The commercial lease is a complex legal contract, often the launching point of your business as it moves from the bank and into physical reality. While there are all means of details in the document, rent is always the overarching and dominant point.
There are many ways that being a small business owner can be difficult, not the least of which is how to cope with changing marketplaces and an influx of competitors. For some mom-and-pop merchants in southern California and across the country, seeking help from local government to restrict where chain stores may and may not be located is floating around as a form of needed relief.
When considering a commercial lease, one area of potential conflict for the landlord and tenant are any easements that exist on the property that could affect the tenant if they are invoked or violated. An easement, in simple terms is an right regarding the property that is not held by the owner of that property, such as a city having the right to use the property in a certain way, or a business being barred from modifying the property even if the landlord allows the modification.
Regardless of what kind of business you run, in almost all cases you will eventually end up seeking out some form of commercial lease. In fact, for most companies of just about any size, going through process of either re-negotiating the lease to keep their space or searching for a new space altogether is something that happens about every three-to-five years. If you are just getting started with your commercial lease search, or if it's been a while since you've had to deal with the prospect, you may be tempted to sign a "standard" lease, without any revision or negotiation. In almost every case, this is not the most prudent possible choice.
There are many potential pitfalls to navigate when you are considering whether or not to sign a commercial lease. A primary area that should be examined carefully, and which may decide whether or not a specific lease is right for you, are the clauses that relate to the tenant's responsibilities in relation to capital expenditures. If you are expected to be the one to fork over substantial sums, consider looking for a different space, or negotiating this portion of the contract to find an acceptable compromise.