Reviewing the Terms of Your Business Lease

Signging Contract

Congratulations! You found what seems to be a perfect location for your business, and you feel like you’re finally on your way to get your entrepreneurial dreams started.

But before you invite all your friends to celebrate with a couple of beers, take some time to carefully review the terms of that business lease.

I’m not one to rain on anyone’s parade, but your business is such a huge investment of time, money, and effort, that you want to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible. Before you sign that line while still flying high on your excitement, consider the following:

  1. What are your business needs? Are you opening a bar and need a license to serve alcohol? You better check that location is allowed by local regulations to do so; and if it is, include on the contract that such condition is precedent to make the agreement valid. Whatever your specific business needs, make sure you’re covered, and always include it on the contract.
  1. What’s the term of the lease? Are you planning on having contractors show up on the first day to start working on your locale? So what’s the actual first day of the lease? You could sign it today, but it won’t take effect until a month from now. Know this before you schedule everything around it. You also want to know with 100% certainty when the term begins, since, in the event you choose not to renovate the lease, you can count the right amount of days (60 days notice from date of expiration only means something if you know when to start counting).
  2. Terminating the contract: What are your responsibilities besides paying rent? Do you have to take care of ordinary repairs, or is that up to the landlord? Read every term carefully to make sure it is not one sided, all for the benefit of the owner. That way, if there’s some sort of breach, it will be easier to point it out if it’s serious enough to warrant termination of the contract.

You should never sign a written agreement before fully understanding what you’re getting into. Don’t skim the lease. All of the terms are important. If you don’t believe me, take a day off and go hang out at a courthouse to see breach of contract cases. Lawyers charge hundreds of dollars per hour. Add up the time you think it would take to handle the issue and multiply it times a gazillion, ‘cause it will probably take more.

Don’t buy a lawsuit. Contact Eclipse Building Corp. for that lease review and feel confident about your decision to sign.