BCS: Helping business clients with opportunities and through crises since 1995

Commercial leases can be complex and risky

Finding the right place to start or expand your business or practice is not always easy. While there are likely plenty of available commercial properties in the area of Georgia where you want to settle, it is not always wise to jump into signing a commercial lease without examining many different aspects of your commitment.

Undoubtedly, you are eager to move into your new space so you can get your business off the ground. Time is money, however, and delaying your decision means postponing opportunities to make yourself known and build your clientele. However, signing a lease before you obtain the answers to some critical questions may be detrimental to your success.

Don’t sign that lease yet

It is important that you spend time researching any properties for your new offices. You may feel pressure to sign a lease quickly, but you have many things to research first. Have you looked at the foot traffic in the area, the success of other businesses and the zoning laws? How are reputation and financial solvency of the landlord? These are only a few factors that could affect your decision. When it comes to signing the lease, you should have even more questions in mind, such as:

  • Does your rent include other expenses, such as gas, water, trash pickup or electric?
  • How will you pay for taxes, insurance and other fees?
  • Does your landlord provide maintenance, or is this an added expense?
  • What security can you expect in the building?
  • What are the local nuisance laws that may affect your business?
  • Will your lease allow you to modify the space?
  • Will you have permission to hang signage or other advertising?
  • Does the lease allow for transfer if you decide to move or your business is not successful?

Unfortunately, as daunting as this list may seem, these are only a handful of the considerations you might have to make before signing a lease. Once you have signed the contract, you may be stuck with the location for years, so you want to ensure you have done your due diligence for the best chances of success.

Whether you are just starting out, moving or expanding your business or practice, you certainly do not have money to waste on a commercial property that places you at risk. Many business owners in Georgia find it is worth the extra step to seek legal advice before signing a lease. A skilled attorney can assist you in negotiating favorable terms in your commercial lease to maximize your chances of success in your new location.