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Make sure your commercial lease works for your business

Part of owning and operating a business may include seeking a leased or rented space in order to run operations. Finding the right location for your Illinois business is not always easy, and it is smart to proceed carefully and thoughtfully through the process of negotiation and drafting an appropriate lease.

With guidance, you may be able to secure terms that are beneficial for your company and do not expose you to unnecessary risks. Before you sign a lease agreement, you would be prudent to carefully review the contract and seek an explanation of how you can protect your rights and interests.

What should be in your commercial lease?

There are specific factors you would be wise to consider as you work to negotiate the terms of your commercial lease. Critical factors you would be wise to address and clarify in the terms of your contract include the following:

  • The amount of rent payments and if there is the possibility of rent raises in the future
  • The length of the lease and the penalties for early termination of the lease
  • Who has responsibility for utilities and any necessary repairs for the building
  • If it is permissible to remodel the space or alter it for the purpose of your business
  • The right and ability to sublease the space if you cannot stay or no longer need the space
  • Details regarding the appropriate zoning of the building for commercial use

Many business owners fail to realize they have the right to negotiate the terms of their leases, or they may assume the contract offered is fair and thorough. Signing something before you carefully review it can lead to complications and possible financial loss.

As you consider leasing a space for your business, one of the most important ways you can shield your long-term interests is to pursue reasonable terms or negotiate with the landlord on behalf of your company.

A clear and beneficial lease

Commercial leases should carefully spell out the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and the business occupying the space. Clarity and thoroughness are as important as the actual terms of the lease. Confusing wording or missing information could lead to disputes in the future.

Business owners seeking to lease property would be wise to start by seeking a complete evaluation of their case before moving forward. This simple step can help you understand how securing a fair and reasonable lease is in the best interests of your future operations and continued success.

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Schlueter Ecklund & Davitt
4023 Charles Street
Rockford, IL 61108

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Phone: 815-516-8264
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