Signing a residential lease is typically a fairly straightforward transaction. The issues to address are fairly easy to understand, and most people handling a residential rental contract feel confident and capable of handling it on their own.
Unfortunately, modern leases offered to small businesses are not nearly that simple. If you are in the process of reviewing a commercial lease, you should consider and resolve complicated issues before signing the contract.
What are factors to consider beyond the leased space?
Commercial leases have factors beyond the leased space that the contract must address. If you have trouble negotiating terms with a potential landlord you may wish to seek out professional guidance. Some factors to consider:
- Access to common space, including walkways, utilities, parking spaces and more
- Allowed signage and advertising, including in common areas
- Excluding competitors from the commercial complex
- Responsibility for utilities such as water, electricity, internet access
- Insurance concerns, especially landlord versus tenant liability
Considering the length of a commercial lease
While residential leases typically offer a one-year contract, commercial leases are often written for much longer terms. Business owners must weigh the importance of staying in a single location versus having the flexibility to seek better lease terms, if their business needs or economic circumstances dictate a change.
Because commercial leases are often a significant commitment, working with a seasoned real estate attorney can help shed clarify on terms that are in your business’s best interests. Ensuring that your lease accounts for terms and concerns specific to your business and industry will allow you to confidently run your business for years to come.