There are a lot of different factors that go into the decision to rent a commercial office space. Here are a few things to check off your list of considerations as you get closer to signing the dotted line on a lease, as suggested in the article “Location and Leasing”:
- Consider the possibility of expansion. Will your business grow in the next few years and need more space? Ask if you can put a provision in the lease that allows you to expand into more space if necessary.
- Check for local competitors. Technology has made this step easy: just go to Google, enter the what type of business you have, and click the “local” link at the top of the page and put in your type of business to see the location of similar businesses in the area.
- Understand your lease and expenses. Know what type of lease you have, such as net or gross, and if you have net, make sure you know what kind of net lease it is and what expenses you will be responsible for related to CAM charges, insurance, taxes, etc.
- Keep your options open. Talk to your landlord about having options at the end of your lease term. It is a good idea to aim for a short term lease to give you flexibility in case of growth and to reduce the pressure of a long term rent obligation. However, you will want to try to give yourself the possibility at the end of your lease of either renewing it or moving to a new space based on your needs at that time.
- Consider factors besides rent. While you don’t want to pay for a space that is beyond your means, try to factor in other things when judging a space, such as location.
- Consult a lawyer. You might want to retain a commercial real estate attorney to help you negotiate your lease. Given what a huge investment renting a space can be, especially for a small business, it might be worth the cost of a lawyer to make sure that you have negotiated the best possible lease.
- Take your time. There are plenty of possible options out there, so take your time to do careful research. It is also a good idea to give yourself plenty of time to search and negotiate if you know that you need to move out of a space by a certain date.
Leasing an office space can big a big transition and investment for a business, so make sure you take the time to check each step off your list!