You have started your company and now you’re ready to choose an official headquarters. Perhaps you want to set up shop in the CBD, or maybe in a quiet suburban town. Once you have found the perfect place for your company, the next step is signing the lease.
A commercial lease is a legally binding contract that gives you rights to a property for a set period of time. It is typically used when leasing a property that is used for conducting business and details terms and conditions between the landlord and the tenant.
It is important to have a legal expert look over your lease document before signing it to ensure you know what you are agreeing to. A proficient commercial lease lawyer can help you draft new clauses and negotiate the terms and conditions that are best suited to your needs – which is why it is vital for you to you choose a suitable lawyer.
Here are five questions to ask when hiring a commercial lease lawyer:
1. What are your experiences with commercial leases?
There are various types of lease agreements a lawyer can deal with. Asking this question allows you to narrow down the selection of lawyers to those with the experience you need. You want a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of commercial leases. Furthermore, depending on the state and premises of the lease, the approach to commercial leases may differ.
2. Who will work with me?
Lawyers are busy people and those in law firms often have a team of staff members working together on a case. If there is an overload of work, the task may be delegated to other junior staff. A commercial lease is a specific document that should be negotiated with your interests in mind. You need an experienced lawyer to overlook the carefully crafted clauses to ensure that you will not receive any nasty surprises down the road. Ask this question to determine whether the majority of the work is being done by the person you hired.
3. What are the legal costs?
Generally, lawyers charge by the hour. This means that with every minute spent on checking and changing your lease, your bill will grow. The vague approximations provided, often give you no understanding of just how deep the legal fees may cut into your business’ profit.
An alternative method to billable hours is a flat fee. Here, lawyers offer a fixed price when providing lease advice. A flat fee allows for a much more transparent expense, giving you a better idea of how much you will be spending on the lease agreement.
To prevent any unwelcome surprises, LawPath’s lawyer marketplace allows you to compare and choose commercial lease lawyers on a fixed-price basis.
4. What information will you need from me?
Depending on your business, the negotiation process for your lease may become more complex. For example, if your company set-up is dependent on obtaining a planning permit or a liquor licence, your lawyer will need to know this as the lease agreement may need to be altered. Other information you may need to provide includes:
- A brief summary of business operations;
- A description of equipment purchased;
- Financial statements such as net worth or a profit and loss statement;
- Contact details for your accountant, bank, and other references from suppliers providing credit.
You want a lawyer who knows what information they need from you, and how to use that information. You may find that the documents you need to provide are much more extensive than initially expected.
5. How will we maintain contact?
Depending on the complexity of your case and how busy your lawyer is, the way you maintain contact can change. Some lawyers prefer to be contacted infrequently via email, while others prefer phone calls. However, it is important that you establish a means of contact and certain expectations for how you will keep in touch from the very beginning. Make sure the agreed upon method works for you.
Entering into a commercial lease is a big commitment. These questions are here to help you filter through a wide range of commercial lease lawyers. In the end, you will want to find a lawyer who is experienced and understands your business needs at an affordable cost. You can begin searching for commercial lease lawyers on LawPath’s lawyer directory.
Require a commercial lease lawyer? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 or use LawPath’s lawyer directory to obtain a fixed-fee quote from our network of 750+ expert lawyers and get answers to your legal questions.