Leases, like all legal documents, should be reviewed by an experienced attorney. We have been negotiating retail leases on behalf of franchisees for decades. Your broker and franchisor have an interest in getting the lease signed with a good term and fair rent, but the fine print is ultimately your responsibility as the business owner. You will most likely be asked to personally guarantee a large portion of the future rent, which can be hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of many years.
“Location, location, location” is the mantra of success in retail. It is prudent after you finally select a location, negotiate the rent and are ready to sign a lease, that you don’t let the fine print kill your location down the road. By working with hundreds of franchisees and landlords over the years, we know what to look for, what is critically important and, most importantly, what many landlords will give up. As a retail business, your lease is one of your most important assets.
Every situation and location is unique and every business has a different story to tell. Leases can be complex, long and one-sided contracts. Our role as your attorney is to explain every clause in the lease in plain language and to come up with a plan to negotiate the most tenant-friendly language as possible in the final version.
Our first step is a thorough review of the landlord’s lease, marking up requested changes, comments and any concerns we may have with the language. This first step is critical. It is very difficult to get any further changes not asked for in the first round. And if your attorneys take weeks to give the landlord initial comments, you could be compromising your leverage to get concessions. After we discuss, fine tune and agree on that first round of comments, it is presented to the landlord. Then a conference call is scheduled to come to terms with what is agreeable and to identify all the remaining outstanding issues. The last steps are to negotiate the remaining issues and to work with the landlord’s attorney to prepare a signature-ready final version. We understand how critical this step is for you to open your franchise and know how to play the role of expeditor chasing, pushing and pulling all the parties over the finish line.
For certain franchise systems we have worked with in the past, we offer a flat fee for the lease review and negotiation. Call us today 215-525-1165 to inquire if your franchise system is on our approved list.