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How can eminent domain affect your business?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2023 | Real Estate Law |

The power of eminent domain is a contentious and complex topic, especially for business owners in Arizona. Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private property for public use in exchange for just compensation. 

This power can affect businesses in many ways, including relocation and losing valuable assets and resources. When faced with the prospect of condemnation, do you have any rights?

Are there any limits to eminent domain?

In Arizona, the law provides that any public use justifies the exercise of eminent domain. This means your business may be subject to eminent domain if it’s in the way of a proposed road, bridge or any other type of public work that could benefit society in some form. Additionally, entities like school boards and housing authorities may be able to acquire land without an owner’s consent. Businesses operating on this land can be required to move within a certain period. 

However, there are certain limits to eminent domain. There are legal requirements that must be met for the government to exercise its authority, such as:

  • The taking must be for public use – i.e., it must serve some benefit to the larger community
  • The government must pay just compensation 
  • The taking cannot result in any form of discrimination based on race, religion or other characteristics
  • Due process of law must be followed

Where relocation occurs, Arizona law requires certain payments to be made, like moving expenses and lost profits incurred during relocation.

It’s crucial for business owners to understand their rights when faced with a situation involving eminent domain or condemnation proceedings. You should not sign away any rights until you have received just compensation. It’s imperative that you have someone on your side to protect your rights and ensure all parties follow the appropriate steps.