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20 Business Lease Signing Questions

20 Business Lease Signing Questions

20 Business Lease Signing Questions

 

 

Every entrepreneur faces a pivotal moment: the lease signing. When the ink dries, your vision transforms from a mere dream into brick-and-mortar reality. However, signing a lease isn’t as simple as agreeing on a price and a handshake.

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Navigating the complexities of a commercial lease is just as vital as your business plan. It’s an operation that’s best undertaken with a map – and in this case, the map is certainty, clarity, and empowerment through the right questions. In the world of business leases, ignorance is not just unpleasing – it can be cataclysmic.

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I’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist of questions that you should arm yourself with before you embark on the exhilarating, and sometimes nerve-wracking, journey of signing a business lease. These are not questions to skim or skip; they are zones to roam within and own. Because when you grill your lease with these queries, it won’t just be a piece of paper – it’ll be a force field of protection around your entrepreneurial dreams.

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The lease signing is the culmination of a strategic choreography between ambition and reality. But fear not – with the right questions, this can be the most empowering handshake you make.

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Business Lease Signing Questions

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  1. What is the Total Cost?

Start at the beginning: how much does the lease actually cost? This should include not only rent but also utilities, insurance, and any service costs.

  1. What’s the Lease Type?

Understanding if it’s a gross lease, a net lease, or a modified gross lease can influence what parts of your business could benefit or suffer.

  1. Are There Additional Fees?

Inquire about maintenance fees, property taxes, and anything else that might be hiding in the fine print.

  1. Can I Sublet?

Flexibility is vital. Ask about subletting – you may need it later, and it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

  1. What’s the Late Fee Policy?

Life happens, and business sometimes comes with unexpected turns. Know how the lease handles late payments to avoid stress later on.

  1. Can I Make Modifications?

Ephemeris is your business’s constant companion. You’ll want to know if you can install that new shelving unit without breaching the lease.

  1. What’s the Term Length?

Short or long term? The length of the lease influences not just your monthly bank balance but also your peace of mind and commitment.

  1. Is There a Right of First Refusal?

This clause gives you the option to buy the property before it goes on the market. Not all businesses need it, but for some, this can be a game-changer.

  1. How Are Disputes Handled?

You hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. How does the lease handle disputes? Are they settled through arbitration or litigation?

  1. What Am I Responsible For?

Electrical issues, plumbing, structural damage – knowing what falls under your business’s domain keeps you sovereign over your space.

  1. Are There ‘Quiet Hours’?

If your business closes at 5 but the building’s trash collection begins at 4, you might have an issue. Ensure that business and building operations align.

  1. What About Security Deposits?

Know the upfront cost and the conditions that warrant its return. After all, it’s your money – you want it when you need it, not tomorrow or even longer.

  1. Is There an Acceleration Clause?

This is a provision that allows the landlord to demand rent for the remainder of the lease if you miss a payment or breach another term of the lease. Understand its scope and implications.

  1. Lease Assignment Under What Conditions?

If you want to sell your business, will the landlord let you assign the lease to the new owner, or do you need to find a buyer willing to sign a new lease?

  1. Are There Any Use Restrictions?

Ensure the lease terms are in alignment with your business plan. If you’re in the tech industry, you don’t want a clause that prohibits a lab within the premises.

  1. Who’s Responsible for Major Repairs?

A leaky roof could be your landlord’s duty – or yours. Don’t wait until it happens – know the standards beforehand.

  1. Is There a Demolition Clause?

Imagine signing the lease and three months later, they tear down the building. It’s not just a hypothetical worry – it’s a real lease component.

  1. Review the Renewal Terms.

When you’re in the thick of the business hustle, 5 or 10 years sound like an eternity. Know when and how you can renew – or gracefully depart.

  1. Parking: Is it Property Inclusive?

Whether you and your employees drive or rely on customer proximity, parking provisions are critical.

  1. What’s the Insurance Requirement?

Understand what insurance is needed (and who should carry it) before you roll out the ‘We’re Open!’ sign.

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Conclusion

Knowledge is power, especially when it’s written in ink. So prepare well, ask intentionally, and remember: the lease isn’t just a page, it’s your business’s foundational cornerstone. By arming yourself with these questions, you’re signing not just a lease, but an assurance that your business will thrive in the protective wings of well-informed decisions. Now go forth, fellow entrepreneur, and secure that flourishing future with a pen and a new purpose. It’s not just another day in business – it’s a day you changed the game.

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