Choosing The Right Space

When deciding how much space your business needs, you should consider the space cost, distance from the customer you are trying to target, transportation, and utility availability. Please read over the following to decide what is best for your business.

Price per Square foot

On a yearly basis, commercial rents are usually quoted on a square foot basis. It is best to know how the rental rate is quoted and what the corresponding monthly rate is.

Solving extra space dilemma

When looking for a particular square foot, you will most likely not find the exact space (i.e. you ask for 1,200 square feet, but all they had was 1,800 square feet). You must negotiate for a lesser rent per square foot. This way you will occupy more space than you need, but still get the ideal monthly gross rent. Or you can choose to request a portion of the space to be separated.

However, you can also choose to use what we call “space over time,” which means that you make an arrangement with the landlord to not pay all upfront. Well, let’s say that you want a 2,000 square feet space, but all they offer is an 2,600 square feet space what you can do when negotiating the rent per square foot, you should calculate 2,000 square feet the first year. Then the second year, you might pay rent on 2,200 square feet, the third year on 2,400 square feet, and so on over the five-year terms.

Measuring space

First, you need to determine what measurement standard the landlord is using to measure the space. Most likely the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) standard will be used. To purchase a copy of this guide, you should contact your local BOMA offices (located in most major cities).

Rentable Space

What is considered rentable space? Well, in most rental office space there are often columns running through it. The space that is taken up by the columns is what you call “rentable” or “not usable” (i.e. hallway, washrooms, elevator shafts, public stairs, etc.). Usually, these spaces may be as much as 10 percent of the floor dedicated to the common area. For instance, if you have 2,000 square feet of rentable area, this space will be “grossed up” by 10 percent and you will pay for 2,200 square feet of space to account for your share of the common areas.

It is recommended that you should have your broker or landlord, calculate the actual area of any space you consider leasing.


The following are what you should expect to spend when leasing a space

architect fee (construction)

  1. consultant fees
  2. legal fees
  3. moving costs
  4. furniture
  5. signage
  6. building permit and filing fees
  7. electricity fees
  8. telecommunication
  9. heating
  10. ventilation
  11. air conditioning system
  12. flooring and carpeting
  13. insurance
  14. HVAC
  15. painting and wall cover
  16. fire extinguisher


  • Price per square foot
  • Solving extra space dilemma
  • Measuring space
  • Rentable space
  • Cost