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Protecting your company in commercial lease negotiations

Once you find a space that will work for your Wisconsin business, you may want to go ahead and sign the lease so you can move forward, but that may not be wise. There are many reasons why moving cautiously through this process is the smartest move for your company. You can negotiate the terms of a commercial lease, and you want to make sure it's right before you agree to anything.

Unlike a residential lease, it's possible to negotiate the terms of a commercial lease. You can work with the landlord to ensure that the terms you agree to are fair, reasonable and sustainable for your company for the life of the lease. This is a legal contract that will affect your operations for a considerable amount of time – it's prudent to make sure you understand everything in that agreement before you move forward.

How you can protect your company

There are several ways you can look out for the interests of your business during the process of securing the right type of property for your operations. One thing you can do is to make sure that the terms of your lease are both thorough and reasonable. Some of the specific things you may want to address are:

  • Rent – This includes the amount of the rent, plus any potential rent increases in the future. You will also want to include terms that spell out what rent includes, such as the cost of utilities and security.
  • Changing the building – The lease should also include terms that spell out exactly who is responsible for changes you need to the building. This includes remodeling costs, repairs and retrofitting existing spaces.
  • Use of the space – The terms of your lease should clearly spell out exactly how you can use the building and what you have permission to do with the space. It should also specify whether you can sublease to another tenant.

You may find it beneficial to speak with an experienced attorney before you agree to the terms of a lease. A review of the contract can help you see if there are terms that could potentially expose you to the risk of financial loss or legal complications down the road.

Commercial leases are contracts that will significantly affect the health and well-being of your business. It is in your interests to think about what will truly work best by negotiating terms and working with the landlord to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

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