When you lease office space there are numberous things you will need to have or consider before finalizing and signing an office lease contract. Below are a few things that you will need to lease commercial office space.
Good Credit and Strong Financials
To start with it's important to put yourself in a position of strength and make sure you have good credit and strong financials. You will also want to have ALREADY started the process on any SBA or other business loans that you are going to depend on to operate the business. Office landlords want to make sure that you have enough cash or cash flow to pay your rent. Depending on how new your business is and how you have it set up they will typically ask for personal tax returns, profit/loss statments, balance sheets, cash flow statements, letters from your bank stating how much cash you have, etc.
If your business is new than creating a solid business plan is key. This gives you the opportunity to show the landlord how well you know your business and when you expect to break even and be profitable. You goal is to make the landlord feel as confident as you do in your office space tenancy.
You need to know the market. What lease rates are landlords quoting in the area and in comparable buildings that you are interested in? Consider getting help from a local tenant representative as they do this every day. What kinds of deals are actually being done? What questions should you ask the landlord before leasing office space? What is the farthest North or South you would consider?
Your Office Lease Budget
What is the maximum monthly amount of office rent that you can afford? Do you know how to calculate rent costs?
Office Lease Term
Is your business growing? Will you need to expand soon? What is the longest lease term that you feel comfortable signing? If you need to remain flexible because you are not sure about the future of your business (good or bad) then only consider buildings that are open to short term office leases.
Office Space Layout
How do you want your office space layout to be? Do you want more hard walled offices or open space with desks for cubicles? How many square feet of office space do you need? If you don't know checkout this office space calculator. You will never go out of business for leasing too little space so make sure you don't lease more space than you need.
Other Office Lease Considerations
There are a number of other things needed for your commercial lease such as security deposit and 1st months rent typically due at lease signing, data cabling for phone/internet, property and general liability insurance, etc…