like Black/Slate Grey and Fog/Studio White. The plastic webbed back (that is inspired by suspension bridges) ensures the user is cool and the supportive cushion gives great support and comfort. This is a more affordable option from HermanMiller and comes with the same 12-year warranty that the previous option on this list does.

7. Ficmax Massage Gaming Chair With Footrest

The only gaming chair on this list comes in at the end, but it will not disappoint. It can support up to 300 pounds and can rock, swivel or tilt. The retractable armrests and footrest will make sure that you are in the very best position to get the most work done or relax if you are taking a break (they’re important too!). It has a 4.8-inch thick cushion for extreme support and comfort for those extended working/gaming sessions.

So, what do you think of the above options for the best ergonomic chair for your work-from-home setup? Do you think you will be picking up any of the options listed above or do you have any suggestions that you think belong on this list? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!

10 Things to Consider in Choosing the Right Office Space for Your Business

Choosing the right space to operate your business is an important part of building your company. Your office space needs to be large enough to create an environment for your staff to work in comfortably, without exaggerating your overhead costs. To make sure you build the perfect working environment, here are a few things to consider in choosing the right office space for your business.

1. Do your homework

If you’re looking to buy commercial real estate for your business, you’ll need to inform yourself first. Scope out the area, find out why the building is for sale, and be sure to do your due diligence before you complete a purchase. If you aren’t sure where to begin, enlist the help of a seasoned commercial real estate broker to help you navigate the market before committing to anything. If you are looking to rent an office space instead, the same logic still applies. Be sure to find out why the space is for rent, ask to see the previous lease, and do your homework on the landlord.

2. Location, location, location

As with any other property, it’s all about the location. You need to pick a spot that your employees can travel to easily and is close to suppliers or customers you need to work with. The location of your business should simplify working conditions for you and your staff. Location is more important for some businesses than others, especially if you depend on walk-in clientele. But it’s always a good idea to find a location that is convenient for your staff, as well.

3. Look for meeting space

Before you settle on a location, make sure there is adequate meeting space. You will need conference rooms for privacy. The number of conference rooms you need will vary based on how large your staff is. Consider how many meetings go on simultaneously each week to ensure there is enough time for all of your staff to continue to thrive without interruption. If your office requires shared meeting spaces and media rooms, this is another thing to look for before you sign anything.

4. Ensure adequate parking is available

If there is no space for your employees to park, you may lose employees or have a hard time gaining new ones—especially if the location is not within walking distance for most of your staffers. The location you choose should have sufficient and affordable parking for your staff on the premises or nearby. If your location is in the downtown core, you can also try to make parking arrangements with a local parking lot to ensure your staff can park. If parking is a big issue, you may narrow your pool of candidates.

5. Make sure there is recreational space

Choosing an office space is all about work. Your employees need somewhere to unwind during break time. This is especially important if your location isn’t near local restaurants or cafes. A break room should be large enough to host your staff at lunchtime. It’s an added bonus if the office space has enough room for a couch, too. Find the best couch for you and your employees to relax on. This much-needed break time can actually make your staff more productive.

6. Ensure room for growth

An important part of selecting the right office space is choosing a location that offers your company room to grow. You won’t be moving your business once a year and you want your staff to grow healthily so your business can expand along with it. Account for some growth and ensure the space you choose will fit your team for the next five to 10 years, at least.

7. Consider costs

Whether it’s local taxes, rent, or other fees associated with the building you choose, ensure the costs of the space you move to are reasonable. You want to maximize the space you can get without exceeding your budget. If you are overpaying, you may end up having to downsize your staff or even your service offerings to keep up. To avoid this, set up a budget before you look for office space and be sure to stick to it.

8. Consider your business needs

Each business is unique. You may require a sample room whereas another business may need media rooms or conference rooms. To select the right space, you need to choose an office space that works for your individual business. Before you start the hunt, make a list of what your business needs most and look for these qualities in every space you visit. If a space doesn’t check all of your boxes, move on to the next one.

9. Check the facilities

If the building has common areas or common restrooms, verify them before you make it official. Ensure the facilities are clean. Your staff will appreciate having a clean and safe space to use. Facilities should be clean and up-to-code, as well. If the facilities are not in the best shape, move on to another office space.

10. Check the infrastructure

Does this office space you’re looking at accommodate the IT needs of your business? You will need a solid Wi-Fi connection for all of your staffers, phone lines, and other capabilities. You should ask the landlord about connectivity before signing a lease. If you are purchasing a building, have the building inspected to ensure it is safe and sold and that it can handle the electrical needs of your business.

A Guide to Commercial Real Estate Insurance for Your Business

In most major markets, commercial real estate leases in heavily-trafficked neighborhoods can explode a company’s monthly overhead. Besides the cost of the space itself, you may be on the hook for utilities, shared common area costs, security, supplies, and staff. But one cost that’s easily overlooked may be the most important: commercial property insurance.

