Commercial Property Purchase Checklist

Purchasing commercial property can be a challenging effort. The City of Dayton wants to make the decision-making process easier, so you get the property that best suits your needs with no unforeseen surprises down the road. As a first step, you may want to contact the Small Business Advocate by calling 937-333-3689 or by accessing the Small Business Advocate webpage.

When you're looking to buy commercial property, there are some key questions you should answer. Below is a checklist of items you should explore before making any final decisions regarding your purchase:


  • Is the property zoned to fit my type of business operation (i.e., commercial, industrial, business/office, mixed-use, etc.)?
    • If not, is there an option to obtain a variance or change the existing zoning designation?
  • Is the property located within a Historic District?
    • If yes, what special guidelines or requirements apply?
  • Are there zoning requirements (i.e., signage, parking, minimum yard requirements, etc.) that I need to consider?
For more zoning information, please contact 937-333-3887.

Building Codes

  • Are the approved uses for the building compatible with my future business plans and operations?
  • Are there any existing code violations on record for the building?
  • Will I need certified architectural drawings to ultimately develop the property?
  • Will building permits be required if I make additional investments in the property?
For more building code information, please contact 937-333-3883.
For information about existing code violations, please contact 937-333-3977.

Outstanding Bills

  • Are there outstanding property taxes or liens on the property?
  • If the property is a vacant lot, are there any outstanding demolition costs or liens associated with it?
  • Are there outstanding sewer, water or other utility bills connected with the property?
For information on property taxes or liens, contact the Montgomery County Auditor at 937-225-4326.
For more utility billing information, please contact 937-333-3550.

Environmental Issues

  • Is the property located within the Wellfield Protection Area?
    • If yes, what special conditions apply?
  • Are there pre-existing environmental concerns, such as underground storage tanks, asbestos issues, etc.?
For more environmental information, please contact 937-333-3725.