If you know nothing about finding an office space for your business, do not panic. It is important to go into negotiations with some preparation, but luckily there is a lot of information out there about how to find and negotiate a commercial lease. Here are a few frequently asked office space rental questions and answers to get you started:
3. Are lease terms negotiable?
While landlords are looking out for their own best interests, they are almost always willing to discuss concessions. Know that your bargaining power will depend on the local market—if it is tight, you will not have a lot of ability to negotiate. Even if the rent is non-negotiable, you might be able to negotiate for limits on rent increases and costs of things like utilities, repairs, taxes, etc. You can also negotiate for the length of your lease, as well as potential improvements to the space with financial assistance from your landlord.
4. How can I find out if my potential location is properly zoned for my business?
Start by checking local zoning ordinances. Next, you need to see if there are any other legal restrictions that might affect your business. For instance, there might be limits in that city on certain types of businesses (i.e. coffee shops or fast food places) in a certain area, parking or advertising stipulations, or certain restrictions on hours. Check to see if the city has a business development office that can help you navigate these questions.
5. Do your research before entering into lease negotiations!