For those in manufacturing, retail, and non-profits, this is a critical aspect in protecting your business from unforeseen accidents and incidents. While each industry (and the accompanying assets associated with each business) demand different costs for commercial property insurance, it’s important not to overlook this facet of commercial real estate leases. And as with auto or home insurance, it doesn’t hurt to shop around before securing a policy. 

Before you start your search for a suitable commercial property insurance policy, you should inform yourself with the ins and outs to ensure you know what to expect from your specific business requirements and to protect your company from undue burden.

Explaining the Basics of Commercial Property Insurance 

As with residential insurance, commercial property insurance covers a wide variety of danger and accidents, but it’s not a blanket protection. Most commercial property insurance policies cover common accidents, like theft, water damage, natural disasters, vandalism, and fires, but most importantly, these policies insure your property and resources within the building itself. In addition, they protect property your customers and employees bring into the store, signage, and branding items located within. However, it doesn’t protect you against lawsuits, so business owners should invest in general liability insurance to protect yourself against expensive legal fees related to your business. 

Who Should Secure Commercial Property Insurance?

Any business with a physical location should invest in commercial property insurance to protect the building itself, but even those who own their business and work from a home office should purchase commercial property insurance as well. 

Whether you have a commercial real estate lease or own the building outright (or are paying a mortgage), you’ll need commercial property insurance to cover the building. If you’re renting the property, the owner will transfer liability to you based on the square footage included in the lease. Before you can even sign a commercial real estate lease, you need to provide proof of commercial property insurance showing coverage amounts and the scope of the policy. 

Breaking Down Costs and Benefits

Depending on the value of your assets, including specialized equipment, computer systems, furniture, etc., your annual rate for commercial property insurance will differ. However, small businesses, such as coffee shops, boutique clothing stores, and bookstores, can expect to pay between $500-1000 per year. These rates are based on the construction materials of the building, distance to a local fire department station, and the nature of the business. Also, like residential property insurance, the rates will differ based on the value of the property and its contents- the larger your business, square footage, and the more valuable your assets, the higher your deductible will be.

To protect against accidental fires, water damage, flooding, and other natural disasters as well as man-made damages like vandalism and theft, commercial property insurance is an essential – and sometimes mandatory, as stated above – aspect of owning and operating a business of any size or scope. 

What’s Lessors Risk Insurance – and Why Does it Matter?

Lessors risk insurance is only applicable for building owners who maintain a minority of the property’s square footage and sublease the remaining area to other occupants. While building owners require commercial property insurance from tenants, lessors risk policies are an essential component of owning and operating a commercial building. These policies are less expensive than commercial property insurance, but still insure the property and its assets. 

What to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Commercial Property Insurance

As previously mentioned, commercial property insurance only covers certain aspects in the insurance world and shouldn’t be used as a blanket protection. If you’re about to start a business or open your first physical location, keep the following additional policies in mind to maximize your protection going forward:

Property Insurance

Whether you own the building you occupy or are leasing a space, you likely own several thousand dollars worth of business property, including computer systems, tools, equipment, and inventory to ensure continuity of business. Property insurance protects these assets against fires, theft, and other forms of damage. Optional features of these types of policies may also cover the loss of earnings as a result of incidents – which should be strongly considered by those seeking commercial property insurance policies. 

General Liability Insurance

This is the most basic and essential insurance policy in the commercial world, offering protections against damages and legal fees related to bodily harm or property damage to a third party on or off your company’s physical territory. General liability insurance is a crucial addition to commercial property insurance and should not be overlooked when considering a new facility for your company. 

Commercial Auto Insurance

For any company with vehicles under its name for employee use, commercial auto insurance is essential. Any vehicle that transports employees, assets, or proprietary information should be insured under these policies to protect against theft, accidents, and acts of God. Even if your company compensates employees for mileage and gasoline for their personal vehicles during business hours, you should invest in non-owned auto liability insurance in the event that an employee doesn’t have adequate insurance in the event of an incident. 

Business Owner’s Policies

These policies, otherwise known as BOPs, offer a bundle of business-related insurance policies, including business interruption, commercial auto, liability, crime/theft, and property insurance. Your rate will depend on your needs, but these are packaged to ensure business owners receive the best rate without having to invest in multiple policies from different providers. 

Professional Liability Insurance 

A professional liability insurance policy protects the company against any failure to render professional services – and isn’t included in a general liability insurance policy. Lawyers, accountants, consultants, and any other professional services provider should invest in this type of policy in addition to commercial property insurance. 

Data and Computer Systems Insurance

When a company collects privileged data, it has a legal responsibility to protect it. Should a data breach occur, this type of insurance would protect the company against damages and legal costs associated with any data loss, breach, or accidental disclosure of such information. 

Directors and Officers Insurance

This policy type protects employees at the highest levels of the company – C-level employees – against actions that could affect the profits of the company itself. Should their performance or actions while employed by the company demonstrate a legal risk or expose the company to a lawsuit, this policy would protect the company against damages and cover legal costs. 

No matter where you decide to set up shop, it’s important to factor in the costs of insuring your commercial real estate lease and property in order to protect your company from accidents, theft, and lawsuits – no matter your industry or area of focus.