Tip 1: (Almost) Everything is negotiable
Commercial leases are usually long, wordy documents full of complex provisions that are oftentimes hard to understand and almost always favor the interests of the landlord. You do not have to accept many of these provisions as they are initially presented to you. You can, and should, look at everything as being negotiable: term of the lease; base rent and additional rent; rent increases/escalators; personal guaranties; exclusive use; maintenance and repairs; co-tenancy clause; who bears responsibility for compliance with changes in state law. Everything. Language that appears to be boilerplate can have significant and unexpected impacts on your business’ bottom line. If you are negotiating a commercial lease for the first time, you most certainly want to retain the services of someone familiar with commercial leases to break down the meanings of various provisions and how they can and might impact your business.