For many an entrepreneur, a new business is a labor of love that takes over your living space or comes to life in the confines of your garage. It’s an exciting day for any company when you branch out into your own commercial space.
If you’re like most people, the only lease you’ve ever signed is a residential one, if you’ve ever signed a lease at all. Unfortunately, commercial leases are a whole different ballgame. They tend to be much more complex than residential leases, and the provisions can seem overwhelming to those who have no experience with the process.
Before you sign anything, it’s important to understand all the terms of your lease. Consulting an attorney experienced with the complexities of commercial leases will ensure that you’re getting the space your business needs, and help to eliminate the possibility of disputes down the road.
Commercial Leases vs. Residential Leases
There are many ways in which commercial leases differ from the residential leases you may be used to. Unlike residential leases, commercial leases typically do not follow a standard form, and the terms will vary widely from lease to lease.
Because every business has different needs, commercial leases are highly negotiable. They also typically provide fewer legal protections for tenants than residential leases do. The law assumes that businesses entering into commercial leases are more sophisticated and knowledgeable than residential tenants, and therefore there are fewer applicable consumer protection laws.
Finally, commercial leases tend to be longer than residential leases, and commonly last for several years. They also tend to be harder to break or alter, and the penalties for doing so can be high.
What to Look for in a Commercial Lease
Because commercial leases typically involve a lot of negotiation, it can be easy to overlook crucial terms without even realizing it. At a minimum, your lease needs to address the most critical aspects of the rental arrangement. These include:
- A legal description of the property
- The lease term
- The rent amount and payment procedure
- Responsibility for utilities
- Responsibility for maintenance or repairs
- Security deposit requirements
- Rent increases
- Zoning and signage ordinances or limitations
- Subletting permissions
Of course, this list is far from exhaustive. Only you can determine which terms are most essential to running your company. Because your physical space can greatly impact the success of your business, it’s important to iron out any possible issues before you sign the lease. What’s important in the end is that you find a space you can afford that meets all the needs of your day-to-day operations.
Legal Guidance in Building Your Business
At The Gouchev Law Firm in New York, we work with businesses of all sizes, including start-ups and franchise businesses, across New York City and New Jersey, in meeting all types of transactional needs. Call us at (212) 537-9209 or schedule a free strategy session today to see what The Gouchev Law Firm can do for your business.
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Our growing company clients of all sizes seek commercial stability and growth. Increased regulation and competition, and the globalization of doing business, create the need for tailored legal counsel in the day-to-day operations of a growing business. New corporate governance regulations have brought about significant change in how business is conducted, and technology continues to accelerate the pace of transactions and the need for information.
Gouchev Law provides that trusted counsel you can rely on every single day and as you plan the future of your company. We will create a legal team for you that not only understands your specific industry and the laws governing your businesses but also your very specific goals and how best to achieve them.
Trusted Counsel At Your Side
As your business grows, we’ll be right there with you, providing continuing counsel to you and your company as you face new opportunities and challenges. Every great company journey comes with its fair share of tests and growing pains, but with Gouchev Law at your side, you can face them all. We will help you to create partnerships that maximize your growth while protecting your interests, develop and defend IP, and scale your business into new markets as you bring in new investors, equity, and partners.
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Some clients are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Whichever you are, we’re here to help you continue the greatness.
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