Full Compensation For Business Owners

Full Compensation for Business Owners

Business damages is governed by Florida Statute 73.071(3)(b). The business owner is entitled to compensation for damage to or destruction of a business established for 5 years or more resulting from the taking of part of the property by a public body for a right of way. Florida courts have held that payment of compensation for damage to or destruction of a business attributable to a taking of property in condemnation proceedings as payable only when authorized by Statute. Florida Statutory provisions covering business damages were first enacted in 1933. The current statute on business damages states that to make a claim all of the following circumstances must apply:

  • The action is brought by the Department of Transportation or a county, municipality, board, district, or other public body.
  • The property is being taken for a "right of way". Right of ways includes roads, drainage facilities, levies, canals, and water control facilities.
  • Less, then the entire property is being taken.
  • Taking of a portion of the property damages or destroys an established business having a physical existence and continuous operation for 5 years or more at the location where the partial taking is alleged to cause the business damages.
  • The business is owned by the party whose property is being taken.
  • The business is located on adjoining lands also owned or held by the defendant and the remainder property is involved in some aspect of the business.
  • The damage or destruction is attributable to the loss of the use of the portion of the property taken

Business damages are not defined specifically nor or are they limited by F.S. 73.071, and may include loss profit, loss of good will, and costs related to moving and selling equipment. There is no formula approach to determine business damage and it is ultimately a jury question. However, generally accepted accounting principles must apply. Additionally, business damages must be distinguished from severance damages or the cost of relocating improvements on the property. Statutory damages are more in the nature of actual or prospective reduced or lost profits caused by taking a part of the property.

If the business does not own the land, but leases the premises from which it operates, it would ordinarily be entitled to compensation for the value of its lease, for any fixtures it has installed in the premises and for any loss or diminishment of value in the business because of the taking.

No matter what your situation, the variables governing full
compensation
due are complex, governed by numerous statutes and precedents. Only an experienced eminent domain lawyer has the resources and knowledge to sort out the nuances.

If you want to maximize your compensation, please call or email us today to schedule your initial consultation. Our condemnation attorneys represent private property owners throughout the State of Florida. We don't charge for an initial consultation and, in most cases, the government has to pay your court costs and our attorneys' fees.