The Real Cost of an Office Move

We are frequently asked about how much it costs to relocate a business office. The answer varies based on the size of the business, location of the office, type and complexity of equipment and services that need to be transferred, furniture requirements, extent of preparations needed at the new facility, and whether you will be purchasing any new items, such as network equipment.

However, once you understand the various expenses involved, you can calculate your own relocation budget. Consider these major expense areas when determining your relocation costs.

  • New Facility Preparations–There will be costs associated with preparing the new facility for occupancy, whether it’s simply new paint and carpet, or full construction of the space. Sometimes, facility improvements are covered by the landlord as part of your lease agreement. Other expenses to prepare the new facility include installation of phone and data cabling, power outlets, signage, and security.
  • Equipment & Service Transfer Fees–Most or all of your equipment and services will require vendors to disconnect equipment and services at your current office and reconnect them at the new facility. The fees for these services can add up quickly. Work with each supplier to identify fees and determine options for reducing or even eliminating them in some cases.
  • Installation Fees–Furniture and wall-mounted items require installation. Systems furniture can be the most extensive, as the scope of work may include design reconfiguration, permits, new parts, disassembly and reassembly, and installing special cabling and power at the new site.
  • Moving Expenses–Fees for the general move usually include moving service, packing supplies, and move insurance. You might also need specialty movers for high-end art or oversized items that don’t fit through the doors. Also include fees for the disposal of excess items.
  • New Purchases–Determine if you need any supplemental furniture, equipment, or decorations to accommodate the new office. You may decide to purchase upgrades for furniture or equipment, as a move is generally a good time to make such changes.
  • Employee Relocation Expenses–For long-distance moves, include a budget item for employee relocation expenses for staff to relocate their personal life to a community near the new office. Some companies build in severance packages as well. For short-distance moves, consider a budget item for staff incentives to offset the inconvenience of a move.
  • Move Notification–How do you plan to notify people of your office move? The expenses could include creating a postcard announcement, a marketing or advertising campaign, reprinting business cards and stationery with the new contact information, and holding an open house to celebrate your new office.
  • Contingency Fund–Definitely include a contingency fund to cover any unplanned expenses that arise during the process. Plan for 5-10 percent of the total budget for contingency expenses.


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