7 questions to ask before renting offices in Mansfield
Mansfield is one of the best places to start a small business, according to research carried out by Informi, a website that gives advice and support to small businesses. Out of 63 towns and cities in the UK, Mansfield was ranked ninth, based on such factors as a low business churn rate and good local support for start-ups.*
If you’re thinking of renting offices in Mansfield, it’s important to ask several questions when visiting each potential office building. Here is a roundup of the main questions to ask.
When is the rent payable and is VAT included?
Find out when the rent is payable so that you can budget accordingly.
For serviced offices, rent is usually due each month, while for non-serviced offices rented under a commercial lease, rent is often paid on a quarterly basis.
Ask if VAT will be added to the rent. This will raise your business’s costs if it is not VAT registered.
What does the rent include?
Before signing a lease or rental agreement, find out exactly what is included in the rent.
Are there any hidden extras that you’d have to pay for? For example, you may have to pay a service charge for shared expenses and services in a multi-occupancy building. Ask how much the service charge will be and exactly what it covers. Find out if it’s likely to increase each year.
If you’re considering renting a serviced office, you’ll find that many services are included in the rent. However, extra payments for some services may be required. If you’ll need these additional services, ask how much they would cost on top of your monthly rent.
How much notice do you have to give?
If you had to move out of your office at some point in the future, how much notice would you need to give? Some leases include a break clause that imposes a penalty for leaving before the end of the lease. The penalty may range from one to six months’ rent.
Decide whether the notice period and the penalty, if applicable, are acceptable for you and your business at its current stage of development.
What is the speed of the internet connection?
If an internet connection is provided as part of your office rental, find out whether its speed would be suitable for your business.
Some providers of serviced offices include Wi-Fi in the rent but this might not be accessible throughout the building or it might be too slow for your business’s needs. In that case, you might have to pay extra for a faster broadband connection.
How much will the furniture, fixtures and equipment cost?
How much will it cost to equip your office fully before you move in? If you’re moving into a serviced office, furniture and other equipment may be provided, so your costs are likely to be low.
However, if you’re leasing a non-serviced office space, you may need to invest a considerable amount of money in office furniture, fixtures and equipment. Estimate the cost of each item to find out the total amount you’d need to spend before moving in.
Is the location favourable?
Do you need to be in the town centre or would an out-of-town location be just as suitable? Town centre offices may be more convenient but they might also be more expensive.
If you have clients based in other parts of the UK or abroad, would it be easy for them to travel to your offices by road, rail or air? Are there hotels nearby where visiting clients could stay?
Are parking spaces included?
Will your office have a certain number of allocated parking spaces? If so, will this be sufficient for all your employees and visitors as your business grows?
If parking is not included or if there aren’t enough spaces, can employees and visitors park within easy walking distance? What are the costs of nearby car parks? Could you negotiate a discount at a car park in return for renting several parking spaces?
The answers to these questions should help you decide whether each office space you consider would suit your business’s individual needs.