Signing a lease for a business property can be exciting because it often signals the next step in opening a small business. However, you should never sign a lease before you read it and understand it. There are many things an owner may include in a lease that does not suit your situation and could cause issues down the road.
Business News Daily explains that the best thing you can do before signing a lease is to research the area, the building and the owner. You want to learn as much as possible so that you know this space is the right space for your business. Then, you can begin looking into the details of the lease.
What rent covers
You should always understand exactly what your rent payments cover. Make sure there is something in the lease that either states the utilities your landlord pays or the utilities you must pay. You should have clear instructions about who handles the payments of each expense. Typically, landlords will not pay most utilities, but they may cover trash pickup.
What happens if you need to close
While you probably do not want to think about going out of business, you should prepare for it. You want to know what the lease says will happen if you have to shut your doors. Understand whether you will have to continue making payments or if you can end the lease early. You may also want to check if you can transfer the lease to another business.
Who covers maintenance
The lease should also outline what your landlord is responsible for when it comes to maintenance. You need to know what to expect if there is a plumbing issue, if the roof leaks or if the electric goes out. It is also important to understand your responsibility for keeping the parking lot and walkways clear in the winter.