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7 Tips for Negotiating a Pop-Up Store Lease

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. | Last updated on

Pop-up stores can be a great, low-cost option for businesses that are just getting started. But much like signing a long-term retail lease, pop-up business owners might need to do some negotiating.

Pop-up store owners in Detroit are learning this first-hand, as many have been testing out the market by renting out small, unused retail spaces for short time periods, according to The New York Times.

So if you're thinking about signing a lease for a pop-up store, here are seven tips that may come in handy for your lease negotiations:

  1. Make sure you know what's covered. Even if you plan on opening a pop-up store for a short period of time, it's important to know that leases cover more than just the actual space. Lease agreements can also restrict the type of business you conduct or the style of advertising displayed on the premises. So carefully read your lease agreement before signing.
  2. Be respectful of the property owner. It's important to establish a good working relationship with your landlord and listen to his or her concerns regarding your lease to figure out how you can come to an agreement. Being a hotheaded tenant could damage your business' reputation.
  3. Do your research. Before you lease a pop-up space, do general research about the average rent in the area to help you negotiate a better deal. Other factors, like high crime rates, could also affect the price of rent.
  4. Know your objectives. Before signing a lease, you should establish a business plan so you know exactly what you want for your business. For example, if you need to install a fixture on the wall for your shop, but the lease doesn't allow it, see if the landlord will take the clause out or shop for another space.
  5. Understand "right to relocate" clauses. "Right to relocate" clauses in lease agreements allow landlords to relocate tenants per their discretion. So when negotiating your lease, make sure that if you must be relocated, the new space will be exactly like the old one (or at least, still meet your needs).
  6. Get your contract reviewed by an attorney. The last thing you want is to be at the mercy of a bad lease agreement. So if you're concerned about entering into a legal binding contract for your pop-up store, have an experienced business attorney review the document.
  7. Consider a long-term lease option. If it's been a few months and your pop-up shop is going well, consider negotiating a long-term lease. Sometimes landlords may cut down on the rent if they know you'll be there for awhile.

Renting pop-up store spaces is becoming more popular, and you may soon be able to rent a space Airbnb style, according to TechCrunch. For more pop-up store legal tips, check out our blog post on How to Start a Pop-Up Store.

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