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Does eminent domain apply to businesses?

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2021 | Real Estate Law |

Eminent domain is the process by which the government can take a property to use for public projects. They do have to pay fair market value for this property. That doesn’t mean there aren’t conflicts, though, as homeowners may not want to move or may feel that the sum they’re being offered isn’t really a fair amount. 

We have previously discussed how this law is used to take houses from legal homeowners. But does it also apply to a business? Can the government force you to relocate the business you’ve worked so hard on by taking your property? 

Eminent domain has a wide range of uses

In short, yes, the government can use eminent domain to take business property. Don’t just think of it as something used against homeowners. In fact, it has wide-reaching abilities and can be applied to land, airspace, homes, and even the contract rights that someone holds to a type of intellectual property. 

Will you lose your business entirely? That depends. The government is not going to take over ownership of your company. They want your land. You’re still the business owner and you can use the money you make from selling the property to buy more property at another location. 

Of course, there are situations where this proves impossible. Some types of businesses may need specific land that is hard to replace, for instance, or you may not be able to find another property that fits your needs. You still own the company, but you may have to close or sell. 

As you can imagine, there is a lot of uncertainty in a situation like this. Be sure you are well aware of your legal rights and what you can do to best protect your company’s future.