Can commercial land and real estate be owned by an individual in California?

linux.poet

Active member
Sep 26, 2023
43
27
Recently I noticed a piece of commercial land for sale in my area and I am thinking of buying it to build an office/workshop. Do I need to register myself as a business or obtain a business license to buy the land, or can I buy it under my own name?
 
Location
Poway, California, United States
Will you be turning it into a business or will it just stay as your personal office/workshop? If you will be using it as a business location, you will need to register as a business. You could set up an LLC, which would be recommended if you're going the route of a business. On top of that, you will probably need to obtain an Employer Identification Number, get a business license and more.

But if it's just for a location for your personal office/workshop as isn't meant to be a business at all, I don't know if you have to go through that process. It might be worth contacting the people selling the commercial land to see what steps you need to take and if it's viable to buy said land for your office.
 
Will you be turning it into a business or will it just stay as your personal office/workshop? If you will be using it as a business location, you will need to register as a business. You could set up an LLC, which would be recommended if you're going the route of a business. On top of that, you will probably need to obtain an Employer Identification Number, get a business license and more.

But if it's just for a location for your personal office/workshop as isn't meant to be a business at all, I don't know if you have to go through that process. It might be worth contacting the people selling the commercial land to see what steps you need to take and if it's viable to buy said land for your office.
I haven’t decided between the personal office option or the business opening option. I’m wondering if I can buy the land and decide later. At what point do I need to make that decision? Can I transfer a commercial property from myself to a business that I own? How difficult is that?
 
I haven’t decided between the personal office option or the business opening option. I’m wondering if I can buy the land and decide later. At what point do I need to make that decision? Can I transfer a commercial property from myself to a business that I own? How difficult is that?

The main consideration for me, starting out, would just be to capture the commercial property purchase as a business tax deduction as part of your personal taxes. If you were to personally purchase the property this year, I believe you'd still retain full flexibility to deduct the cost (or begin spreading the deduction) as a sole proprietorship in your 2024 taxes.

This should be simple to do because you don't need to file any specific paperwork to claim you're running a sole proprietorship under your own name (other than claiming the business in your taxes - see info provided by California SOS and FTB). Ultimately, you may want to register a Fictitious Business Name with San Diego County or establish your business as an LLC or Corporation with the State of California, but you should be able to handle all that later on when you're ready to take those steps.
 
In most cases, you can buy commercial land under your own name without needing to register yourself as a business or obtain a business license. However, once you decide to use the land for commercial purposes, such as building an office or workshop, you may need to register your business and obtain relevant permits and licenses based on local regulations. These could include zoning permits, construction permits, business licenses, and possibly other requirements depending on the intended use of the property and local laws.
 
Back
Top