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Written by Adam Miller
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Things to Know Before You Sign a Commercial Property Lease

Starting a business can be a thrilling endeavor, but it can also come with a host of financial and legal hurdles to overcome before you can open your doors to customers. One of the most important challenges is finding the ideal location, but it's important to know what you're getting into before you sign a commercial property lease and are locked into the agreement. Today's Aegis blog post looks at some of things business owners should know before signing any commercial property lease.

Potential Property Risks

Like any major business decision, choosing the right location should involve a great deal of research, specifically on the building and its physical location. Without key information, business owners could find themselves financially committed to a high-risk property. For example, business owners should research the following:

  • When was the structure built?
  • Will it need any upgrades or repairs?
  • Is the property in a flood plain?
  • Is it prone to power outages?
  • What is the crime rate in the area?

Before signing a commercial lease, owners should ensure they have the answers to all these questions so they are making an informed decision.

Impact of Neighboring Businesses and Buildings

Another factor to consider would be the neighboring businesses and properties in the area. Without this information, new businesses could discover too late that they are in close proximity to businesses that could negatively impact their own, such as food production facilities, chemical or industrial plants, or wastewater treatment facilities. In addition, businesses should canvas the area to ensure there aren't abandoned or dilapidated buildings nearby that could attract vagrants or criminals.

Zoning Laws and Restrictions

A growing number of cities and communities have established strict zoning laws and restrictions on everything from building sizes and architecture, property signage and lighting, and even the types of businesses allowed. It's important to ensure that your business is permitted to operate in that specific location, and to understand what kinds of rules or restrictions you must abide by before you legally commit to the commercial lease. For example, bars might only be allowed to operate in certain areas, or restaurants might be required to have certain kinds of outdoor designs or signage. This can impact all facets of your business so it's essential to understand the local laws and zoning requirements in place.

Specific Insurance Requirements

Finally, commercial leases will often require specific types of commercial insurance coverage, but many business owners don't learn this until it's too late. Before committing to a commercial property, it is critical to consult with your Commercial Insurance carrier to ensure you will have the Commercial Insurance policies needed to meet your commercial lease requirements. Without proper coverage, businesses could find themselves with a higher liability exposure if disaster strikes.

Aegis Insurance & Financial Services is committed to helping businesses across all industries have the right tools and protection needed for their companies to thrive. Our team of Commercial Insurance agents can create an insurance portfolio that meets your unique industry and business needs, all at competitive rates. Contact our Aegis office today at 713-850-7622 for more information, or complete our online form for a free quote!

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