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Small business commercial lease checklist

By Samantha Garner | September 6, 2014

Ready to take the plunge on leasing a location for your small business? Review the following components that should be stated in your commercial lease or rental agreement, and consider your requirements for each. Also consider which of these may give you leverage during negotiations, and which you can afford to back down on.

  1. Names of Landlord & Tenant
  2. Address of the premises
  3. Rent amount, payment terms, late payment penalties and any allowable or scheduled increases
  4. Items included in rent:
    • Description of rental space: square footage, available parking
    • Utilities – phone, water, internet, gas, electricity
    • Taxes, maintenance fees
  5. Lease term – start and end date
  6. Damage deposit requirements
  7. Any representations made (statistics or even promises about certain aspects of the site like foot traffic estimates, average utility costs, competitive restrictions)
  8. Zoning information
  9. Permitted uses of the premises
  10. Subletting terms and conditions
  11. Build-outs – Restrictions on and ownership of additions, modifications, improvements, or fixtures added while the space is occupied
  12. Repairs – terms and conditions
  13. Insurance and security requirements
  14. Non-compete clause (restrictions on leasing/renting to your competitors nearby)
  15. Dispute resolution
  16. Lease termination options
  17. Renewal options
  18. Signing incentives
  19. General legal provisions
  20. Additional rules and regulations
  21. Signatures and dates of signing
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