What to Know Before Renting an Office

There is more to looking at office space for rent than finding a location that looks the part. If you're interested in offices for rent, you should know the following 5 things before committing to an agreement.


Commercial property rental agreements can include a lot of things you'd never expect to see in a residential one. Much of this is due to assignment, the contractual process of designating who is responsible for what. When it comes to offices for rent, a property owner and renter can agree to assign some odd-sounding things, such as liability, maintenance and taxes.

As a renter, you should be sure every assignment comes with a fair trade-off. If the proposed agreement assigns you responsible for paying the taxes, for example, you should see some sort of offset in rent payments or additional benefits.

The Neighborhood

Even in the world of office space for rent, the neighbours matter. Look at the other properties in the vicinity. If you need highly visible frontage, for example, make sure there won't be tons of competing signs blocking the view. Similarly, you might not want to have your business next to a commercial enterprise that has lots of vehicles coming and going while your customers need to get through.

Location matters in terms of infrastructure, too. If the site is near a highway, how close is the exit? Regardless of location, many offices need parking. Likewise, you might need separate parking for employees and customers.

Zoning and Usage Rights

A property may be listed available for use as an office, but you should be sure you have all the rights your business will require. Contact your local code enforcement office to learn how the location is zoned. If the zoning isn't good, you may have to ask for a variance. That will likely involve working with local government, and they may not be flexible if they're committed to a particular designation for the property.


You should protect your rights by including contingencies, especially if you need to handle a few things before moving in. The zoning example is an excellent case where a contingency would be wise. You can include a contingency that says the agreement doesn't become effective until the zoning approvals go through, for example.

Growth Projections

If you expect your business location to grow, you should make sure you'll have enough space to utilize in the future. It is better to have more space than you'll need than to risk slowing business growth by not having enough.