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Setting up practice premises

Establishing a suitable working environment not only influences the momentum within your practice but can also affect first impressions from clients and colleagues.

Decisions regarding the work environment of the practice include location, layout, furniture, equipment and office systems. They should be determined by what the practice can afford, what it adds to the practice in achieving its business goals, and how it addresses the needs of staff and clients.

The decision to purchase or lease an office will depend on the initial financial outlay of the practice and subsequent operating costs. Leasing may reduce the impact of capital demands, taxes, interest, insurance and maintenance, but ownership defines the office as an asset of the practice, part of which can be rented out to assist with loan repayments.

Practice options also include home office and shared premises.

Home office

  • Cheaper option, particularly for sole practitioners
  • Potential tax benefits (e.g. deductions for phone rental, business calls, internet usage, electricity and heating costs)
  • Consider costs of fitting out home office and business contents insurance
  • Check compliance with local planning and zoning laws
  • Consider employing remote (off-site) administrative support if necessary
  • Ensure you can be contacted as easily as any other practitioner

Shared premises

  • Rent rooms or offices with a group of practitioners and pay equally for the use of a communal area, reception and services (chambers practices)
  • Saves on costs of leasing, office equipment and reception facilities
  • Shared conference or meeting rooms for client consultations
  • Opportunity to derive work from co-tenants (whether legal or non-legal)

Frequently Asked Questions