It goes without saying that when you lease commercial real estate for your business, whether it be office space, retail space, or warehouse space, especially when you search for commercial leases for the first time, you should engage an attorney in the process. It doesn’t hurt to contact an attorney as early as possible — if the attorney is considerably involved in commercial real estate, he or she will know the market prices, where to look, and even how to go about searching for space, including knowing which realtors or tenant representatives to engage.
In any event, you should definitely engage an attorney once you have found space to lease. The attorney can review the lease to ensure that its terms are fair and non-onerous to your business — for example, ensuring that you are not responsible for replacing appliances that may already be close to needing to be replaced, or preventing you from being required to invest considerable money in improvements if your lease is only a few short years. In addition, the attorney may be able to help you negotiate a lower lease amount, although depending on your business’s circumstances and the circumstances surrounding the space you want to lease, that may not be possible.
Finally, an attorney can also help you identify and handle issues that may be related, even tangentially, to securing a commercial lease. For example, an attorney can help you in the event your business needs to obtain any new certificates of occupancy or zoning variances for the newly leased space, or help you secure or renegotiate business insurance policies to cover the new space, or even help you with the legal issues surrounding hiring new employees if that is the reason your business is securing new commercial space.