While all your friends were out partying on Friday nights and brunching on Sundays for the last six months, you've been diligently working on your business plan. Ready to start your small business, you've put in countless hours trying to make this happen. You've found what appears to be the perfect building. However, before you sign a commercial lease, you should do some advance research to determine if the building will be a good fit for your particular business. Choosing a facility is one of the most critical decisions you will make as a business owner.
"Location! Location! Location!" That famous phrase has loads of truth to it. If you are running a business where you would benefit from a lot of walk-ins, be sure you scout out locations that have good foot traffic and are easily accessible to the general public. Having an espresso bar the middle of nowhere in a nearly deserted industrial park won't do you any good and surely won't bring in the revenue you will need to get your business afloat.
Depending on the type of business you are operating, you'll likely want to have a suitable amount of parking for patrons. For instance, if you are running a workout facility such as a weight lifting gym or spin classes, consider finding a spot with ample parking for customers. The last thing someone wants to worry about is feeding their meter every 30 minutes, getting a ticket, or even having to circle around looking for parking in the rain. Make it easy on your customers. For more information, see FindLaw's Small Business section.
What follows is a series of questions that can help you evaluate the pros and cons of leasing the facility for your business.
Is the area zoned for this type of business?____
Does the area convey the right image for this business?____
Does the building convey the right image for this business?____
Is the building in need of any repairs?____
Will the landlord make the necessary repairs?____
Is there adequate space for the business in this facility?____
Is there space in the facility if the business needs to expand?____
Does the facility provide extra storage space for the business?____
Does the layout of the space meet the needs of the business?____
Does the space need any improvements?____
Does the landlord pay for the improvements?____
Is the lighting adequate?____
Is the ventilation adequate?____
Can the existing utilities meet the needs of the business?____
Are there a sufficient number of electrical outlets in the space?____
Are there qualified employees in the area?____
Is the facility accessible by public transportation?____
Is there adequate parking for customers?____
Is there adequate parking for employees?____
Are the parking areas adequately lit at night?____
Are there any restrictions on when employees can be in the building?____
Is the facility located in a safe area?____
Does the facility provide any type of security?____
Does the landlord heat the facility on weekends?____
Does the landlord cool the facility on weekends?____
Is the facility accessible to suppliers of the business?____
Is the facility accessible to customers of the business?____
Are any competitors located in the facility?___
Are any competitors located in the same vicinity as this facility?____
Is the rent favorable?____
Are the terms of the lease favorable?____
Using a Lawyer
There are numerous considerations that go into choosing the right location for your business. Having an experienced lawyer help you navigate through the process and review your lease agreement before signing is a smart move. Contact a business and commercial law attorney now.