The cliché is that the key to business success is: location - location - location. If you own a business in which the location is an important reason for the success of the business, and you are considering selling, then the lease is a very critical issue in the sale. The time to deal with this is not in the middle of a sale, but before you even place the business on the market.
Business brokers can recite many a story where, on contacting the landlord in the midst of a pending sale, they are told that the landlord has other plans for the space when the lease is up next month. Fortunately this is not a common occurrence, but if the lease is an issue, the time to deal with it is now.
The Steps In Dealing with the Lease
The first step is finding the lease.
The second step is to read it.
The third step is to visit the landlord and work out any lease issues.
Before placing your business on the market, you need to see where you stand on the all-important issue of the lease. After reviewing it, set up an appointment to visit the landlord. If there are only a few years left on the lease, see about getting an extension. If you have more than that left, still check into getting an option to renew the lease at the expiration of the present term. After all, if the location works, the longer the lease the better in most cases. It might also be a good time to see if the landlord has ever considered selling the premises. By owning the property, you will never have to worry about leases again.
If location is not important and the business is such that moving it is a non-issue, then obviously the lease is not important. However, if the business is one that is dependent on its existing location, then the lease issue is crucial. The time to iron out any details is before the business is placed on the market.