Plan a Business

Choose a Location

Determine Your Needs | Evaluate Your Finances


1. Determine your Needs

Many business owners choose a location based on what will provide them the most exposure. Also consider these factors:

  • Competition – Are the businesses around you complementary or competing?
  • Labor Market – Does the area have potential employees? What will their commute be like?
  • Supply Chain – Suppliers should be able to find you easily.
  • Safety - Consider the crime rate. Is parking close? Will employees feel safe alone in the building or walking to their vehicles?
  • Type of Facility - Do you need office, retail, or warehouse space?
  • Visibility -  Do you need to be visible and/or easily accessible to pedestrian and automobile traffic?
  • Zoning Regulations – These determine whether you can conduct your type of business in certain properties or locations. While the City of Houston does not have a formal zoning ordinance, restrictions may be in place through local deed restrictions. If you are considering a home-based business be sure to check if it is allowable under the existing deed restrictions.

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2. Evaluate your Finances

Besides determining what you can afford, you will need to be aware of other financial considerations:

  • Hidden Costs – Many spaces are not "business-ready". Include costs like renovation, decorating, IT system upgrades, and so on. Will an increase in ongoing expenses, for example, rent, require you to charge more for your product/service?
  • Taxes – What are the income/property/sales taxes?
  • Minimum Wage – The minimum wage is $7.25 per hour in the State of Texas.
  • Incentives – Your business location can determine whether you qualify for city/state economic development programs. For example, are you located in a high-need area?

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