While the rent per square foot is an important consideration, money is not the only thing that can be negotiated in a commercial lease.
A colleague of mine, Attorney Chris Moander, recently wrote an article “The lease is a beast I can’t stand in the least” on his blog, and he warns of the danger of being on the hook for maintenance of a building that you thought you were just leasing.
This brought me to another topic that needs discussion, and that is negotiating the commercial lease. Business owners and entrepreneurs are ambitious and visionary sorts of people. While this ability to clearly see the prosperous future is crucial to have the guts to run you own business, it can also create a tendency to overlook some of the potential obstacles to being successful. Dreams of how “perfect” a particular office space is can cause you to skimp on negotiating.
Even if you are happy with the price, or at least willing to pay it, it is well worth the small additional cost to have an attorney review the document and help you determine which provisions need to be removed or modified. Often the party leasing the space simply has one form contract that they routinely use, but will gladly modify a few provisions here and there if it means getting you into the building and signing that lease.
Although you may have exhausted your negotiating latitude regarding price, does not mean that you can’t get a few of those often nasty commercial lease provisions removed as part of getting the deal done.