As a Phoenix business owner, your lease is one of the most important contracts that you will enter into. The terms of your lease can have a significant impact on the success of your company. It is not a contract that you should enter into without a complete understanding of your rights and obligations. Below is more information about commercial leases in Phoenix, Arizona.
What Are the Important Terms in a Phoenix Commercial Lease?
Commercial leases are complex documents. They are multiple pages long and include various provisions. Some of the most important terms that you should have in your Phoenix commercial lease are listed below.
- Term: The term of the lease refers to the lease’s length. What term is right for your business depends on your unique circumstances. Typically, if you are just starting out or your business’s future is otherwise uncertain, you should try to negotiate a short term with the option to renew. In some cases, you may need to notify the landlord of your intent to stay within a certain period of time. Including provisions such as the right to sublet the space or terminate early if the business closes can help protect you if everything does not go as planned and you need to relocate or shutter your business.
- Rent: Negotiating rent for commercial leases can get very complicated. You should rely on professionals to ensure that you are entering into the best deal and not paying above the market rate. Rent can be calculated in different ways. For example, the landlord may charge a base amount per square foot, or they may charge a percentage rent based on your sales. Rent increases should be addressed to ensure that your business is equipped to handle them.
- Maintenance and Fees: It is crucial to understand all the costs you will be responsible for in addition to rent. Property maintenance (plumbing, roof leaks, etc.), utilities, insurance, management fees, and taxes should all be covered in the agreement. As a small business owner, you may not have the overhead to cover these expenses.
- Use: The lease should address how you can and cannot use the property. For example, the agreement could restrict the installation and placement of signage, the type of business that you can operate, or office hours that you must follow. You need to be confident that you can use the property as you plan now and in the future.
- Improvements and Alterations: The lease should outline what improvements the landlord must make before you move into space and who is responsible for the costs. It should also address what alternations you are permitted to make after moving into the property and if updates will reduce rent. You should not assume you are automatically allowed to make changes to the leased property.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the terms that should be included in a Phoenix commercial lease. Each lease is unique and should be negotiated with the help of a trained business attorney.
Do You Need an Attorney for Commercial Leases?
Unlike residential leases, there is no standard commercial lease in Phoenix. They are filled with complicated language and can be difficult to understand. Phoenix business planning attorneys have the experience and specialized knowledge required to draft and review commercial leases. Your attorney can explain the significance of the lease terms and negotiate with the other side to get you the best deal possible.
Don’t underestimate the value of hiring an attorney early on in the process. It is a mistake to wait until problems arise to reach out to an attorney. It is much more difficult to undo something that is already signed. Working with an attorney before you enter into a lease will save you the time and expense of having to fix mistakes. Oversights and mistakes can significantly impact the profitability of your business and even result in costly litigation. Lawyers are trained to look for traps that can lead to added expenses for your business. When you hire an experienced Phoenix business planning attorney, you can be confident that you are entering into a contract that protects your rights.
Your Phoenix Business Planning Attorney
If you have questions about commercial lease agreements, you should contact a business planning attorney. Nicole Pavlik is a business planning attorney based in Phoenix, Arizona with experience drafting, reviewing, negotiating, and amending commercial leases. Call Nicole Pavlik Law Firm today at 602-635-6176 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your business planning needs.