It doesn’t matter if you’re signing your first commercial lease or have past experience, negotiating favorable terms is easier said than done. And if you make a mistake up front, it could cost you time and money in the long run.

Here are five tips you can follow to turn the tide in your favor and ensure that you’re happy with the terms and conditions of your commercial lease agreement:

  • Set a budget: Before you do anything, set a budget and vow to follow it. With this, it’s easier to focus on properties that you can actually afford, while ignoring those that will get you into financial trouble.
  • Don’t forget to negotiate: Even if it’s a good deal, there’s nothing wrong with negotiating with the landlord. In addition to the cost of rent, you can negotiate on other details, such as utilities and termination conditions.
  • Double check the details yourself: Don’t assume that everything the landlord has told you about the property is true. For example, you should always check the square footage before signing on the dotted line. You may come to find that it’s smaller than you thought, which should give you the upper hand when negotiating.
  • Understand the early termination penalty fees: Even if you have every intention of staying in the space for the duration of your lease, you never know what the future will bring. For example, if your company grows faster than expected, you may need to seek out a larger space. And should that day come, you’ll be glad that you understand the fees associated with early termination.
  • Compare your options: Even if you think you’ve found the perfect commercial space, don’t jump into a contract just yet. Compare at least three options before making a final decision. This will give you peace of mind in the end.

When you follow these tips, you position yourself to negotiate favorable commercial lease terms.

Just remember, you don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Review the lease, negotiate the terms and conditions, and take every step you can to protect your legal rights, now and in the future.

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