Signing your first commercial lease is a big deal. It signifies that your company is serious and is something that shouldn’t be treated lightly. Your commercial property is in many ways the public face of your business, and many clients will gain their first impression of your company by looking at your workspace, so you need to take the time to find and take care of the perfect premises for you. Here are some quick tips for doing just that:
Find a Reliable Agent
First and foremost, you should find a reliable real estate agent and outline exactly what you are looking for in a commercial property. By doing this, you will decrease your chances of having your time wasted on unsuitable properties and maximize your chances on getting a really great space to work.
Get a Good Deal
Once you’ve found the perfect place, and the time comes to draw up an agreement, do what you can to make it as favorable as possible. Apart from negotiating a great price, you should also try to avoid paying the landlord’s legal costs because, although this is common, it isn’t set in stone that you should do this at all. If you can’t get the landlord to agree to this, at least agree on a cap, so you don’t have to pay too much.
You should also try to get a break clause drawn into your agreement so that you can terminate your lease quickly if things aren’t going well, and an alienation clause which will enable you to sublet parts of your commercial property should you need the extra income to get by at any point.
You should never ever pay any money towards your leads until a mutually agreed contract has been drawn up and signed. It is not uncommon for businesses to be stung by rogue individuals who have no intention of actually renting out a space (sometimes they don’t even own it). This is unlikely to be an issue if you use a reputable real estate agent, but it isn’t completely unheard of either.
Often, your landlord will have insurance in place to protect against the everyday problems that can affect a commercial property, but it often pays to get in touch with a good commercial property law firm, like The Voss Law Firm, who can help you work out if you need any additional coverage, so that your premises, and your business, are protected come what may.
Once you’ve secured a property and negotiated a great lease, it’s time to have some fun. Because your premises are the public face of your business, it is important that you take the time to dress it up to suit your brand. At first, I would suggest simply buying some attractive furniture and hanging a picture or two, rather than making more permanent changes, which could cause you a loss should things not work out, and you need to break your tenancy, After a while. If things are going well, you can start to think about making less portable changes (lease permitting) to give your commercial property a boost.
What are your top tips for securing your first commercial lease?