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Small Business Relocation: 3 Moving Tips That Can Protect Mom And Pop Businesses From Liability And Losses

Small businesses, like 'mom and pop' stores, are great for the local community, as 52 to 79% of money spent there stays within the local community. If you're running a standard 'mom and pop' business against some of the larger corporate giants out there, reducing overall business expenses may be the key to long-term business survival, especially since the competition may seem so intimidating at times. Moving to another part of town with lower rent may help; however, the moving process can be tedious and a lot of work. This is where commercial moving services step in. Don't just hand over the keys to your business, as many complications may arise during the moving process. Here are 3 moving tips that can help you to protect your business from losses.

Always Get a Written Estimate Outlining the Duties of the Moving Company

Although it may not seem necessary at the time, don't forget the paperwork. Verbal agreements may not necessarily hold up in court, which is why you want to make sure you get a written estimate from the moving company that details every service that they will be providing you. 

Estimates come in two forms: binding and non-binding. If you opt for a binding estimate, the moving company will not be able to charge you a cent more for the services that they have agreed to provide in the contract unless unexpected circumstances arise. Even then, the moving company cannot charge you extra without written consent. On the other hand, if you opt for a non-binding estimate, you may get a better deal since the moving company does not feel pressured to give an exact amount. Your business will still be protected with a non-binding estimate, as the moving company can only charge at most 10% more than what the estimated cost was.

Have the Moving Company Record the Inventory Being Moved

It might seem simple enough. Your business may not be moving far. In fact, you might only be moving your business down a couple of streets to enjoy lower rent or take advantage of a busier part of town. Still, many complications and problems can arise. For example, the movers may accidentally drop expensive machinery or products during the move. Thankfully, your moving insurance should cover these unexpected damages; however, you want to make sure that you get the moving company to record the inventory that they move. This includes the type of product or item being moved, the amount being moved and, most importantly, the condition. You want a representative of the moving company to be there when everything is being packed and later on as well when everything is getting unpacked.

Make sure you keep a copy of the inventory list. This will be a very important piece of document should anything go wrong. It will basically be the proof that the insurance company needs to compensate you. Without conducting the inventory formally, you may expose yourself and your business to unnecessary liability.

Take Out The Right Type of Insurance 

While most people don't forget to purchase moving insurance, a lot of people are not familiar with insurance jargons and may actually end up purchasing the wrong type of coverage. For example, some insurance policies will compensate business owners a set rate instead of the actual value of the products that were damaged. Other insurance policies may have terms and conditions surrounding the extent of the damages that must have been sustained, along with how the items were damaged.

Generally speaking, most commercial moving companies should have a separate department with a representative that can give you some information regarding the type of insurance policy that you'll need.


As a mom and pop business, you're going against some pretty large corporations, and complications during the moving process can easily cost you a lot. Make sure you take the appropriate steps needed to protect your business and to reduce potential future liability.