What You Need to Consider Before Signing a Corporate Lease

Signing a lease is a critical step in the development of your business. It provides you with a base of operations and room for growth. It can also be a fraught process, full of worry and hidden dangers. Before signing, make sure you are protected. Here’s what you need to consider before signing a corporate lease.

Do You Fully Understand the Terms of the Lease?

Perhaps the most important thing to consider before signing a lease is whether you fully understand the terms of the lease. This includes any fees or liabilities to which you may be subject.

One of the most common terms in a commercial lease is the common area maintenance fee. This fee, often shortened to CAM on leases, refers to the percentage of fees a tenant is liable for the upkeep and maintenance of the building. Before signing a commercial lease, ensure that the CAM is only relating to the upkeep of the building, and not other elements, such as the landlord’s marketing costs or legal fees.

Have You Negotiated the Best Possible Deal?

Just because you are being handed a lease agreement to sign doesn’t mean the terms of the corporate lease are done and dusted. Before signing any agreement, it is important to take a step back and ask if you have negotiated the best possible deal. As you are reading the agreed lease agreement, take a moment to note any clauses in the lease which you do not like. Then, take the lease to the landlord and see if you can negotiate revised terms based on your list. While you may not be successful with everything, you might be surprised how much your landlord will be willing to negotiate.

Is the Lease Agreement Assignable?

Signing a corporate lease requires a level of risk. After all, a long-term lease may outlast the lifespan of some companies. Before signing a lease, check to see if the terms allow the lease agreement to be assignable. An assignment allows you to transfer the rental agreement to another party should you choose to sell your business. Not being able to assign a lease can hamper efforts to sell a business, as many buyers may be wary of renegotiations with a landlord, or the sudden termination of a lease agreement reducing the value of the asset.

Do You Have the Right Business Structure in Place?

One of the final things to consider is whether you have the correct business structure in place to protect your personal interests. It is critical that your company’s articles of incorporation are filed, and you receive your articles of organization before signing any lease, as these will protect you from personal liability. To ensure you are protected, you should speak with an experienced Florida corporate attorney before signing any commercial lease.

Before you sign any corporate lease, consult with your trusted legal partner.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and.how they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

Find a Lawyer