If you’re a business owner, leasing space for your retail business is likely an important concern. It’s imperative to make sure the potential retail store lease you’re thinking of signing in Georgia has terms that are beneficial to you. With that in mind, here are five things to consider to help you negotiate the right retail store lease agreement for your business.
Settle on your preferred location
Before getting into the specifics of your lease, make sure the location is right for your business. Location is key for retail businesses. Will this spot benefit from plenty of foot traffic? Is parking plentiful? Carefully consider what is important to you and your customers before settling on a spot.
Read through the entirety of the lease agreement
This may seem obvious; however, many fall victim to accepting that the terms in their lease agreement are “standard” or “boilerplate.” This can lead to misunderstandings of responsibilities and unfavorable terms to the tenant. Fully read through your lease agreement to understand exactly what you’re signing. A real estate attorney can be helpful to point out terms that are unusual or items you may be able to negotiate.
Decide what is essential and what may be unnecessary
It can be helpful to consider ahead of time a few things that are absolutely critical to have in your lease, as well as a few things you can do without. For instance, you might feel strongly about being able to sublease the space but not quite as strongly about having your landlord complete any repairs or maintenance. This can be helpful to learn where you might have some leverage to push for the terms that are important to your business.
Consider the length of the lease
Lease length is another critical component of your retail space. If establishing your business in one central location is important to you, you might consider a longer lease. If staying in one location is not quite as important and you want to make sure the space is right for you, a shorter lease may be more attractive.
The bottom line: Don’t be afraid to negotiate
In most cases, retail landlords list lease prices higher than what they’ll expect tenants to pay. Try making a counteroffer that’s 10 to 15% below the landlord’s asking price. The worst thing they’ll do is decline your counteroffer.
Your lease is a critical part in the success of your business. While it may seem like there is little wiggle room, there are likely terms in which you can negotiate with the landlord. If you find negotiating too uncomfortable or are unsure whether the lease is beneficial to you, working with an attorney can be helpful.