Once you’ve outgrown your garage, your home office or your executive suite, you will probably consider leasing commercial office space. The best advice I can give you, the entrepreneur, is to treat the office space lease process the same way you might the car buying process. If you don’t, you could end up legally responsible for a ridiculous amount of money.
Do your homework on the market. It’s much harder to find click-of-the-button information on commercial real estate compared to automobiles. So that means get out there, test drive the office space by taking some tours of different buildings. Gather as much information you can because you will use it when it’s time to negotiate the lease. Which leads to…Negotiate those boilerplate terms they throw at you. Think back to all the times you purchased or leased an automobile. Did you ever take the first offer? Of course not. Use the information you gathered to get yourself better terms.
Caveat: It’s even more important to examine and negotiate a commercial lease, because some landlords like to throw in ridiculous tenant liability clauses. (How do you feel about being responsible for replacing the HVAC units if they break down?) Just like purchasing a new car, you are entitled to a “warranty.” Don’t let the landlord take that away from you…and don’t feel as though you have to give anything up to get it back.