What to expect from 'commercial'
When it is time to throw a party, shield customers from the elements, or protect some property out of doors, you are probably going to be looking for a commercial quality canopy. The additional money spent and security guaranteed will help mitigate any chance of an unfortunate collapse or early wear. Truth be told, you needn't worry too much about canopies collapsing or flying away, they're designed not to do that. But for repeated use in heavy weather or repeated assembling and transporting, commercial grade canopies will outlast their less expensive and daintier counterparts.
Your commercial grade canopy is going to be a whole lot heavier than others with less industrial designs. If you're a one man show, it might be best to settle for something more manageable. But if you've got a handy partner with a healthy back and appropriate tools, most commercial canopies can be assembled in minutes without too much effort.
What to look for in a frame
We tend to think that the frame is what you really want to be looking for when determining if your commercial canopy is going to give you the lifespan and return on your investment that you expect. Square steel tubing, naturally, is something you can absolutely rely on for everything short of driving a truck into it (under it would be fine, of course). The tubing of a commercial canopy is typically grounded by foot plates, whereas the posts of less sturdy canopies might be held in place with spikes and stakes. Foot plates with cotter pins spread out the weight and are ultimately more stable. Spikes and stakes may be present as supplementary supports.
Commercial canopy covers
Regarding fabric and shade coverings, these can be remarkably heavy as you go up in quality. Expect large coverings for commercial canopies to weigh in at around 300 pounds, all the more reason to make sure you have a friend or two to help you set it up. However, these industrial strength coverings are better at weighing the structure down, preventing wind damage and providing a more stable place to hang your company's sign or logo. Look for a waterproof covering and language like 'UV stabilized' and 'treated polyethylene' for the most durable options. Premiums will be charged for things like side coverings, doors, plastic windows, and the like.