Your business’s first home was an incubator building that housed other entrepreneurs such as yourself. There was not a lot of privacy in these office space “headquarters,” but you knew that would change as long as your company grew and succeeded. Now, you are ready to find your own building.
During the launch of your business, you learned many things about creating, building and marketing a company. That learning continues as you do your best to understand the details of a commercial lease.
Negotiation works to your advantage
Leases are contracts filled with details that can make the average person’s head spin. Within a commercial lease, a building’s owner must lay out every aspect and guideline. Such a contract will define who pays for property taxes, utilities, maintenance and repairs, insurance and even landscaping.
This is the time in which you firmly place your “negotiator’s cap” on your head. It is time to iron out an agreement. As a business owner, you understand the importance of keeping down costs, and here is when a skilled real estate attorney can help:
- Provide a thorough explanation about the contract so that you understand as much detail as possible. You do not want the building’s owner to take advantage of you.
- Ensure that the property in question meets proper zoning specifications to house your business.
- Determine that an up-to-date lease agreement is in place. If not, revisions to the contract are necessary. For example, some landlords neglect to report any changes and repairs to the building. These changes must be in the new lease.
- Negotiate building improvements and obtain the list of improvements that the landlord must complete before you take over the space.
- Negotiate the lease’s length. Start-up business owners usually seek short-term leases.
You are excited to gain this new space for your company. But negotiating a lease is not the time to be impulsive. You must thoroughly inspect every aspect of this contract. You do not want any surprises.