Signing an Office Lease
Today’s blog offers a few tips for startups to keep in mind when considering a commercial real estate lease. This blog is not legal advice. You should talk to your lawyer if you have questions about your situation.
First, select a location that works for you – whether based on convenience, square footage, parking, etc., and find a commercial real estate broker you can work with. Next, read the lease carefully, and engage the services of an attorney if you need help understanding the terms. Try asking nearby tenants about the property, location, and landlord. This can be a great source of additional information.
When it comes to the terms of the lease – think about flexibility in the short term – as a startup, you might need it. Avoid signing a personal guarantee, and finally, try to negotiate a clause that permits subletting the space.1
Grace Pavlik, a broker at Omne Partners in Omaha, offers valuable insight based on her experience. According to Grace, "It is very important to work with a commercial broker that you trust and has your back. A broker will be the advocate for their start-up client during the lease negotiations. Therefore, working with a good broker who understands their client’s story and who can relay those concerns to prospective landlords makes a difference. Landlords sometimes view working with start-ups as taking a risk, so the more the start-up and their broker can do to make the landlord feel comfortable, the better. There are spaces available that cater to start-ups and often allow flexible lease terms - and that offer a thriving community environment. An experienced broker can help you find the best place to locate your startup."