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Eminent domain and your small business: How to protect your legal rights

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2020 | Uncategorized |

For most small business owners, it sounds like something that would never happen to them. Most people do not have reason to believe that the government will one day take their commercial real estate under the concept of eminent domain.

Unfortunately, this could happen at some point, especially if your property is in close proximity to a major highway in line for expansion. The government has the legal right to take the property that houses your small business, no matter who the owner may be.

On the plus side, this does not mean that they actually take over your business. You still own that, but you will have to operate from a different location in the future.

Your property may be a significant part of your business

In many cases, the property itself is a big part of a company’s success. For example, your customers may have come to know you by where you are located. Or maybe you get a lot of walk-in traffic from people who drive by your building.

Here are some of the other ways that losing your location can affect your business:

  • You customized your space to match the specific demands of your business and industry
  • The value of your real estate is much higher now than it was when you purchased it
  • It is difficult to find a similar piece of real estate in the same general area

Should you hear from the government and come to realize that they have plans to take your real estate, it is time to look into your legal rights. The sooner you do this, the better chance you have of formulating a plan for obtaining fair compensation.

The first thing you want to do is determine if the condemnation is legal. For example, if the government does not intend to use the property for public use, you may have grounds for fighting back.

Even if you are unable to stop the condemnation process, you still have the right to pursue fair compensation. You do not want to simply give your real estate to the government and move on. Making a compensation claim is critical to helping you recover from this change.