Nothing better represents the American dream than turning a great idea into a business and being your own boss. However, starting a business is not without its risks. A crucial component of starting a business is leasing a commercial property that provides you the right space for your new venture. For many, a commercial lease will be a significant expense. It is no exaggeration to say that the terms of the lease can go a long way toward making or breaking the financial viability of their business.
There are many important issues to think about, but we believe the following questions are absolutely critical to ask yourself before you sign a lease for any commercial property. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
"Do I really know what I am getting myself into?"
You should never sign something you do not understand. Doing so could set up your business for failure before you even open the doors. As you look over your lease, you may see terms and acronyms such as "CAM" (Common Area Maintenance). Chances are, you may not have ever seen these terms before.
This refers to your financial obligation for expenses in common areas, which are ideally shared across all tenants. In some circumstances, landlords may try to pass off certain expenses under a CAM provision, hoping that you do not notice. Pay close attention to what sort of items are included in this part of your lease.
"Have I negotiated the best possible lease for my situation?"
Strong negotiations now are the best way to make sure you are not sunk by hidden expenses and prohibitive costs down the road. If there are lease terms you're uncomfortable with, point them out to the landlord and attempt to negotiate them. If the landlord is not willing to budge or compromise, it may not be a good idea to sign the lease.
Take action now to protect your interests later
If you have questions about a potential commercial lease it is always wise to consult an experienced attorney before taking further steps toward an agreement. Before you sign anything, contact us today and schedule a free consultation