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Key points to think about with a commercial lease

When negotiating a commercial lease, you want to make sure you like the terms of the lease before signing. No matter how good the space is, it's never wise to sign something that you disagree with, just because you feel like you have no choice. Below are a few things you want to consider during this process.

1. Do you need a bail-out clause?

Essentially, this clause says that you can stop paying and leave the space before the lease is up if your sales aren't where you want them to be. This is a safety net in case the new space doesn't help your business the way you hoped.

2. Are you also paying for common areas?

This is an issue in large buildings with multiple spaces. Each shop may not have a bathroom, for example, and there may be hallways between the shops. Are you paying for this space or just your own retail space?

3. You may want a co-tenancy clause.

If you chose the space specifically because it's close to another large, popular store that creates a lot of foot traffic, you may want to use this clause so that you can break the lease if that store leaves. This is often an issue in shopping malls, where small local stores may want to be close to huge chains like Sears and Macy's.

4. Does the landlord help pay for upgrades?

If work needs to be done before you can actually use the space, be sure you know if that money comes out of your pocket or if the landlord will help you pay.

Remember that the lease is legally binding in New York. Be sure it fits your needs before you sign.

Source: Entrepreneur, "Commercial Leases," accessed June 17, 2016

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