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Can your landlord open a competing business in your development?

Opening a business is an extremely exciting time for the owners. You and your business partners will have spent many months getting things ready to be sure that you are ready to go when you open your doors.

One of the first things that you will have to do is find the right place to open your entity. There are many shopping centers and retail developments across Southern California that promise to provide opportunities to new tenants. You may want to be sure that the location you select will limit other competing businesses from opening nearby. Before you make any decisions about the future of your company, be sure that you and your landlord are on the same page about the future. 

Are you setting your business up for failure?

Every landlord will ask you to sign a lease before you can rent space in their establishment. Many of these contain very generic information where the landlord just fills in the blanks. These documents may not address non-competition issues, so, be sure to read the document carefully before proceeding.

Many business owners will insist that the landlord include some provision that prevents them from opening a competing business in a specific geographic region. These limitations allow the business owners to maximize their profit potential, and they also increase the likelihood of creating a long-lasting relationship with the landlord.

If you fail to take these basic steps, you could be placing the future of your business at risk. You may have questions about what you can do to protect your business, and you should never sign anything before you are sure that you are receiving the assurances that you need to run your business free from a landlord's competing interests.

Before you sign your lease, know your options

This might be the very first time you have ever signed a commercial lease, or your first time dealing with a particular landlord. You need to be sure that the document you sign is consistent with your needs and expectations. You will be held to honor the commitment that you made in the lease, even if you did not have a clear understanding of the provisions that it contains.

You need to speak to an attorney experienced with leasing issues prior to signing any agreements. Your attorney will be able to review the lease, and help you know exactly what you are signing. If there are any issues of concern, your attorney can represent you in negotiations with the landlord to create a lease that helps you protect the future of your business. 

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