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Is Looking for a Commercial Lease Substantially Different Than Looking for a Residential Lease?

There are some aspects of a commercial lease that make it significantly different from a residential lease. For one thing, a commercial lease tends to last longer and is more difficult to get out of than a residential lease. Commercial leases also tend to have less consumer protections.  In terms of negotiating, commercial leases tend to have a lot more flexible terms that can be negotiated and worked out between the parties.

What Are Some of the Terms I Should Pay Close Attention to When Determining if the Lease is Right for My Business?

There are numerous provisions you should examine, including: 

  • Lease term: you need to consider how long you will want to use the property for your business, and what kind of renewal options the lease provides for.
  • Rent: know how much the rent is, the method for payment, and if there are any opportunities for an increase in rent.
  • Additional Costs: know what the property taxes are and if you will be responsible for paying for the maintenance of the property.
  • Security Deposit: know how much you will need to put down for a commercial lease deposit and what conditions you need to meet to get your deposit back.
  • Modifications: do any improvements or modifications need to be made in order for you to conduct business on the property.
  • Subleasing: find out if you can sublease the property to another party.
  • Disputes: set up a system ahead of time for resolving any disputes involving provisions of the lease.

Should I Discuss a Commercial Lease with a Lawyer before Signing It?

Many times business owners will miss one or more of the legal formalities in a lease that could make all the difference later on. It's important to consult with an experienced property attorney before you sign a lease for your business. A property lawyer can help you understand all the provisions of the lease and help you negotiate for the terms that would best suit your business.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 09-03-2013 04:53 PM PDT

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