What You Need to Know

Commercial takings

Business owners especially have a lot to lose when the government comes for their property. You will have to ask and fight for many things you may be entitled to. See why our clients get 3x the initial offer on average, and some (particularly commercial clients) may get much more!1 

Aerial view of a city street and small businesses in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

Eminent Domain and Your Commercial Business

Issues you may be facing

Relocation

You may be entitled to compensation for moving expenses and reestablishment costs for your business. Find out more about commercial relocation compensation and benefits. 

Condemnation

The government has the right to take (condemn) your commercial property for public good, but it must compensate you adequately. Learn more about eminent domain condemnation.

Inverse Condemnation

Inverse condemnation is when the government takes, or condemns, your commercial property but fails to pay compensation. Find out how you can file an inverse condemnation claim.

Easements

Easements are the right of someone else, such as the government or a public utility, to use or access your property. Learn more about easements.

Appraisals

A condemnation appraisal is an estimate of the value of your commercial property, which includes the value both before and after the condemnation. Here’s more information on appraisals.

Loss of Income

Business owners can seek recovery for loss of income if the property taking hurts or destroys their business. Find out more about compensation for loss of income.

Eminent domain process: commercial

Step 1:
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Step 2:
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Step 3:
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Step 4:
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Woman opening a letter from the department of transportation.

The clock starts

As soon as you receive notice that the DOT plans to take your property, it’s time for action.

Even if the taking is years off, this is the time to find out exactly what the effects will be to your commercial property, because when acquisition starts, it will move quickly.

INSIDER TIP: This is the best time to find a qualified lawyer. If they work on contingency (meaning no up-front costs, an arrangement our firm offers), you get someone to spoon feed information to appraisers and speak on your behalf during this period without you having to paying anything.
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Surveyor in a high-vis vest working at the top of a dirt hill.

The initial offer

A government appraiser will give their opinion on the value of your property, and make an offer. These opinions can vary greatly, and GDOT is not required to share its appraisal with you – though an eminent domain attorney may be able to get it.

If you agree to the price they offer (not recommended), you cannot negotiate for more in the future.

INSIDER TIP: There is a way to collect this first offer without technically accepting it. Our firm will help you do this for free, and the money collected is all yours.
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A pen resting on a parcel map of a neighborhood.

We advocate

After the initial offer is deposited and you declare your intent to fight for more, you can take that money while we begin building a case to try to prove your property’s “highest and best use.” 

We then negotiate on your behalf, leveraging the evidence we’ve built. If history is any guide, you’ll see their offer rise.1

INSIDER TIP: Proving your property’s worth can be expensive. It often requires long hours and hiring additional experts. But we’re so confident in our work that we front all costs and guarantee you pay nothing if we don’t get you more than the government’s initial offer.2
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Man opening a letter from the Georgia Eminent Domain Law Office.

Get the second check

After we have negotiated what we believe to be a good offer that truly compensates you for what is being taken, we’ll ask for your authorization to close the case. Then we work to collect the funds on your behalf.

In some instances, we may advise that it is in your best interest to take it to trial. This choice will be yours, and our active litigation practice often results in higher offers the longer the matter proceeds into the litigation process.

INSIDER TIP: Only at this point will we take an attorney’s fee. We will also use this settlement to pay any bills associated with your case for you. The net recovery is all yours!

Frequently asked questions

Get a free case
evaluation today.

There are only a handful of attorneys in GA who practice eminent domain exclusively. And even fewer with DOT experience. That’s why it’s always worth it to get a free case evaluation.

Here’s how it works:

1) Tell us about your situation.

2) We research your property as needed, using DOT maps, our own technology, and experience to see the exact effects.

3) We let you know what we think a fair offer would be. This evaluation is free, and there’s no
pressure or obligation to hire us after.

But please don’t wait to act. Waiting can hurt your case, and the cost is the same: free.

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