General Criteria for Business Locations

This article introduces things you should look for in most cases when selecting locations of your business properties. They are not absolute rules that you must follow; in fact, these things are only general guidances for businesses that you will sell products from, which should be the most common purpose for many business properties. Sometimes, players (including myself) buy a property only for a subset of the abilities it grants, which makes some of the following criteria no longer relevant.

Close to a Highway

Most of the business sell missions in GTA Online require you to drive one or more delivery vehicles from your property to some drop-off points. If your property is close to a highway in the map, then you can complete the sale faster and easier.

The sell missions usually have a time limit: if you cannot deliver all products before the timer goes to zero, then you cannot receive full payment from the buyer, so you will want to complete them quickly. On highways, good road condition is guaranteed, the road is wide enough to allow you pass slow NPC cars safely, and there are less crossings where you might encounter NPC drivers changing lanes suddenly, all of which allows you to drive faster without paying too much attention to the traffic.

Not Located at a Corner of the Map

A business management mission usually requires you to travel to one or more places. For sell missions, you will be given drop-offs; for others, like Special Cargo Buy Missions, vehicle stealing mission in Import/Export, you also need to go out and deliver the cargo to your warehouse. These places are located sparsely throughout the map:

  • The buy/steal missions in Special Cargo/Vehicle Cargo happen in Los Santos County, but the places can be in downtown Los Santos, Vinewood, or even in the sea to the south, near LSIA or Port of South Los Santos.

  • The drop-off points of Nightclub sell missions can be at everywhere on the map, from Paleto Bay to Elysian Island.

  • The Bunker and MC Businesses allow you to choose whether you want to sell to Los Santos or Blaine County, but the drop-offs are still sparsely distributed in the county you select.

Thus, business properties that are closer to the center of the map are better than the ones located at the map’s corner. Generally, I do not recommend any property in the following locations because they increase the distance you need to travel to complete a business management mission:

  • Paleto Bay and Paleto Forest
  • LSIA
  • Elysian Island

It is OK to Pay More for a Good Location

You should never let the price be the constraint on selecting the location of your property, especially if you are planning to use it for a long term. For most types of property, please do not consider buying it at a mediocre location with lower price first and moving to a better place after you earn more money with it. There are several reasons against this act.

First, although you can trade in a property you already own towards a new one, the credit you get for the old property is in no doubt going to be lower than the full price you paid for it. At last, this option costs more money than paying for a better location at the beginning. This is not the same as smartphone trade-ins in real life: because there will new smartphones that are better than the one you currently own every year, you might want to upgrade your phone every few years for better hardware; but in GTA Online, we have never seen addition of new locations for an existing type of property, so the best location will be the best forever.

Next, the actual amount of extra money you need to pay in this act is higher than what you have possibly imagined. Many properties in GTA Online are upgradable, and I like to describe the price for the upgrades as “the hidden cost”. There are upgrades that are not shown to you until you purchase the property, and many of those upgrades are vital for making your business even profitable. If you are counting on the new property to earn enough money to move to a better location, you should purchase these upgrades. The problem is, you have to purchase them again for the new property after you move, in full price.

Therefore, I strongly suggest you increase your budget and buy a property at an accessible location on your initial purchase. If you don’t have enough money, just make more with Heists, Contact Missions, or even the methods I introduced before for quick cash.

My Location Choices

I am glad to show you the properties I have purchased in case you are intersted. I play two characters: the first character was started earlier so I have made further game progress with it; for the second character, I have only purchased some passive businesses to generate additional income when I play it.

Properties owned by the first character:

  • Fort Zancudo Hangar 3497
  • Alamo Sea Coke Lockup
  • Sandy Shores Clubhouse
  • Grand Senora Desert Meth Lab
  • Grand Senora Desert Cash Factory
  • Grand Senora Desert Facility
  • Chumash Bunker
  • Insert Coin Arcade
  • Maze Bank West Office
  • Del Perro Nightclub
  • Darnell Bros Warehouse
  • Logistics Depot
  • La Mesa Vehicle Warehouse

First character's properties in Blaine County First character's properties in Los Santos

Properties owned by the second character:

  • Fort Zancudo Hangar 3497
  • Alamo Sea Coke Lockup
  • Great Chaparral Clubhouse
  • Grand Senora Desert Meth Lab
  • Grand Senora Desert Cash Factory
  • Grand Senora Desert Facility
  • Farmhouse Bunker
  • Eight-Bit Arcade
  • Downtown Vinewood Nightclub
  • Maze Bank West Office

Second character's properties

My choices of property locations generally follow the criteria mentioned above. The first character has a chain of properties along the Western Highway and Del Perro Freeway, including the Bunker, Arcade, Office, Nightclub, and Vehicle Warehouse. The second character’s properties, including the Nightclub and Bunker, are closer to the Los Santos Freeway in the east. The MC Businesses and Facility are served by Route 68. There are no properties located near Paleto Bay or other places at the map’s corner. I will give more explanation for each location choice when it comes to the discussion on the business associated with the property.