It can be very exciting for a business owner to finally find office space that will work for his or her business. Do not let this excitement prevent you from taking the time upfront to make sure the office space and the lease agreement associated with the office space will be right for you. Negotiating the best office lease to meet the needs of your business can save you a great deal of money and headaches down the road.
What Should I Be Mindful of When Negotiating My Office Lease?
The opportunity to negotiate the lease for your office space can give your business flexibility and peace of mind that may very well prove invaluable. Make sure you take care to address some of the following in your lease:
- Permitted use of the premises: Is this office space going to allow you to conduct the business you want both now and in the future? When negotiating your lease, attempting to secure a broad permitted use clause will best protect your ability to expand and change your business as you see fit.
- Extension option: This lease provision can protect your ability to extend your lease while limiting the amount your rent may increase. Take into consideration how many options to extend your lease you may have. Consider a provision limiting the amount you rent may increase upon extension. Additionally, the extension option provision of the lease can require your landlord to remind you about the option to extend should you fail to provide notice by a certain date.
- Termination option: Sometimes a business does not work out or operating a business in a certain space does not work out. Any number of factors can account for this, but you want to make sure your lease has a termination option that will not unduly punish you should you need to end your lease prior to its end date. It is unlikely that you will avoid paying any fees for an untimely lease termination, but you can use the termination option provision to minimize your liabilities as much as possible.
- Right of first refusal: This option is a popular addition to office leases. It gives you, the tenant, the right to lease additional space in the event an outside party expresses interest in leasing that space. For example, if there is surrounding space that you ever might want to expand into and someone else expresses interest in that space, the landlord would give you the first opportunity to match any offer made to lease the specified space. The right of first refusal provision should specify which space(s) the right pertains to. It should also specify whether the right is a one-time option or whether it will continue throughout the length of the lease.
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