What to look for when renting office space

When looking for office space for rent, you want to find the best possible premises for your business. Read our guide on what to look for when renting office space.

Office location is key when renting

No matter what type of business you operate, the location of your office is important. Look for an office in a location that’s easy to get to and convenient for both employees and clients. Check to see if adjacent buildings are occupied with thriving businesses and whether the local neighborhood is safe.

Ensure the office is accessible by car or public transport with low costs. Although premises in city suburbs are generally cheaper, it may be less accessible to your clients. Your office location may affect your business’s reputation – association with a particular area will shape the way some clients view your business.

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Assess office space and facilities

Assess how much space you need for your business, allowing for realistic growth when looking for office space for let. Avoid renting too small an office to save money, as a cramped office space may negatively affect productivity. On the other hand, there’s no need to pay more for unnecessary space. If possible choose an office with an existing layout that suits your needs – for example space for desks, storage, number of plug sockets and connectors – as making alterations can be expensive. Many office lettings agreements have restrictions on the type of modifications you can make to an office space. Large open plans offer the most flexibility, allowing you to divide the space as required to fit more desks and furniture without costly changes.

Check health and safety regulations to determine whether rented office space provides adequate ventilation, temperature controls, lighting, toilets and kitchen facilities. Look for an office with 24-hour access, if you need to work outside normal business hours.

Find the best serviced offices

Many small businesses prefer to rent shared, serviced offices that provide a range of services and facilities within the lease agreement. Shared facilities may include office furniture, wifi, kitchens, lounge and storage areas as well as support such as security, concierges and receptionists.

Serviced offices are great for small business start-ups, allowing you to concentrate on the important task of growing your business without the financial outlay for furniture and equipment. Leases for a serviced office are typically shorter than those for conventional office spaces, so you can quickly change your premises depending on your business requirements.

Consider office parking

When finding business premises, the availability of parking for employees and customers is an important factor. Parking spaces on your own rented premises is ideal, but free or cheap street parking or at council-owned car parks nearby work well too. If this isn’t available, try negotiating special rates, times or parking tickets with privately owned car parks near to your offices.

Sharing office space

If you don’t need that much space, you may want to consider sharing your office with another business. This will save money and often works best if you share with a compatible business that is similar to your own trade. You will need to form a business contract with this company.

Don’t forget hidden costs

The topline figure on a lease doesn’t truly reflect what you’ll end up when renting office space. Check to see what’s included in your lease and don’t forget to budget for additional fees and costs. These may include utilities bills, construction costs, maintenance and repair costs, moving costs, insurance and VAT on rent. You’ll also need to buy comprehensive tenant insurance to protect yourself.

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