Can The Government Take My Business Under Eminent Domain?
If your business is in the property area marked for a public project – like highway construction or redevelopment – the government can take the property on which your business is located and require your business to be relocated.
The government takes ownership of the property for your business; it does not take ownership of the business itself. However, in many cases, the building, the property and the location are critical to the identity and success of the business.
Commercial real estate is often in a prime location along major roadways or areas of development, making it vulnerable to eminent domain projects. Road widening, highway construction, and utility projects can all take established businesses as their victims.
Just Compensation For Business Takings
When the government takes part or all of the property your business resides on for eminent domain projects, it must pay you just compensation for your business (or just the portion that is necessary for the project). Typically, “just compensation” is defined as the fair market value of your property – not the business itself.
Under North Carolina law, the condemning authority (the agency responsible for taking your property) is not typically required to pay business owners for lost profits, rents and related expenses.
A qualified North Carolina eminent domain lawyer can advise you on the details of your individual case and tell you if the circumstances may qualify you for additional compensation.