Running a business requires understanding all of your options and making decisions based on that knowledge. This holds true not just for more obvious aspects such as revenue, worker ability or market analysis, but also your property. You need to know not just the boundaries of your property, but how you’re allowed to use it.

One common suggestion for verifying property lines is through a survey. Here is an overview of what that actually entails.

The basics of a land survey

A land survey is a deep dive into the physical aspects of a property. The goal is to determine, as accurately as possible, the exact borders of a piece of land, including corners and features. This way, you can be confident about its shape before making any business decisions. A property survey might be used:

  • When a large piece of land is divided into smaller pieces
  • When someone is planning to develop the land
  • When there is a dispute over the boundary line
  • When a piece of land is up for sale

What happens during a land survey

At its essence, a land survey is about research. A licensed surveyor will gather historical property records (such as the deed or easements), previously created property drawings (including a plat map) and observations from in-person inspections to create a full, complete picture of the property and its boundaries.

Why is this important? First off, it can be used to ensure you’re making the most of your property, while also revealing any encroachment by an adjacent landowner. In addition, a thorough land survey can be a key piece of evidence if you get into a boundary dispute. Having a reliable reference can help in negotiations as you try to resolve the issue through your attorneys, and it can be equally useful if the dispute evolves into litigation.

Finding yourself in a bind after a neighbor claims your renovations overstepped the property line by a foot, or discovering you’ve been overlooking a useful area for years because you believed it wasn’t part of your property, can be frustrating.

At the end of the day, it’s all about doing whatever you can to protect your business investment.