Great question. Here are some useful tips:
- Research comparables. A fair price can usually be determined by looking at similar rental spaces in the area. This is also important when negotiating renewal options. Try to work out a limit on increases so it remains affordable for you to stay in that particular commercial real estate location.
- Give yourself some time. Sometimes this is uncontrollable. If you do have time though, be patient. Finding the right spot will often occur spontaneously.
- Negotiate an exit strategy. There are no guarantees that things will go smoothly in the future. It’s important to leave yourself with some safety by negotiating sublease / assignment / cancellation clauses.
- Don’t limit your usage. Many leases include a list of what the tenant can do in the space. It’s in your best interest to include language such as “for all legal uses” in your lease.
- Hire an attorney to help you. Commercial leases can be long and confusing. A skilled attorney can help you understand things, and point out red flags that could eventually hurt your company.