Signing a commercial lease is an important part of running your business. If you’re in the early stages and need a storefront or other physical location, the standards for a proper commercial lease can be a difficult undertaking without doing your research beforehand. And fortunately, there’s more leeway for negotiating the terms of a commercial lease as opposed to a residential lease. Read on to learn about what to look for in a commercial lease in New York.
Prior to getting to the negotiation stage, you obviously must identify your business’ needs in relation to the potential commercial space. You should have a good idea about this before you meet with the owner or the real estate agency. Describing the physical requirements of the business early can help in developing the precision of drafting a new lease.
Features of a Commercial Lease
The rights that are generally associated with a residential lease don’t usually apply to a commercial one. That is why it’s important to know certain things about them before you commit to signing:
- Who is the entity on the lease agreement: You should know the official party that is represented on the lease because individuals are allowed different lease terms than an LLC (limited liability company) or other business structure. LLCs may pose some risks for landlords, such as difficulties in the enforcement of breached leases for dissolved businesses and other complexities.
- Is subletting allowed: As a tenant, you may want to help lessen some risk by including a provision for subletting and/or sharing office space to alleviate the chance of insufficient revenue.
- Are alterations permitted: Landlords will often include provisions concerning detailed procedures for altering the space and spelling out what superficial and fundamental changes are allowed.
- Is an escalation rider included: This requirement provides an elevated risk to the tenant, who may be responsible for a sharp increase in rent because of the landlord’s real estate expenses or operating costs.
- Does it include eviction and/or early termination clauses: As a new business, the reality of economic sustainability is questionable at best. You may want to propose an early termination clause to the landlord. However, if the landlord wants a similar clause on their end, it could hurt your business. Because commercial tenants don’t enjoy the same rights as residential tenants, you need to be aware of language that makes it easier for the landlord to evict your business.
- Will there be a personal guarantee: Many commercial leases in New York contain a Good Guy Clause (GGC). This is used in situations where the lease is in the name of a business entity, such as an LLC where the landlord requires an individual to sign a personal guarantee. Here, you can benefit from a GGC because it allows the landlord to release you from liability in case you don’t complete the lease period. It’s popular for start-up businesses.
Get Help with Your Commercial Lease, Talk to a Lawyer
The lease will be the quintessential indicator of your financial obligation and liability, so it’s important that you get things right. If you’re ready to expand to a new site for your business, contact an attorney familiar with commercial leases. Contact us today, so that one of our experienced MOWK Law attorneys can explore the best options for your business.