When looking for a rental business premises to suit your restaurant or café, there are many factors to consider and legal obligations you need to meet in order to maximise business efficiency, and to be compliant with the law.

If you are in the market for a business premises, or have recently just entered into a lease agreement, it’s always best to speak with a property lawyer. A property lawyer will provide legal guidance about your rights and obligations under the agreement. This could save your business from any costly misunderstandings.

Leasing a Business Premises – What You Need to Consider

The Lease Agreement

The lease agreement between you and your landlord is the most important document when leasing a business premises for your restaurant or cafe. It is wise to fully understand the conditions you are entering into before signing. This is because your agreement may run for many years, depending on the type of lease. Things you will need to consider in relation to the lease agreement are:

  • The cost of rent and frequency of payments;
  • Your rights and obligations under your state or territory’s respective retail lease legislation;
  • Who your landlord is;
  • The type of lease, for example, whether it is a fixed term lease or a periodic tenancy.

Zoning Laws

When choosing a premises that best suits your business needs, it is essential to consider the local zoning laws to determine any current restrictions and requirements concerning the property.

The best place to start is by talking to your local council to determine what is needed from you, such as development approval if your business is a different Use category than the former tenant, as zoning laws differ per council. Through your local council you will be able to find out what applications you will need to fill out.

If the premises is heritage listed, you may need to seek additional approval from the local council and your state’s heritage council.

Building Permits

In addition to zoning laws, your local council will be able to assist you in applying for the relevant building permits needed to develop the premises for your restaurant or cafe. Things that generally require a permit include:

  • Setting up the business;
  • Redeveloping the store front;
  • Attaching signage to the building;
  • Developing the internal fit-out of the building; and
  • Extending out to a public space, like seating on the footpath.

When leasing a premises for your business it is important to consult with a property lawyer in order to know your rights and responsibilities when entering into a lease agreement and if conflict arises between you and the landlord.

Don’t know where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Logan Tennyson

Logan is a Paralegal working in our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. With a passion for commercial and media law, his research explores how the law is adapting to emerging technologies and how this affects consumers and businesses alike.