As a small business owner, two of the major costs you are going to incur are related to wages and office rent. When looking for office space, leasing of commercial space would be an important aspect as you seek to grow and expand your small business. However, the process of negotiating and finalizing lease agreements is one that should be undertaken with due diligence. You should keep a few things in mind when going through this for the very first time.
Lease term and rent are vital points to negotiate in a lease agreement. You have to make sure that the terms that you are agreeing to reflect your specific needs. Without a clear understanding of the amount of time and amount of rent that you are responsible for, you could be causing significant financial harm to yourself and your business.
Seek to find out if you are likely to incur any additional expenses besides the monthly rent. Expenses related to maintenance, upkeep for shared facilities and utilities may sometimes be included in the lease. Also, ensure that you are clear on whether utilities are charged on an individual basis or are charged by the square footage of the commercial space.
When leasing commercial properties, the tenants’ responsibility for upkeep and maintenance of the property may vary. In some cases, the tenant may be responsible for maintenance while in others the tenant may only shoulder specific maintenance costs. You need to be sure that the lease clearly indicates the obligations of each party when minor or major repairs become necessary.
Protect your business
You need to make sure that you have a full understanding of any documents that you sign. Moreover, you should get an attorney to guide and advise through the fine print. For example, look at the sublease clause which can allow you to sublet your space to other entities. Similarly, an included exclusivity clause works to prevent the landlord from leasing other spaces on the property to your direct competitors. Enlisting the professional services of a law firm will help you to avoid any problems that could hurt your business.