Thinking about moving or leasing a new office and where to start?
There’s a lot to consider when you’re leasing a new office space. You have to consider the location, cost, lease duration, and terms, as well as whether the office space can handle an expansion in your business.
These ten rules will raise important questions you need to consider before leasing your first commercial space.
1. Make sure you can commit
Leasing office space is a legally binding contract that will tie you to an office space for a given period. An office lease is a huge responsibility for a small business, so you have to make sure you are certain about the commitment and that you are at the right stage to move to your next office. Also, most commercial office leases have terms that are a minimum of three years, (in some markets five years is the standard). Make sure the size you are looking for, and commit to is what you can live in for the next coming years.
2. Ask yourself — can I afford the commercial premises?
Make sure you are completely aware of all the costs from the start and that you don’t overburden yourself financially. These costs will include rent, business rates, service charges, insurance, maintenance, parking, and everyday running costs (expense reimbursements).
3. Don’t do it yourself!
Finding the ideal office space and negotiating the best terms is a complex process, so you should never try to handle this yourself. Hire a local commercial property agent who knows the specifics of the market and can guide you throughout the process.
4. Make sure the lease is on your terms
Office leases are usually made in favor of the landlord. Think about what lease terms would be best for you, such as rental increases, lease length, break clauses, etc. This will give you an advantage at the negotiation stage. Most terms in the lease are negotiable, and at the very least you should have an attorney review it to point out the pitfalls that you should be aware of.
5. Shortlist potential offices
Make sure to tour the building several times; ask about the landlord, traffic situation, why the previous tenant left, and who your future neighbors are. Try to look for buildings that have businesses that will complement your business.
6. Evaluate the building and area
Think about whether the space, location, and type of building is the best fit for your business. Your office space says a lot about you as a brand, and you want to be sure it leaves the right impression. Also, look to see what restaurants and amenities are in the area for your employees. How easy is it to get to the building, is there easy access to public transportation and parking?
7. Anticipate your future growth
Make sure that the office space you’re considering is big enough for your current business needs and your potential growth. However, be realistic and try not to underestimate or overestimate your needs.
8. Get legal advice
Get a commercial real estate attorney who specializes in lease language negotiations. A lease negotiation can cover many terms, often with confusing language, and you want someone who will work in your best interests and clarify anything if needed.
10. Don’t rush
Don’t let yourself be rushed into making a decision if you’re still not completely comfortable. And if the negotiations don’t go as you planned — be ready to walk away. There are better properties out there that will suit your needs.
Are you thinking about leasing a new office space? For more information, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org