Finding the right commercial space for your Washington, D.C. business is not easy. It's expensive, and the market is competitive, and you know you need to move quickly when you find something that works for your budget and needs. It's easy to see why it's tempting to rush through this process, but it may be more prudent to slow down and carefully review the terms of your agreement first.
The terms included in your commercial lease matter. While it may seem much simpler to just sign the agreement, it's in your interests to look at what's included and perhaps even negotiate on the terms. Before you move forward, you may also find it beneficial to seek experienced legal guidance to review the contract and ensure you are not exposing your business to any unnecessary risk.
Details on rent and length of lease
Some of the most important terms of any commercial lease are those pertaining to rent. It is critical that any commercial lease contain specific and clear terminology on things such as the amount of the rent payments and whether they could increase in the future. This will keep you from being surprised by unexpected costs in the future or your landlord deciding to raise the rent without warning.
It is also crucial for your lease to include terms that pertain to how long your lease will last and what will happen if you decide to break the lease early. You may also want to negotiate on terms that involve subleasing, if that is something that could affect you in the future.
Improvements and remodeling
Not every commercial space will be immediately ready to move into and appropriate for your company's needs. It is possible you will need to make improvements to the property, and your commercial lease should address this. The terms need to spell out which party is responsible for the changes and what will happen if there are future changes or repairs needed down the road.
Don't negotiate alone
Negotiating the terms of a commercial lease can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you are afraid that it could cause you to scare off the landlord. In reality, negotiating fair and reasonable terms is beneficial for both parties, as a clear and thorough contract will reduce the chance of a dispute in the future. You may want to speak to an attorney regarding exactly how you proceed in negotiating or reviewing the terms of a contract before signing on the dotted line.