Owning a business is the American Dream. It’s the true passageway to living untethered to a job you despise. But pursuing that dream can be rife with obstacles, unforeseeable consequences, and legal problems.
Ironically, a lot of businesses suffer from growing too rapidly. When a business is in its growth period, there’s potential for it to become unwieldy, and thus, unmanageable. This is doubly true if your business is in the process of expanding.
Expansions typically involve massive sweeps of commercial real estate. Growth through franchising or branching to new locations requires new property—and lots of paperwork.
You absolutely need a professional to handle the legality of commercial properties. These are the 8 signs you should hire a commercial real estate attorney.
1. All of the Documents
When expanding the horizons of your business, it requires a lot of tedious paperwork. This is something you shouldn’t be managing yourself—you’ve got a business to run.
There are a lot of stipulations, legal regulations, and policies that weigh down the documents for acquiring new real estate. Unless you’ve been trained to interpret them, it’s unlikely you’ll understand the ramifications and due process of it all. You do not want to be left open to potential litigation in the future because you neglected to hire a lawyer.
2. Someone to Make Deals on Your Behalf
When making large transactions, like buying and selling commercial properties, there’s a lot of negotiation that needs to be done. You can try to nickel and dime the other party on your own, but it’s not going to get you very far.
Real estate lawyers know what to look for during negotiations of sales. They have years of experience to identify when someone is pulling the wool over their clients’ eyes.
Don’t get swindled into a bad deal. You should hire a lawyer.
3. Can You Read That Fine Print?
Be wary of fine print. This should be taught to anyone that has the ability to sign their name.
When people come into hardship during real estate transactions, it’s usually because they failed to read something that most people glance over.
When there’s a lot to read and digest, you should talk to your attorney. Don’t think ill of hiring a lawyer; it doesn’t make you litigious, it makes you smart and safe.
Have them read the real estate contract and all of its fine print. You might have good eyes, but theirs are better.
4. You’re Out of Your League
Don’t overestimate your abilities. As a business owner, you’re likely a very savvy, intelligent person. But you do not have a formal background in law.
The complexities of commercial real estate, and all of its fine-print, require years of schooling and even more years of practice.
You might be able to handle opening up a small storefront in a local neighborhood by yourself. But the complexities scale exponentially with larger and larger plots of land. That’s negating the fact of where you might purchase real estate; some cities are even more demanding in their regulations.
When things are getting too complex for you to follow, don’t let it get the best of you.
5. Hire a Real Estate Attorney to Fight
Combative landlords can sometimes pose a problem to business owners.
They have an investment in their property, and if you’re planning on leasing it, they should be aggressive. It’s in anybody’s best interest to be safe and to garner as much revenue as possible.
But, as someone outside of the real estate game, it can be offputting. It’s even downright intimidating, at first.
If you’re faced with a landlord that’s hounding you—seek legal help.
Simply hiring a lawyer will show that you mean business. But having them fight your battles is a surefire way to stifle any shenanigans a land-owner might pull. Don’t plan on leasing without support.
6. It’s a Risky Deal
Part of owning a business is knowing how to manage risk. Just about every investment has variables of uncertainty, which in turn, increase its riskiness.
Properly managing risk is essential to the longevity of your business. Jumping into deals without hedging uncertainty is a recipe for disaster. It’s among the most prominent reasons a business fails during its growth stages.
When dealing with real estate, your risk lies within market trends and legal regulation. The best way to hedge against the preventable (litigation) is by hiring a competent lawyer.
7. Feeling Overwhelmed
When creating an empire—or even a new storefront to sell baked goods—there’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders. You have the livelihoods of your employees and yourself at stake. There is also the potential mounds of debt that a failing business accrues.
This will make you feel overwhelmed. It’s like a constant anvil sitting on your chest. The anxiety of owning any business can be crippling.
The key point is to recognize your stress. Knowing that there’s a problem is the first step to overcoming that problem. You don’t have to do it alone, either.
8. Contemplating Leaving the Deal or Jumping in Too Fast
Some deals aren’t meant to happen. But some are. Letting a negotiation slip through your hands is a devastating blow to a company.
When you’re thinking of washing your hands of the entire thing, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion. This goes hand-in-hand with managing your stress properly.
It’s equally important to be responsible. Don’t be hasty when jumping into a real estate deal.
Having someone talk you down or up can make all of the difference.
Keeping your firm’s doors open is hard enough. It’s a constant battle of push-and-give to run your business. When you’re expanding operations, it’s vitally important to have a real estate attorney.
Real estate deals come with a lot of documents, riddled with fine print, that is likely at a different complexity in which you can understand. You need a lawyer to fight your behalf in a negotiation; they’re trained professionals. Don’t let stress overwhelm you into making a bad decision.
Interested in learning more about commercial real estate? Let us know what you have in mind.