Amy Carbins

In the early growth stages, new companies often look for short-term leases for relatively small suites to enable the company to expand or scale back on the space and rent obligations depending on the success of the business. When the time comes for a new company to branch out into its first office space, the need to finalize the lease quickly can become very pressing. However, the legal issues and financial risks associated with short-term leases for small suites are, for the most part, very similar to those associated with long-term leases for large spaces. Most landlords will present the same form of lease to a tenant for a two-year, 3,000 square foot lease as they present to a tenant for a five- or ten-year, 50,000 square foot lease. In an ideal setting, a company would be able to engage counsel to negotiate for customary tenant protections throughout the lease. However, when time and resources available to devote to lease negotiations are scarce, tenants must prioritize issues in order to get to lease signing within the company’s time and cost budgets. Although circumstances vary from lease to lease, there are some key considerations that are likely to be present in any commercial office lease.

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