As any business owner knows, the easier it is for customers or clients to get to your business, the more traffic, and profit, your business will see. In fact, location and accessibility were probably primary factors in where you decided to establish your business.
What happens, then, when the local or state government embarks on a project, like a road widening, that is supposed to benefit the public, but suddenly diminishes customers' access to your business? Even if the disruption is only a few months in duration, the loss of profits for that time period can send your business into a tailspin.
You probably know that if the government needs to take or use part of your property for a public purpose, you are entitled to be paid for the property that is taken and the loss of value for your remaining property. What you may not know is that this generally does not include compensation for lost profits. No matter what your business is worth, the government will probably offer to pay you only the general market value of the land on which it stands.
If you are being forced to relocate your business as a result of a government project or taking you may be entitled to relocation and reestablishment payments from the government. These are often paid tax-free and can be a nice incentive for a business facing a bad situation.
If the NCDOT or other government agency wants all or part of your land, on a temporary or permanent basis, proceed with caution and make sure you ask the right questions about what is going to occur and for how long. Even a seemingly simple comment about what may happen by a government agent may mean a major unforeseen issue to a business owner. If you are a tenant, be sure to review your lease to see what rights you may have with respect to your landlord.
Remember that the government has attorneys who do nothing but advise and advocate for them in eminent domain matters. You and your business deserve the help of a law firm that represents only landowners. Before you speak with a government representative, contact The Odom Firm to learn how to protect your rights without risk.
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information that Business Owners need to know.