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First, you'll need to check your local zoning ordinances. These laws allow certain types of businesses to occupy different areas of a city or county -- most cities have residential, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use neighborhoods.
Next, you'll need to find out whether any other legal restrictions will affect your operations. For example, some cities limit the number of certain types of business -- such as fast food restaurants or coffee bars -- in certain areas, and others require that a business provide off-street parking, close early on weeknights, and keep advertising signs to a minimum. Many cities have business development offices that help small business owners understand and cope with the various restrictions.
To learn more about zoning laws and how to comply with them, read Avoid Zoning Trouble.