As an entrepreneur, you juggle many tasks from nurturing a business idea and creating a business plan to seeking investors and hiring employees. And, of course, you have not neglected finding the right brick-and-mortar space. You search, find some potential locations and think that you have finally found the right commercial space.
Now that it is time to deal with the landlord or building’s owner, a whole new adventure begins: negotiating your commercial lease. You want to make sure that the lease agreement protects you while still complying with local, state and federal laws. And you need to understand every detail of the lease. This is where a reliable real estate attorney can help you.
Carefully review and understand
Because a lease is a legal contract, it must be carefully reviewed and thoroughly understood before you sign one. With many different types of commercial leases in existence, you must determine which one fits your business as well as your budget.
Will you be paying for the utilities, property taxes, repairs, landscaping and insurance? Or sharing some of the costs with the landlord? When negotiating a lease, an attorney can help you in other matters such as:
- Understanding the contract.
- Determining whether the property is properly zoned for your business.
- Determining whether the lease agreement is up to date. Maybe the building had extensive repairs, but the landlord had not revised the lease to include those details, for example.
- Seeking a list of any improvements the landlord plans to complete before you move into the space.
- Determining the length of the lease. For example, if you are a start-up business owner, you must be realistic in seeking a short-term lease.
Carefully review the lease and do not rush into signing one without the advice of an experienced real estate attorney. You want the lease to work in your favor and not against you. And you want to start off your business on the right foot within its new space.