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Business Lease Checklist

After you've chosen a site for your business, don't sign any lease without first going over this checklist.

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Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you are aware of all aspects of your new location. This checklist will help.


Is there sufficient electrical power?


Are there enough electrical outlets?


Are there enough parking spaces for customers and employees?


Is there sufficient lighting? Heating? Air conditioning?


Do you know how large a sign and what type you can erect?


Will your city"s building and zoning departments allow your business to operate in the facility?


Will the landlord allow the alterations that you deem necessary?


Must you pay for returning the building to its original condition when you move?


Is there any indication of roof leaks? (A heavy rain could damage goods.)


Is the cost of burglary insurance high in the area? (This varies tremedously.)


Can you secure the building at a low cost against the threat of burglary?


Will the health department approve your business at this location?


Will the fire department approve your business at this location?


Is your shipping area easily accessible to large trucks?


Have you included a written description of the property?


Have you attached drawings of the property to the lease document?


Do you have written guidelines for renewal terms?


Do you know when your lease payment begins?


Is your shipping area easily accessible to large trucks?


Have you bargained for one to three months free rent?


Do you know your date of possession?


Have you listed the owner"s responsibility for improvements?


Do you pay the taxes?


Do you pay the insurance?


Do you pay the maintenance fees?


Do you pay the utilities?


Do you pay the sewerage fees?


Have you asked your landlord for a cap of 5 percent on your rent increases?


Have you included penalty clauses in case the project is late and you are denied occupancy?


Have you retained the right to obtain your own bids for signage?


Can you leave if the center is never more than 70 percent leased?


Has a real estate attorney reviewed your contract?