Business Condemnation Issues

In an eminent domain case resulting in the government’s acquisition of a business location, the result will be the displacement of the business. In some cases, the business will be able to successfully relocate. In other cases, despite the business owner’s best efforts to relocate, the business may not be able to relocate. An experienced attorney can represent the business owner in seeking recovery for loss of business goodwill.

Business goodwill is the intangible value of a business after deducting the value of all tangible assets from the total business value. In loss of business goodwill, unlike in a real estate case in eminent domain, the business owner has the burden of proof to establish the existence of goodwill, that the goodwill loss could not have been avoided by a successful relocation and that the goodwill loss is not already being compensated for in the form of relocation benefits.

Entitlement is tried in court without a jury. Once entitlement to goodwill loss is established, the amount of goodwill loss is determined by a jury with no burden of proof. With the differing levels of proof required in goodwill loss cases, experience of the eminent domain attorney is of critical importance.