Moving into a new business location can be a momentous occasion. You’ve likely worked hard to outgrow your current space, or you’re launching a business for the first time. In either instance, you’re now ready to start property shopping and begin a new chapter in your professional life.
However, choosing a new commercial property isn’t always about picking one you like the look of and signing on the dotted line. You must also consider some of the factors below:
It can be tempting to base your property lease decisions on building aesthetics, but the location also matters. If you’re a customer-facing business in Australia, for example, offices for lease in the Melbourne CBD might appeal more than those in a less-populated area. However, if foot traffic isn’t necessary for your line of work, you might prioritize parking and commute times for your team more than being in the heart of the CBD.
The same ethos applies, no matter where in the world you’re located. Think about where your customers are and what your employees need. You might be surprised by how integral a building’s location can be in the decision-making process.
The Floor Plan and Layout
If you’re giving up your current building lease to find a more suitable office, think about what makes your current location unsuitable. Perhaps you’re looking for more space, so you no longer have to have everyone’s desks crammed together. Perhaps you’re more focused on having separate offices and boardrooms for conferences and client meetings.
Whatever you’re seeking, the floor plan and layout of a building can hold significant weight in your decision. Think about your current and future space requirements, the furniture you have, and the rooms you require to perform everyday tasks to a high standard. It’s also important to note that the larger the office, the more you can expect to pay.
Office space is the highest expense for most businesses, with tenants paying an average of $595 per square foot in Washington DC and $550 per square foot in Boston. The larger your office, the more expensive your lease agreement can be.
Alongside your lease costs, you also need to cover utilities, insurance, and perhaps even maintenance. There might be costs associated with security, parking, and local nuisance laws. Keep this in mind when you start your commercial property journey.
Amenities and Infrastructure
There can be more to an office building than simply having enough space for chairs and desks. You also have to consider amenities like bathrooms and kitchens. OSHA requires workplaces to have two toilets for between 16 and 35 employees and three toilets for 36 to 55 employees. There must also be gender-segregated facilities for businesses with more than 15 male and female employees.
You might even like to factor cafés, restaurants, and other neighboring businesses into the decision-making process as they will be important to your team.
The Lease Agreement
Lease agreements can be complicated, and it can be easy to sign on the dotted line without absorbing all the information contained within them. However, failure to consider all parts of the lease agreement might create problems for you in the future.
Talk to a corporate lawyer about statutes to be aware of in the average lease agreement, such as holdover rent, the transfer structure if you decide to leave your office, and a nondisturbance agreement.
It certainly helps if you like the aesthetics of an office, but there’s much more to consider. Factor the points above into your decision, and you should soon be settling into the office of your dreams.