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.