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Rent or Own Office Space? How To Decide

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From NFIB - the Vocie of small business
One of the toughest decisions for an independent business is whether to lease or buy office space. "You have to do a thorough financial analysis, taking present values into account and the cost differentials [between leasing and buying]," says Jim Osgood, whose company, OfficeFinder LLC, is a web-based office space referral and information network.

Owners should think about cash flow, future expenses, management costs and more. To help make an educated choice on which path is best, consider these pros and cons of leasing versus buying office space.

Leasing Advantages:

  • Leasing requires a smaller up-front cash outlay—typically the first and last months' rent—and  frees up working capital.
  • Renting provides flexibility: If your company is growing, leasing puts fewer constraints on the firm.
  • Monthly lease payments are typically fully tax-deductible as a business expense.
  • Renting in a high-image area is usually more affordable than buying in a prime location.
  • Owners are free to run their businesses rather than manage properties.
  • There's a short lead-time to move in.
  • Maintenance, repairs and modifications are often negotiable with landlords.

Leasing Disadvantages:

  • Costs are variable: The market dictates what you'll pay for rent over time.
  • Rental properties do no accrue equity value.
  • Landlords may limit expansions and modifications.

Buying Advantages:

  • Well-selected properties should appreciate in value over time, allowing owners to sell out and fund their retirements.
  • Costs are predictable, particularly with a long-term, fixed-rate mortgage.
  • Businesses can take depreciation on the improvement portions of their property.
  • Companies can usually deduct interest payments on their tax filings.
  • Owners can rent out extra office space as an added source of income.
  • Businesses can make changes or additions to the property without obtaining permission, if zoning ordinances permit.

Buying Disadvantages:

  • The outlay of cash is significant, with down payments ranging from 10 to 25% of the total price. Would your return on that money be greater if you invested it back into the business or made other investments?
  • There may be a long lead-time to take possession because of real estate closing procedures.
  • Managing office space is time-consuming. Owners are responsible for all maintenance and repairs.
  • If the property becomes inadequate because of growth or other factors, the company may be forced to sell.
  • If cash flow becomes a priority, it may take a while to sell the property.
Buying Office Space , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations

How to Find Office Space Quickly

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You’re an entrepreneur who’s excited to start up your business. However, although it’s tempting to work from home, you realize you want a corporate location that doesn’t include kids’ toys and a laundry room. But where can you find office space for lease quickly and easily?

Ironically, finding office space is as easy as heading to your computer! In the age of the Internet, small business people like you can locate office space all over the world with just a few strokes of the keyboard. Of course, you first have to make a few decisions in order to expedite your office space finding experience:

1. Determine where you want to work.
Are you going to look for office space in your hometown or are you willing to commute to a neighboring city? It’s important to think about what type of work you do when considering this. For instance, if you’re going to host many clients at your office space locale, you’ll want to pick a place that’s convenient for them (rather than convenient for you.) If you’re not planning on having many on-site client meetings, a more out-of-the-way office space may be acceptable.

2. Figure out how much office space you need.
Will 200 square feet be enough for you? How about 500 square feet? Or do you need much more? If you’re not certain what such a space looks like, it’s easy to map it out at home. Just pick a rectangular-sized room and measure the walls in feet. Then, multiple the long side by shorter side. Thus, a 12 foot by 10 foot living room would be 120 square feet.

3. Decide if you want to share an office space with someone else.
If you’re not in competing businesses, sharing office space can make a great deal of economic sense, especially for entrepreneurs. For example, you could potentially purchase a larger office space than either of you could afford individually as well as share the costs such as heating and electric. Additionally, you might be able to eventually share a receptionist.

4. Determine what kind of office building in which you’d like to work.
Are you the type of person who likes to work in a corporate office space? Then you’d probably do well in a large building that was built specifically for commercial offices. On the other hand, if you’re looking to have a “homier” atmosphere for your business, you may want to seek out a nontraditional office space, such as one that’s part of what used to be a Victorian home or a red brick schoolhouse.

5. Figure out what your budget is.
Finally, before you start looking for office space, you’ll need to figure out how much you can reasonably afford. It’s always a good idea to take this step before ever jumping on the web to look for a location for your business. That way, you won’t be tempted to incur more debt than you can actually afford.

Remember – if you need an office space, it’s as easy to find as your keyboard and mouse!
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Office Rental , Office Space , Tenant Representation

OfficeFinder Tweets

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More OfficeFinder Tweets

  1. Social media: attract people interested in you, in your niche and then funnel them into other places, where you can reach them.
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  5. Top 500 WORST password
  6. I just doubled my computer RAM to 4 GB. What a difference in speed! A really cheap upgrade that makes a big difference.
  7. Mammoth 50 thousand page expansion of the website complete!
  8. OfficeFinder Now Providing Detailed Local Specific Information on Office Space Services and Market Conditions On-Line
  9. Yeah. I got my invitation to Google Voice! ...But can't use it because I am at an extension and can't confirm the number. Yuch.
  10. Future of real estate agent profession - Death of a Realtor? Are we headed the way of the Travel Agent? Maybe....
  11. Microsoft will now power Yahoo! search while Yahoo! will become the exclusive sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers.
  12. RT @Bizpen Wow!! Microsoft & Yahoo join forces: The online Search world changes yet again!
  13. Going head to head - Google Announces Chrome Operating system - - Watch out Microsoft...
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  15. is ranked number 372,525 in the world according to the Alexa Traffic Rank and is in the Office_Space category. Cool!
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Office Relocation , Office Rental , Office Space , Twitter

OfficeFinder Press Release

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PR LogoOfficeFinder, LLC Now Providing Detailed Local Specific Information on Office Space Services and Market Conditions On-Line

OfficeFinder expands its website to accommodate office space information and resources for over 550 local markets in the US and Canada. The expansion took over 9 months to complete and was finally launched at

Seattle, WA, August 02, 2009 --( OfficeFinder, one of the leading on-line resources for assistance and information on locating office space, has recently expanded their website to provide local office space information and resources in over 550 local markets in the US and Canada. This mammoth 50 thousand page expansion of the website will allow the public to get a complete view of market conditions, resumes on local office space professionals as well as find prescreened providers of office space products and services all in one easy to use location.

Read the entire press release


Office Space

Consumer Confidence Up Sharply Again!

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index showed a sharp increase in May for the second straight month. The Index now stands at 54.9 (1985=100), up from 40.8 in April.   The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS. TNS is the world's largest custom research company.

The employment outlook was also less pessimistic. The percentage of consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 20.0 percent from 14.2 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased to 25.2 percent from 32.5 percent. article

Along with this news, the National Association for Business Economics realeased a report that over 90 percent of economists predict the recession will end this year, although the recovery is likely to be bumpy. article

Economists advising the American Bankers Association said on Tuesday that the U.S. recession will end in the third quarter. But they warned that lingering high unemployment and large federal deficits may pose a longer-term threat. article

All in all, prettty good news and encouraging when it comes to small businesses making decisions related to their office space needs.


Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations