A business owner who is looking to project a sophisticated and professional image for his or her company may not want the business out of a home office. Instead, having an office downtown or in the heart of the business district can improve its standing and attract new customers. If you are going to lease an office, what should you know before signing the lease agreement?
✓ How Long Are You Locked Into The Lease For?
The first question that you need to ask if how long the lease is going to run for. Typically, a commercial lease runs for as long as five years. However, you can negotiate a shorter lease term if you aren’t sure if your company is going to use the space for the long-term.
✓ Ask About Sharing The Office Space
Many smaller companies will share office space with other companies to reduce the rent paid for the office each month. It also allows new or small businesses to network with each other and help each company become stronger. If you are not allowed to share the space, business owners should ask if it is possible to transfer the lease or sublet in the event that your company cannot or does not want to continue using the space.
✓ What Services Are Provided In The Lease?
Some landlords will give you the space and nothing else. Other landlords will give you the space and provide trash and janitorial services included in your rent payment. If services are not provided in the lease, your company will need to find a way to keep the space clean and looking good throughout the term of the lease. To get the best serviced office (see ServCorp), you need to be upfront with the landlord and aggressive during the negotiation process.
✓ What’s The Price Per Square Foot?
The best way to determine if you are getting the best value for your money is to find out what the price per square foot is. A 3,000 square foot space going for $3000 is going to be a better deal than a 4,000 square foot space going for $5,000. This is because at $1 a square foot, the 3,000 square foot office costs less relative to the space that your company is getting.
When leasing an office, you cannot select a space at random. You have to consider the cost per square foot, the services included in the rent and whether or not you can get out of the lease if your business folds or doesn’t remain profitable.