April 2014

Lease Negotiation: Critical Questions to ask before you Sign a Lease

By: Cindy Roberts

Director, Cache Business Resource Center, BATC

Navigating commercial lease negotiations can be a challenging issue especially for new business owners. 

The list of questions below is intended to help you address critical points when negotiating a lease. 

1.   Are you in the right location to attract your target demographic?

2.Does your business need a lot of foot traffic or are the majority of your sales made online?

3.  Do you need a visible store front?        

    4. Are there complementary businesses in the area?

    5.What are the advantages and disadvantages of your current location?

    6. Is there available office space in a location that would benefit your business?

    7.  What amenities are required for your business?

    8.  How long is a standard lease agreement?

           9. What is fair rent?

    10.  What are the terms and fees?

    11.   Will there be additional taxes?

    12.   Can you remodel or adjust the interior/exterior space?

    13.  Who is responsible for maintenance expenses?

    14.   What are you liable for as the tenant?

    15.   What should you expect from your landlord?

    16.    Is it possible to renegotiate after a lease has been signed?     

    17.   How do you renew your standing lease agreement