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Leasing commercial spaces: Get a good contract

In most cases, people looking to open a business start by renting a facility. Why? It's easier to get a rental property. You don't need as much capital, and you can save the funds you have for the things you need to keep your business running smoothly.

With any commercial lease, there is a contract. You need to understand the terms of the contract to make sure they're right for your business. For example, you should find out if you're responsible for common areas, utilities, taxes or other expenses in addition to the rent itself.

Normally, commercial leases are negotiable, which works well in your favor. Decide what you can afford along with the perks you'd like for renting the space. For instance, maybe you want to have a slightly longer lease in exchange for a lower monthly price. Commercial leases tend to be several years long, so be prepared to negotiate for a shorter term if you want to start out slow.

Before you ever sign a lease, you need to make sure the contract has everything it needs inside. For instance, it should state the rent amount, when it's due and how it's to be paid. It should have information on who's responsible for utilities, repairs and other expenses.

Most commercial leases have security deposit requirements, so those should be listed. Additionally, the length of the lease should be in the contract and defined. Don't sign a contract with no specified end date for the lease. Obtain a lease with an option to renew, so you can continue at the same location at the future. Our web page has more on the importance of the right commercial lease.

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