A little question and answer time. What do I need when looking to lease commercial space?
I'm going to go thru the basics here not every little detail but this will give you an idea.
First if you are looking for space for a business I hope you have a business plan. If you have never rented space before or owned a business you need to know what you are getting into. Business plans break down your strategy, goals and costs. You can get information on them here:
The College of Southern Maryland has a great small business development center and can help you out immensely. Here's a link to them: http://www.mdsbdc.umd.edu/locations/southern-region
You should have this before looking at space or you are wasting your time.
Next you contact a commercial real estate agent to help you. Not your moms residential agent friend from church. They need to be educated in this field. Call me.
Next we go out looking for a space that suits your needs. We identify a space and its time to put together your leasing proposal or letter of intent. This form will spell out the main points of the lease you want to have: Length of term, rental rate, commencement date, and things you are requesting from the landlord such as free rent, tenant improvement allowance, fixes to the space, etc.
We submit the proposal to the Landlord with documents that will help them determine if you are going to be a good candidate for their space. These include but are not limited to: Credit report with score and history, Two years tax returns, Financial statement from your bank showing you have funds available and a leasing application that we provide.
From there we wait on the Landlord to give us an answer. Usually there is some back and forth negotiating on the proposal and finally an agreement is made. Then its time to have a lease drafted. When you get the lease you need to read it over carefully. With any legal document if you don't understand something get legal help! Preferably a real estate attorney. When you sign the lease you will give the first months rent and a security deposit. Once everyone has signed you are off and running!