When a person talks with a corporate real estate lawyer, it can be tempting to assume that property is property, but there are some big differences between how you'll deal with corporate and residential real estate. Check out six of the biggest ways corporate real estate law is distinct.
Corporate properties tend to be larger, and that alone makes the attached tax issues more challenging. Likewise, a corporation may have specific tax planning concerns in mind when it acquires a property. There are also frequently government-backed tax incentives for corporations to purchase certain properties or make particular improvements.
One of the biggest problems corporate real estate attorneys often have to sort out is zoning. If a company wants to make use of a location for industrial or commercial purposes, it has to confirm it legally can use the property for those purposes. If there are problems with how a site is zoned, you may have to go to the city zoning board to ask for a variance. Sometimes the board's recommendation has to pass council approval, too.
Corporate property owners frequently end up dealing with multiple insurance issues. If you're using financing to acquire a property, you may have to carry insurance that protects the institutions or parties backing the purchase. Likewise, you'll have to deal with everyday insurance concerns, such as acquiring coverage for fires, floods, and other possible disasters. Depending on the industry your business operates in, you may also need coverage for sector-specific concerns.
Leasing Out the Premises
Many owners don't need the entire space they control. To recoup some of the costs and keep the unused space from deteriorating, they may lease out portions of the property to others. Conflicts can arise, especially when there are common areas between what the owner and lessee are using.
Most corporate spaces are open, to some extent, to the public. This makes premises liability a bigger concern than you'll see in a residential setting. It's important to understand what your risk exposure is and to zone off areas that might be liable risks. This reduces the chances a member of the public might get hurt on the premises.
Some individuals and corporations may be limited from owning certain pieces of real estate. When this comes up, it usually involves foreign citizens or entities. You may have to seek regulatory approval and file some reports to government agencies before you can move ahead with an acquisition.
For help when purchasing or negotiating about corporate real estate, speak to a corporate real estate lawyer.