There are several very important considerations that you must make when looking to purchase or lease a commercial space.

Leasing a Commercial Property

Zoning: You should assess the type and location of the property to determine whether it is suitable for your type of business. Zoning may imply some restrictions on the activities that may be conducted on the premises. It is import that you understand these restrictions (if any) and that the property is an appropriate space for you to conduct your business activities.

Lease Agreement: The lease agreement is potentially the most important document pertaining to your business venture. This document covers issues such as the length of the lease and review of rent.

(1) Term of lease – this refers to the length of the lease. The term of the lease should align with your business plan. It must include any options for extension or renewal that you deem necessary to continue operating your business long term.
(2) Rent Review – this refers to a section of the lease agreement setting out when and how the rent amount will reviewed and calculated. Several methods may be employed, such as using CPI, a fixed annual percentage increase or market review.
(3) Assignment – in the even that a business needs to vacate a property they are leasing, it is import to understand if they can assign the remainder of the lease to another person or business and any requirements for the assignment to be permitted.

Purchasing a Commercial Property

Zoning: Like when leasing, you should assess the zoning of a commercial property to determine its suitability for your business.

Owners Corporations: It is important to determine whether or not the property you are purchasing is a member to an Owners Corporation. Owners Corporation generally impose a variety of restrictions, fees and obligations upon each owner of a member property. Part of the Contract of Sale in the Vendor Statement should outline this clearly.

GST: When purchasing a commercial property you may be eligible to claim back GST in the sale price along with other related expenses, such as solicitor fees and on-going running expenses. You will not be able to claim back GST where the margin scheme was employed to work out the included GST, where the property is purchased as GST-free supply, or where you are not registered for GST.

Stamp Duty: A tax imposed on property transaction by each state or territory. It will vary depending on the price of the property.

Title: You should check the ownership and whether there are any easements or covenants affecting the property. It is also important to check the measurements of the property against those in the contract. This may give rise to a case of adverse possession either for or against you if they do not match.



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