Do I need an EPC to sell a business? Simply Explained

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Why you need an EPC to sell your business

If you are considering selling your business, or renting a commercial property out, you will require a commercial energy performance certificate (EPC).

It is now a legal requirement to hold a valid EPC, with few exceptions, so it is important you understand what it is, how you can get one and its importance. 

In our simple guide we explain everything you need to know for a smooth, legal transaction. We’ll discuss commercial EPC’s in more detail focusing on how it fits into the process of selling a business. 

What is an EPC?

EPC stands for energy performance certification, and is commonly required for both commercial and residential properties. 

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document that informs potential buyers how energy efficient a building is which is important when they are considering to invest or occupy the property or building.

All EPC’s include an energy efficiency grade from A to G, with A as the most efficient grade. They are accompanied with a report of recommendation which suggests ways in which the properties efficiency can be improved. 

Commercial EPC’s are valid for up to 10 years or up until a more up to date certificate is produced.

Do I need a commercial EPC?

It is now a requirement of European Law that the majority of commercial properties must hold a valid Energy Performance Certificate before it can be advertised or sold. So, if you’re considering selling or renting the business then, yes, you will need an EPC. 

There are some circumstances in which an Energy Performance Certificate is not required, such as:

  • Places of worship
  • Temporary buildings that are only going to be used for 2 years
  • Stand alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50 square metres that are not dwellings
  • Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demands

Outside of the legal requirements of gaining an EPC, they are useful documents for other circumstances from improving the energy efficiency of the building or applying for grants and initiatives to make improvements.

Having this level of information and potential support can not only help the environment but it can also reduce your overall energy costs, providing significant savings, in some cases.

What happens if I don’t have one?

If you do not hold a valid EPC when selling your business, brokers like ourselves cannot legally market your business, so your business may be withdrawn from the market with us. 

You may also be fined between £500 to £5,000 depending on the rateable value of the building if you don’t make an EPC available.

Who is responsible for obtaining a commercial EPC?

The person responsible for ensuring the obtaining of a valid EPC could be the seller; so, in your case, you. If there isn’t a valid EPC for the commercial property, you would need to at least confirm that, for this property, an EPC has been commissioned.

Furthermore, it would need to be commissioned before the business is put on the market. Another necessity would be for you to make all reasonable efforts to ensure that this certificate is obtained within seven days of it first being marketed.

How do I get a commercial EPC?

Only accredited Energy Assessors can produce an EPC for you. Here at Hilton Smythe, we can arrange for a commercial EPC to be produced for you, as part of the selling process. 

With our help, you can navigate the potentially tricky waters of selling a business. We can even provide a free valuation of your company as it currently stands.

Once you’ve filled it in, we will be in touch soon to provide you with a no-obligation business valuation and from there you can speak to us about obtaining or renewing an EPC with us as we offer this as a stand-alone service also.

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