Finding a site for your business

Finding a site for a business is often crucial to its success. Here is a checklist to help you.

For entrepreneurs who only need a small office, a PC and a phone, choosing a site does not pose any problems. The situation is different when the start-up is a store or an industrial business.

The three main factors

The choice of location firstly depends on the sector and the economic environment. Three factors should be considered:

  1. Demand: Is there a clientele in the chosen operation area?
  2. Accessibility. Is the traffic situation suitable for the customer base? Depending on the sector, customers’ mobility requirements can be decisive. In the catering, retail and other tertiary sectors, location is hugely important. In conurbations or rural areas, a business should be easily accessible by car and provide enough parking spaces. In towns, however, access to the site on foot and via public transportation is a real advantage. Premises close to shopping centers, banks and competitors are advantageous. Unfortunately, the best locations come with high rents. Locations further away from customers are admittedly cheaper but entail significant advertising costs.
  3. Safety and convenience. To run a location as a business, a permit granted by the authorities is usually required. In addition, most businesses are based in areas where specific rules have to be followed. For detailed information about operating a business, contact should be made with the planning authorities.

Depending on the sector, other factors may influence the choice of location, such as the rate of taxation.

Economic development

Local economic development plays a significant role in the choice of location. A large number of communes and cantons try to entice young entrepreneurs with attractive offers.

Technoparks are particularly appealing. They offer entrepreneurs a low-cost infrastructure and the know-how of businesses belonging to the same sector.

Choosing a location according to your requirements

To find the ideal location for your business, a structured approach is recommended. Outline a profile in which you list all points by importance to create a clear picture of your requirements. 

The site

  • Transportation (public and private)
  • Proximity of customers, suppliers and partner companies

The location

  • Access, parking, loading options
  • Competition
  • Neighborhood, surroundings

The premises

  • Size and number of rooms
  • Layout and types of rooms (warehouse, conference room, access, footprint, etc.)
  • Architectural conditions
  • Possibilities for modification

The infrastructure

  • Communications (telephone, data transfer, etc.)
  • Water and electricity
  • Kitchen, toilets

The rent

  • Rent, charges
  • Cost of renovations
  • Term of lease


  • Price
  • Viability
  • Building regulations


  • Tax burden
  • Tax relief


  • Salary levels
  • Availability of qualified staff
  • Local consolidation
  • Costs imposed by public authorities
  • Plans of commune


Last modification 02.07.2020

Top of page