If you’re launching a start-up or growing your business, you’ll need the right premises to operate from. No matter what type of business you own, it’s essential to have somewhere to base your organization.
Of course, your commercial property has a major impact on the success of your venture. If you want to increase productivity and boost your profits, take a look at this handy checklist before you lease commercial property:
1. Can the property be insured?
Insurance is vital for all businesses, but you’ll need to ensure that you can use the premises as you intend to. If you want to use the space as a workshop or garage, for example, you’ll need to gain permission from the landlord and check that the building insurers don’t preclude these types of business activity.
2. What businesses are nearby?
When choosing a commercial property, you may want to limit the competition by selecting a venue that doesn’t have similar businesses nearby. If you run a newsagent, for example, you probably don’t want to open a new shop directly next to a supermarket or convenience store.
Some commercial agreements have clauses in place that prevent similar businesses from launching within a specific area. That’s why it’s important to discuss your company operations with your potential landlord before you sign a lease. If they own multiple units, you’ll want to ensure that you’re able to undertake your intended business activities without any limitations.
3. Will there be enough space?
If you’ve never leased commercial property before or if you’re moving to a larger unit, it might be tricky to estimate just how much space you’ll need. Similarly, it can be tricky to visualise whether an empty space will be sufficient once it’s filled with equipment, stock or people.
Renting a commercial property that’s too small could limit your business growth. Conversely, leasing a space that’s too large means unnecessary expenditure. To prevent either of these situations, take the time to seriously consider how much space you’ll really need. Modifying your operations to reduce the space needed can be a great way to increase efficiency and reduce your costs.
4. Are there any health and safety issues?
As a business owner, you’ll need to adhere to various health and safety regulations. Although the property owner should ensure that it’s safe prior to letting, it can be advantageous to undertake your own checks. Ask the landlord for documentation to confirm that inspections have been carried out and request their permission to assess the site yourself.
Don’t simply rely on a visual check when you’re leasing a new property. A thorough check carried out by an electrician could highlight problems with the power supply. A CCTV drain survey could uncover damaged drains and leaks. An experienced surveyor may identify structural issues that need attention. All of these problems could be overlooked during a visual inspection but could have a major impact on your day-to-day operations. Thorough checks prior to signing a lease can go a long way to ensuring your company can operate successfully.
5. Who is responsible for repairs?
It’s inevitable that properties will need repairs from time to time, but who is responsible for carrying them out? This can be a major point of contention between landlords and tenants, particularly if the problems affect your use of the property.
If your potential landlord assures you that he or she will carry out repairs as needed, be sure to get this in writing. Furthermore, request that their repairs policy is forwarded to you prior to signing anything. You’ll need to know how quickly repairs will be completed and whether you’re entitled to compensation or reduced rent if this fails to happen.
Alternatively, check whether there are any restrictions when it comes to carrying out your own repairs. If you’re responsible for undertaking repairs, you might find that you need to submit documentation to your landlord or use specific tradespeople when repairs are required.
Finding the Right Commercial Property
When you’re leasing a commercial property, there are a wide range of issues you’ll need to consider. From footfall and parking to trading restrictions and building access; it’s vital to ensure you’ll be able to use the property as you see fit. Although it can take time to find the perfect commercial unit or office, it’s always worth taking the extra time to locate a building that fits your needs. By doing so, you can ensure you have the perfect base to build your business.