Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing an Office Space

questions when choosing office spaceWhen searching for an office space there are many factors to consider beyond the basic financial considerations of rental cost and length of lease. Usually, most of these considerations involve legal issues, which if not considered may affect ones business in the long term.

Let us begin with the less than obvious consideration of hidden costs. Hidden costs are financial issues that may have legal concerns when one has to consider all events that occur when occupying a new office space. Activities that require formal agreements such as design and renovation, logistics of relocation, and restoration of vacated space among others. An itemized list of activities from vacating a space to moving into a new one should flesh out legal concerns that may be overlooked.

Another factor would be consideration of room for growth. All organizations envision growth, they don’t stay put and say “this is as far as the company goes”. Look for a space that can accommodate growth within the length of the lease. Should current financial situations not allow paying for “dead space” then consider a shorter lease or include in the lease agreement the right to negotiate for any adjoining space that becomes available.

Businesses can also consider sharing office space and save on the cost of rent, utilities and maintenance. Businesses such as architecture and construction share office spaces, as well as dental and optical shops, or legal and accounting share offices. It is not uncommon for complementary businesses to share space as they may wind up sharing clients as well. However, there is a need for a formal agreement among tenants to protect the parties concerned no matter how short the partnership may be.

A successful business must look after the security of its lease. Otherwise, an established business in the neighborhood may find itself looking for a new home. Tenants should secure in their lease agreement the opportunity to first new their lease before the landlord seeks a new tenant. Tenants could also secure in their agreement a cap on the rental increase upon renewal the lease.

Businesses should also look into ADA compliance of the building and the office space construction. The 2010 Standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act ensures easy access to buildings and facilities for people with disabilities. General nondiscrimination requirements include a parking space with access aisle to allow deployment of a van’s wheelchair lift, access ramps at a facility’s entrance, as well as aisles and restrooms that accommodate mobility devices among others.  Here’s an illustrated guide from the US Department of Justice to help businesses with their decision

There are times when the option to sell ones business is too tempting or inevitable. Should this opportunity arise during the length of ones lease, what can an entrepreneur do to protect itself from future obligations? Many lease contracts make the original business owner liable should the new business owner fail to perform their rental obligations. It is therefore necessary that the lease clarifies responsibilities of ownership

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