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10 Tips to leasing retail space for your small business

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

  1. Define your requirements: Consider the type of space you need and the features that are important to you, such as layout, location, parking and size.

    1. Research your options: Look for spaces that meet your needs in your desired location. You can search online or work with a real estate broker to find options.

    2. Tour the space: Schedule tours of potential spaces to see them in person. Think about the

      1. Layout: is the layout of the space conducive to the type of business you'll be operating?

      2. Location: Look for a space that is easily accessible for your customers or clients, as well as for you and your employees.

      3. Condition: Pay attention to the condition of the space and any potential issues or challenges.

      4. Appearance: The appearance of the space can be important, especially if you'll be interacting with customers or clients. Look for a space that is well-maintained and has a professional appearance.

      5. Parking: If your business requires customer parking, make sure there is sufficient parking available.

    3. Alternative spaces: Don't limit yourself to traditional commercial spaces. Consider alternative options such as coworking spaces, incubators, or shared office spaces.

    4. Network: Talk to other business owners, landlords, and real estate brokers to find out about potential spaces that might not be listed publicly.

  2. Lease Negotiation: Work with the landlord to negotiate the terms of the lease, including the rent amount, length of the lease, tenant improvements and any additional fees.

    1. Flexible lease terms: Some landlords may be willing to offer more flexible lease terms, such as month-to-month or short-term leases, to accommodate small businesses.

    2. Don't be afraid to negotiate: Negotiating the terms of the lease can be intimidating, but it's important to make sure you're getting a fair deal.

  3. Insurance: Make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your business, including coverage for the space you'll be using.

  4. Cost: The cost of the space is an important factor to consider, but don't make your decision solely based on price. Make sure the space meets your needs and has the potential to support your business.

  5. Contractor Advice: If you will be making tenant improvements seek out a contractor to get an estimate and to ensure improvements are within your budget and can be implemented.

  6. Utilities: Consider the cost and availability of utilities such as electricity, water, trash removal and internet.

  7. Growth: Think about whether the space you're considering has the potential to accommodate your business as it grows.

  8. Legal advice: Before signing a lease, consider getting legal advice to make sure you understand your rights and obligations as a tenant.

  9. Take your time: Finding the right space for your business is an important decision, so don't feel rushed to make a decision. Take the time to thoroughly research and consider your options before committing to a space.

  10. Get everything in writing: Make sure you have a written lease agreement that clearly outlines the terms of the lease, including the rent amount, any additional fees, and the length of the lease.

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