Choosing the right property can have a significant bearing upon the success of a company. As such, there are some important factors to think about when searching for premises.
Before beginning the search, calculate exactly how much space is required. Any long-term goals for potential expansion should be considered. Choosing premises which offer flexibility to move or expand when the time is right will help a business grow organically.
It is always a good idea to make a list of specifications. Will the business require meeting rooms, storage, parking, or specialist areas? Is it important to have good transport links? Working out which requirements are essential and which are less important will help when comparing prospective sites.
The location of commercial premises should reflect the nature of the business. A central location is imperative for those with reliance upon passing trade. For example, someone opening a sandwich bar in Brighton might choose premises near the station, or close to the main shopping mall, where there is a high footfall of potential customers. Conversely, those looking for business offices to rent in Birmingham, may benefit from looking into out of town locations. Not only do these tend to be cheaper, they are often bigger and have additional facilities, such as parking.
Finding the right premises should not be rushed. Careful research should be carried out. Even the ‘perfect’ premises will have its downsides and it is important business owners are aware of these before they embark on a rental contract. It can be helpful to speak with other local business owners to gain insight into the area. Ultimately any business wants to avoid making a mistake and having to undertake the considerable expense and inconvenience of relocation.
The legal stuff
When renting a commercial property there may be a choice between taking on a lease or a licence agreement. The arrangement may depend upon the type of business and whether or not there is a need for flexibility. For example, for shorter-term tenancies the most appropriate way forward might be a licence agreement.
Either way, the rental agreement will be a legal document placing responsibility on the business to meet a number of obligations, including financial commitments. If a break clause is included in the agreement there will be some flexibility to terminate the lease early if necessary.
Rent is often a quarterly arrangement but some start up companies can negotiate monthly payments for a fixed term. There are likely to be periodic reviews of the rent, which should be factored into company business plans and financial projections.
Before signing legal documents, check if anything else, such as service charges, are payable in addition to the rent. If major renovations are part of the plan, consent must be obtained from the landlord. In addition, check who will be responsible for repairs.
As a tenant, the company will have certain responsibilities. These include health and safety, fire safety and maintenance of equipment. According to Gov.uk the tenant is also legally responsible for space, ventilation, lighting, toilets, washing facilities and drinking water. In some cases, a special licence must be obtained to carry out some business activities.
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