Leasing a StoreFront

Choosing the right building

When you’re ready to open a brick-and-mortar store, you will first begin scouting out locations. You want to choose a building readily accessible to your customer base and with complementary stores surrounding yours so that businesses in the area can mutually benefit from the same customers. You will also want to consider the costs of leasing the store in your desired area.

Here's What You Should Know

Inspecting the Store

When you’ve located the store you wish to lease, it is important to inspect it carefully both inside and out. Make sure the floorplan will meet any customization you plan on doing. Check for energy-efficient upgrades with heating and cooling systems. Check for a fire sprinkler system and other fire prevention equipment, such as access to a fire extinguisher. When you are satisfied, you can start negotiating.

Understanding Lease Types

There are three main lease types to consider. A gross lease means the tenant covers all expenses except the general maintenance, insurance, and property taxes for the building. A modified gross lease means the tenant also takes on the maintenance, insurance, utilities, and property taxes over time. A triple net lease, which is the most common, means the tenant takes care of everything. Other lease types include combinations of these.

Negotiating a Lease

A letter of intent, also known as LOI, is a non-binding document that initiates negotiation for base rent and other specifics to leasing the property. The landlord can then present counter-offers until both parties decide on the appropriate rent amount and the lease type. Until you actually sign a lease agreement, however, you are under no obligation to rent the property.

Moving In

It might take time, but you will eventually find a location and lease that fits your needs. Then, you can start making the improvements and modifications necessary to get your business running. Be sure to fully understand how to terminate your lease so you can do so legally when the time comes. Until then, enjoy this fresh start for your business.