Business owners make important decisions regarding their company on a regular basis. These can be staffing decisions, greenlighting or canceling projects, or working with a new vendor. However, few are more important than the decision to sign the office or shop’s commercial lease. That contract can have a direct impact on the business’s success in many ways.
Picking the right space
Some business owners spend years looking for the ideal space to best reach the customer or showcase the company, but the owner needs to take other factors into consideration as well, such as:
- Those with a customer service focus or designed for a walk-in clientele want to be in an area where their target customers live and work.
- The space or area needs to have zoning laws that enable owners to reasonably conduct business or protect the shop from neighbors who could adversely affect business.
- Research comparable rents is vital to make sure yours aligns with others in the area.
- Is the space ultimately suitable for the purpose of running a successful business?
- Check to see if the landlord is reputable, does an excellent job of maintaining the property and does not have any outstanding financial issues that could result in defaulting on the mortgage.
Make sure the lease works for you
Owners can seal some agreements with a handshake, but a commercial lease should afford the owner the best opportunity for success. Issues to watch out for include:
- Understand all the details of the contract, including the fine print.
- Consider whether stability or flexibility is more important.
- Discuss who pays for maintenance and repairs as well as insurance and taxes.
- Determine if the space needs to be modified to fit your needs and if these changes are okay with the landlord or compliant with zoning rules.
The right contract makes a difference
It’s often best for the owner to meet with an attorney before signing a commercial lease. These legal professionals can help protect clients from unfair or troublesome agreements that can impact a business’s success in the short term or further down the line. Binding contacts also hold landlords accountable as well. Good ones can be a win-win for both sides because they clearly outline all obligations.