Step 5: Choosing a Location for Your Business
Tips for Choosing Your Business Location
Choosing a business location is perhaps the most important decision a small business owner or startup will make, so it requires precise planning and research. It involves looking at demographics, assessing your supply chain, scoping the competition, staying on budget, understanding state laws and taxes, and much more.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right business location.
Determine Your Needs
Most businesses choose a location that provides exposure to customers. Additionally, there are less obvious factors and needs to consider, for example:
Brand Image – Is the location consistent with the image you want to maintain?
Competition – Are the businesses around you complementary or competing?
Local Labor Market – Does the area have potential employees?
What will their commute be like?
Plan for Future Growth – Anticipating further growth?
Look for a building with more space should you need it.
Proximity to Suppliers – They need to be able to find you easily as well.
Safety – Consider the crime rate.:
Will employees feel safe alone in the building or walking to their vehicles?
Zoning Regulations – Your business activities must match those defined by the zone.
Zoning: What Is It and What Do I Need for My Business?
Zoning is a legal mechanism that limits the use of privately-owned land to protect the health, safety, morals, and/or general welfare of the public. Zoning consists of maps which delineate different zoning classifications and written regulations providing the standards for each zone.
Pasco County and all it's cities have zoning requirements. You can first check to see if your chosen property is in a City or if it's in the County. If the property is in one of the Cities, you will need to contact their planning offices. Here is the link to an interactive map that has information about properties within the County: PascoView This interactive map does require Silverlight to work properly and operates best on Internet Explorer.
Using the Interactive Map
You can enter a property address, owner name, or even the property identification number to search, as well as zoom and pan around the map until you find what you are looking for under the search tab.
To find out the zoning, hover your mouse over the right hand side of the map tool that says ">>Show/Hide Layers." A drop down menu will appear. Next, click the box next to "Land Use Planning." This will pull down additional layers. You must be properly zoomed into the parcel for the "Zoning" box to be activated by another click of the mouse.
At that point, you should see multiple colors and codes appear on the map, such as R4, AC, MPUD, C2, I1,etc. This delineates the zoning for that particular parcel.
What Next? I Think I Know My Zoning, Can I Operate a Business There?
Pasco has made it easy to locate the regulations for its 28 categories. Please visit Chapter 500 of Pasco County's Land Development Code (LDC) here: Pasco Chapter 500. The LDC is set up in a manner that separates each of the zoning categories, and lists the permitted uses, conditional uses, special exceptions, and sometime prohibited uses. Match up the zoning category you found on the map and click on the link in the LDC Chapter 500.
Just to Make Sure
Sometimes, our mapping may not be accurate and some of the language may be confusing in the LDC. To confirm your zoning, please call 727-847-2411 and request to speak with someone in Zoning. If you plan on making improvements to the property you've selected, there may be a need to go through Site Planning prior to opening. The team in Planning will be more than happy to assist you with questions you may have about what else is needed so you can open your doors quicker!