The time has come to rent your first business premises. Whether this is an office, retail unit, restaurant, warehouse – or anything else – it’s a massive moment in your life. Perhaps you’ve been working from home until now, but you’ve decided it’s time to spread your wings. Or, maybe you’re only just starting your new business. In either case, there are some critical things you absolutely must consider before you put your name on the lease…
The size and location of the property
How big is the property you’re looking to rent? Will it be big enough for your business? Is it too big?! You need to find a place to rent that suits your business right now. Even if you’re thinking of expanding in the future, there’s no point renting a place that provides lots of empty space for a couple of years. You’ll waste money, and that’s not something you can afford to do. It is worth prioritising the location of the property over the size in most situations. Working in a smaller office within a good location will be more beneficial than having a big one in a terrible place. So, always take the size and location of the business property into account.
The lease terms
Always, always, always read through the terms of the lease before you sign anything. More than that, ensure you understand exactly what you are getting when signing this contract. Too many small business owners rush into signing leases that leave them with a horrible contract. You have to know what you can or can’t do when you agree to rent this building – are you able to make renovations inside to suit your business? What parts of the property are you responsible for maintaining? How long is the lease for? All of these questions need to be asked, so it helps to work with a commercial solicitor to be certain you understand everything. Only ever sign a lease when you are 100% happy with the terms and your solicitor deems it’s a fair contract.
The price & running costs
Lastly, you need to consider how much it will cost to rent your first business premises. Naturally, the rental costs will be the main factor. You’ll know this when applying for leases, but you also need to take the running costs into account. Most leases won’t include your energy bills, so they have to be factored into things. Try to work out how much it will cost, on average, to power your premises every month. Add this to the rent, and you have a better idea of how much the place costs. From here, you can start looking for premises that fit your budget better than others. Never overpay for a place to base your business; it’s not worth it.
Taking all of these things into consideration can help you find a commercial lease that works for you and your ambitions as a business owner. Of course, you should ask yourself if it’s even worth renting somewhere. Maybe you’re better off working from home with remote employees – weigh up the pros and cons!