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Business land and property: find the ideal place for your company


Whether it is a question of the choice of geographical sector or the premises themselves, the location of a company is fundamental. A favourable environment (transport, neighbouring companies, infrastructure, etc.) can in fact create many positive synergies for the development of the business.

These parameters may therefore include elements such as the proximity of suppliers or subcontractors, or the proximity of a centre of excellence specialising in the company’s field. Similarly, having reliable energy sources nearby can make all the difference.

The issues for a project leader are of an operational nature, but also financial. The cost of land and any associated tax benefits (urban free zones, rural revitalisation zones, etc.) will have a significant impact on the future viability of the establishment. Unsuitable premises that generate costs, for example due to the distance from transport solutions, can be expensive.

Once again, the challenge for the owner company is to maximise the return on investment. How can you make the right choice and benefit from effective support for your real estate project? Dunkerque Promotion provides an update.

Finding the ideal location for your business

Determining the right search criteria

Choosing a location for a business is a relatively complex process. It involves taking into account a wide variety of criteria, including:

  • The type of activity carried out by the company and the resulting needs in terms of storage facilities, transport routes, nearby subcontractors or suppliers, etc;
  • The available budget ;
  • The type of project envisaged: the most suitable real estate solution will not necessarily be the same for a first establishment in France, a relocation of activity or a commercial extension.

Commercial property: deciding between buying and renting

It is also important to make the right choice between buying and renting land and/or business premises:

  • The purchase of business premises is relevant for mature companies with a long-term project in their region. An acquisition is likely to generate savings in the long term.
  • Leasing is particularly suitable for young, fast-growing companies. It allows them to maintain the flexibility necessary for the evolution of their activity.

In the case of renting, the choice of the lease contract is an essential aspect. There are two main options that can be considered most often:

  • The professional lease is suitable for all types of businesses, but was more specifically designed for liberal professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc.). With a duration of six years[1], it is characterised by a great deal of freedom in the way it is drafted, leaving the two parties to organise most of the rental terms themselves (payment of rent, notification of notice of departure, etc.). The tenant company does not have a right to automatic renewal of its lease.
  • The commercial lease has a minimum duration of 9 years, with the possibility for the tenant to give notice once every three years[2]. However, this possibility is not available if the premises are used exclusively as offices: in this case, the tenant can only ask to leave after nine years. It is therefore not a suitable formula for a non-commercial business.

Take advantage of the tax benefits offered in certain areas

In terms of business real estate, the choice of a geographical location may also be guided by financial and fiscal considerations. Certain territories wishing to boost their economic activity benefit from derogatory conditions for the installation of project leaders.

These benefits typically include a temporary tax reduction or exemption from certain social contributions.

  • In urban free zones (UFZ), newly established companies benefit from a 100% exemption from taxation on profits (corporate tax or income tax, depending on their legal status) for a total period of 5 years[3].
  • In the priority neighbourhoods of the city (PNC), a total exemption from local taxes is also possible for a period of 5 years[4]. This includes for example the “cotisation foncière des entreprises” (CFE) and the “taxe foncière sur le bâti” (TFPB).
  • Rural revitalisation zones (RRZ) combine the above advantages, with a total exemption from income tax and local taxes for 5 years[5]. This very advantageous status is intended in particular for small municipalities where there is little economic activity.

Where to locate your business?

Many large cities are likely to host a business location project. It is up to the project owner to select the most suitable area according to his or her sector of activity, the possible synergies on the spot, but also the recruitment opportunities.

The notion of territory also plays a role in the new expectations of employees, particularly with regard to working conditions, which also have an impact on the employer brand, and therefore on the attractiveness of the company to potential talent.

The Arthur Loyd barometer recently listed the most dynamic and attractive employment areas in France[6] :

  • Paris and the Île-de-France region (109,701 jobs created in five years);
  • Lyon and the Rhône department (estimated active population of 1.2 million people);
  • Toulouse (18,000 creations);
  • Marseille (9,358 creations);
  • Lille-Roubaix-Tourcoing (8,021 creations).

Among the sectors most appreciated by companies, border areas occupy a special place. They typically combine multiple advantages such as

  • Excellent transport links and networks;
  • An abundant and skilled labour force;
  • A dense ecosystem of companies in various sectors of activity (logistics and transport, import-export, industry and services, etc.);
  • Opportunities for tax optimisation…

In addition to the Basel-Geneva area on the French-Swiss border or the European metropolis of Strasbourg, the French national territory also includes the Hauts-de-France region, which is the most promising border area for many companies. Maritime Flanders, dominated by the Dunkirk area, has many competitive advantages, such as

  • The immediate proximity of five European capitals (Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Luxembourg);
  • A high-level rail and port hub;
  • Access to the Channel maritime corridor, the busiest in the world, which gives access to the Norwegian Sea, the North Atlantic and the Arctic Circle…

What are the main companies in the Dunkirk basin?

Maritime Flanders is a major European and maritime crossroads, attracting many entrepreneurs and project leaders. The city of Dunkirk alone will host a total of 10,318 companies in 2022[7], an increase of 21.35% in just five years.

The Dunkirk area concentrates several specialities and sectors of activity: energy, transport and logistics, battery production, agri-food and steel… The five largest companies in Dunkirk, in terms of turnover, are respectively[8] :

  • Versalis France SAS (chemical and organic products);
  • Dunkerque LNG (land transport);
  • Polychim Industrie (plastics);
  • Minakem (wholesale);
  • ETS CH Daudruy Van Cauwenberghe Et Fils (refined oils and fats).

Business real estate: how can Dunkerque Promotion help you?

Dunkerque Promotion is an economic development agency specialising in supporting project developers in the Dunkirk area.

Are you looking for a land or property solution, to buy or rent, for the launch or expansion of your business? Dunkerque Promotion offers you:

  • A prospective study of the local land and business property market, to provide you with precise and operational information;
  • Help in analysing your real estate needs;
  • Assistance in choosing the most suitable business property for your needs;
  • A connection with numerous economic or institutional partners to speed up your procedures.

Available real estate and land offers

Dunkerque Promotion lists the main commercial property opportunities in Dunkerque, both for sale and purchase. On our portal, you can access a real digital real estate exchange service to facilitate meetings between project owners and managers of professional real estate. Our listings include:

  • Coworking spaces adapted to a flexible and mobile start-up;
  • Bright and modern office desks;
  • Individual offices in strategic locations close to transport links;
  • Logistics warehouses along the A16 motorway and close to the large seaport of Dunkirk;
  • Logistics buildings with an unloading dock;
  • Industrial spaces;
  • Developed land;
  • Industrial buildings;
  • Premises in business parks;
  • SDAN negative temperature warehouses for the storage of fragile and perishable goods…


The choice of the right location for a company depends both on the environment most conducive to its development and on its geographical and financial constraints. With privileged access to the world’s busiest shipping route and the proximity of five European capitals, the Hauts-de-France region is an attractive option for many project leaders.

Discover the numerous real estate opportunities in Maritime Flanders and the Dunkirk area with Dunkerque Promotion, your local economic development agency.

The three key points to remember:

  • The selection of a business location may be linked to geographical, operational or tax criteria.
  • The dynamism of an employment area is of direct benefit to each company that sets up there, often resulting in interesting synergies.
  • The Dunkerque Promotion real estate exchange assists project leaders in their search for a property that is perfectly suited to their activity.









Business land and property: find the ideal place for your company

Why Dunkirk is the ideal territory to develop your business?

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