Choosing and leasing a location for your business can be a critical decision. If your business is dependent on walk-in traffic, as with a retail business, the importance of location is obvious. Service businesses are usually less location-dependent, but location can play a critical role in creating the right business environment and in determining your ability to attract and retain the employees you want and customers. Be sure to consider all the factors when leasing space, not just the level of monthly rent.
- Convenient parking is important, especially if employees drive to work or if clients come to your office for meetings.
- What types of communication services are available? With the growing importance of technology, many businesses of all types are finding that high-speed data access is essential.
- You should also consider the level of traffic congestion in the area. As most of us are aware, sitting in traffic can be a huge waste of time and may also be a deterrent to your customers.
- Amenities in the area are another factor to consider. Are there local restaurants or other facilities that can be used for meetings or luncheons or to draw in customers?
Property lease issues. Understanding the terms of a lease can make the negotiation process easier for both you and the landlord. Settling on the terms of the lease does not have to be a contentious process. This list addresses some of the most common items to consider when negotiating a lease.Parajumpers
- Understand the term of the lease and the mechanics of any renewal options. Also, be sure to understand when you are entitled to possession and use of the property.
- In the lease contract, it should be clear when the rent is due as well as the actual amount to be paid. You should also understand if there is any “pass-through” of increased property taxes or maintenance costs.
- If the space is being used for retail purposes, such as in a mall or strip shopping center, are there any restrictions on the landlord’s ability to lease to your competitors. What are your remedies if a competitor moves in nearby?
- Do you have the right to sub-lease space if you find you don’t need the space within the duration of the lease?
- You might want the landlord to make certain improvements before you move in. This may include changing walls or electrical connections. What will be the general condition of the space when you move in and what condition must you leave it in when you move out?
- You may wish to make improvements to your space during your lease. You might need additional offices or want new carpet. Be sure your lease allows you to make the improvements and try to get compensated for these improvements at the termination of your lease.
- Will the landlord be able to deliver on all of his obligations for maintenance and up-keep? The real estate market is cyclical and some protections in the lease for your rights may be attractive.
This list is not all-inclusive. Further research on leasing commercial space may be prudent before signing on the dotted line. Depending on your comfort level with the leasing process, it may be wise to have your attorney review the lease before you sign it.
Your lease is important. So is the relationship with the landlord. A good working relationship will make the call about the leaking roof easier, and may get the air conditioner repaired just a little sooner.
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