Leasing commercial property is nothing like renting an apartment and, if new business owners enter into negotiations without an understanding of how the process works, they’re going to get overwhelmed very quickly. There are a few important things a business owner needs to know before they contact a property owner or management company about leasing an office space.
Everything is Negotiable
When an individual or family signs a residential lease, they are presented with the same leasing documents as every other tenant in the apartment community. It’s not likely that a management company will change any of the terms for one tenant. However, when it comes to commercial leases, everything is negotiable. In fact, management companies don’t expect a new tenant to simply agree to the terms of the initial contract. Many business owners go over the lease with their attorney to ensure the lease a business owner signs is feasible for their budget.
Residential leases typically specify a monthly amount a tenant pays based on the number of bedrooms in the apartment. When Leasing office space for the first time, business owners might be surprised to find that the lease states an annual amount based on the square footage of the space. This doesn’t mean the business owner has to pay for a full year upfront, although they might get a discount if they do. Business owners may negotiate a lower payment if they agree to lease the space for more than a year. Management companies often offer lower payments in the second and subsequent years for long-term tenants.
A small business owner should never enter into an office lease agreement without consulting a lawyer. An attorney they’ve been working with since the inception of the company might understand the business owner’s goals and help them negotiate a lease that meets their needs. By allowing a lawyer to look over this document, a business owner can be sure they understand all of the terms before they sign and that there isn’t anything in the lease that could prevent them from carrying out business as they planned.