Start Your BusinessCreate a Business Plan Finance Your Business Find a Location Register Your Business Choose a Name Building and Inspection Permits and Licenses Hire Employees Find a Location The ideal location for your business will depend on its type and needs. You can decide between a home-based business or a commercial location. As part of this decision, it's important to assess other important factors like zoning and building requirements, traffic, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access. When making a choice about where to locate your business, don’t miss these important steps! We strive to ensure safe and orderly development. There are multiple ordinances that govern property uses and construction in the City of Rutland. Failure to comply leads to a series of enforcement steps. We are here to help you avoid that! It is always best to call our office and check before fully designing your project. For more information about Zoning and Building Permits, please click here. The Treasurer's Office can provide real estate and business personal property tax information for prospective property buyers or new property owners. Please contact the Treasurer's Office at (802) 773-1800 option 9 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Site Locator Resources The Downtown Rutland Partnership maintains a list of available office and retail locations in the downtown area. The Rutland Development Authority (RRA) has a site locator for locations citywide. The Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC) maintains a list of available property across all of Rutland County. Zoning The City of Rutland, like most municipalities across the US, has adopted a set of land use regulations known as Zoning. The purpose is to regulate building size, types of uses, and other features of development in accordance with the character and desired future of each district as identified in the City of Rutland Master Plan. Before you make a final selection about the location of your business, confirm with the Zoning Administrator that your intended use and/or construction is allowable on the property you are considering. This step includes the issuance of a Zoning Permit. In some cases, additional review by the Development Review Board and/or Architectural Review Committee may be needed in order for a Zoning Permit to be issued. Therefore, it is advisable to take this step early on in your decision making process. City Zoning Regulations (PDF) Building and Zoning Permit Guide Zoning Map 2010 (PDF) Commercial Locations If you're looking for a commercial location, first create a list of requirements. As you scout spaces, be mindful of each site's potential impact on your business, employees, and customers. You can do this research online, at the library, by talking with locals and realtors, and most perhaps best, by walking the neighborhood yourself. Traffic Traffic in this sense refers to both drivers and walkers. For your business, especially if it is a restaurant or retailer, consider traffic information, including the number of people that pass by your location, at what times of day, and in which direction. Leasing Tips Research zoning Before signing a lease, confirm that you will be allowed to operate your business in location you are considering. If you commit to a location that cannot be used due to zoning regulations, you run the risk of losing your rent deposit or having to pay for a place that cannot be used. Inquire about hidden costs Very few spaces are business ready, especially for your specific business. Be sure to think about all build-out costs, including renovation, decorating, IT system upgrades, etc. Find out about ADA compliance Public restrooms and ground-floor entrances/exits must be accessible to be ADA compliant. If a location is not ADA compliant, the landlord must give notice. You will be responsible for other aspects of ADA compliance. Negotiate the lease Research similar locations in your area so that you have comparisons for market cost that you can show to your landlord. Knowledge of multiple locations will give you power to negotiate a favorable lease. Include contingencies While negotiating your lease, make sure to consider contingencies if things do not go exactly as planned. Ensure that it is flexible enough and specifically allows for delays in case it takes longer than expected to obtain your permits. Understand the lease Thoroughly review your lease in entirety, including how rent is calculated and quoted, the term of the lease, when it starts, and what happens if the property is sold. Depending on your business and the lease, you may want to have it reviewed by an attorney. Plan an exit strategy If possible, negotiate a lease that allows you to transfer your business to a new owner. With this clause, if something were to cause your business to fail, you could transfer ownership of the lease along with the business. This type of clause is called an assignment clause. Be involved with the community Engaging with your community is important. Take time to talk with neighboring merchants. You may also consider joining a local merchant association. The power of community support can be very strong.