After you have found the right office space there are a few financial items that you should budget for or have prepared before signing on the dotted line. Many times businesses don't ask the landlord all the right questions when looking at space and end up being surprised with expenses that they were not aware of. Below are a few items one must consider before signing a commercial office lease.
Security Deposit and 1st month's rent
The security deposit (equal to one month's rent) and 1st month's rent are typically due at the time you sign your office lease. Sometimes you can get away with only writing a check for the security deposit however in most cases both will be required. When looking at office space for rent and speaking with landlords make sure you ask what will be due at lease signing. You don't want to budget for one thing only to find out you are required to pay more.
To have peace of mind that you can afford to pay the rent most landlords will want to see some sort of financials. This can be in the form of 2-3 years of personal tax returns or if you have an existing business you can provide profit/loss statements, balance sheets, etc. Most landlords will want to see something so it's best to have this ready for review to avoid delays.
Phone and Data Cabling
Landlords don't typically pay for the cost of phone and data cabling so before you sign a lease you will want to get a couple of quotes on installing cabling (e.g. cat 5) for your necessary phone and data needs. Expect to pay anywhere from $70 to $150 for each cable installed.
Insurance – Property and General liability
While the landlord will have insurance on the building itself you will be required to get property and general liability insurance. Yearly costs can range from $500 to $1000 per year. Property insurance is necessary to insure your personal belongings while general liability will cover any potential accidental damages or injuries.
Other costs to consider
Other costs to consider or budget for before moving into your new office are the cost of furniture, movers, new stationary, printing and copying services, phone and internet service, etc.
There are a lot of Austin commercial lease considerations and budgeting for before renting office space. Hopefully the list above will get you started on the right track.