The search is on for a new office space for your business. Your company has grown, you have hired more employees and your current location has become too small. From a business perspective, that’s a good problem to have.

During your search, you stumbled across what you thought was the ideal location. Unfortunately, it had some strings attached, including a contract and a lease that seemed more favorable to the landlord, so you moved on.

You may have learned some important lessons during your ongoing search, especially not allowing a potential landlord to take advantage of you. However, having a skilled real estate attorney as your ally can help in covering all bases. For example, the lease agreement must comply with local, state and federal guidelines.

Know every detail, including zoning matters

Every aspect of the lease must be scrutinized since leases become legal contracts once signed. Do not sign one unless you fully understand all of the details.

Many types of commercial leases exist. Some can be costly, so you must decide exactly how much you are willing to spend, as well as which type is ideal for your business.

Upfront, you must determine whether you are willing to pay for insurance, property taxes, repairs, utilities and landscaping. Here are some key points to consider regarding commercial leases:

  • Review every detail within the contract. If you are unsure of anything, seek clarification from a legal professional before signing it.
  • Zoning matters are important. Does the property meet zoning standards for your company?
  • Make sure the lease agreement is current and that the landlord has updated or reviewed it recently. Some business owners discover that their new property has had extensive repairs that were not disclosed by the landlord in the lease.
  • Get a complete list of any and all building improvements that the landlord expects to complete before you move into the office space.
  • Pay close attention to lease length. Short-term leases are often better for start-up business owners.

A good lease should work in your favor. Before signing one, make sure to give it plenty of scrutiny. Working with a qualified attorney can help you minimize your risks.