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Roommate Wanted

Sharing space can conserve your start-up cash.

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This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Looking for ways to economize during the start-up phase of your ? Sharing with another company just might be the answer. Before you get a business "roommate," however, think about the following concerns addressed by Susan Urbach, regional director of the Development Center in Oklahoma City:

  • Be sure the two businesses are compatible. Consider such issues as the type of space you need and the image you want to project. For example, a firm could easily share space with almost any other type of professional services company, but it might not be compatible with a manufacturing operation.
  • Clarify your mutual responsibilities. Space-sharing usually involves more than just splitting the rent and the square footage-you also have to divide the responsibilities. For example, do you plan to share a receptionist or other personnel? How will you handle things like janitorial and maintenance services? Who should have keys? What's the best way to manage the financial end of the arrangement?

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