commercial lease

What are the alternatives to the commercial lease (3/6/9)?

Paul Pouhin
6 min2019-09-16

Various rental solutions exist to carry out your professional activity. Discover the alternatives to the classic commercial lease. Signing a classic commercial lease represents, for most companies, a material, financial and operational constraint. The rigidity imposed by this lease contract is no longer adapted to the needs of today's businesses. And it can even be a hindrance to the company's activity.

So before you start looking, discover the alternatives to the classic commercial lease to combine comfort and flexibility in your next office.

1. Sign a precarious lease when you start your business

Commit to a temporary lease agreement

Are you starting your own business and don't want to make a long-term commitment? Then it is possible to consider signing a precarious lease.

This lease is particularly recommended for young companies. Before embarking on negotiations with the lessor of the business premises, you should bear in mind that this lease cannot be concluded for a period of more than three years according to Article L.145-5 of the Commercial Code. A temporary solution above all!

And the advantages for you - the tenant - are undeniable when you start your business:

  • Short-term commitment,
  • Lower rental guarantee,
  • Test your business activity without too much financial pressure.

Check the contents of the lease agreement before signing it

You should not be blinded by these attractive conditions. You are advised not to write the contents of the precarious lease contract without the advice of a legal expert. If you make a mistake when drafting the contract, the risks are considerable, as it is possible that the contract will be reclassified as a standard commercial lease. Think about it!

Before signing your contract, check that it contains

An explicit clause demonstrating your desire to set up a lease that differs from a commercial lease,

An inventory of fixtures at the start and end of your stay in the commercial premises.

Note: also check that the precarious lease contract does not contain any tacit renewal clause or authorisation from the lessor to give the lessee notice!

2. Opt for subletting a business space

If you don't want to commit to a long-term lease, consider the sublease option! This means that you become a sub-tenant of the business space you occupy, with conditions that are more flexible and less binding than a standard lease.

However, to avoid contentious situations between the lessor, the lessee and the sub-tenant, it is a good idea to carry out some checks.

Start by asking the tenant for a copy of the current lease agreement signed with the owner of the premises. This will ensure that it exists. Next, you need to obtain proof that the landlord has explicitly agreed to sublet the offices.

 Indeed, subletting is prohibited by the legal regime for commercial leases, as confirmed by Article L.145-31 of the Commercial Code. To take advantage of this, you must either :

  • Insert a specific clause in the lease contract to authorise it,
  • Have the express authorisation of the lessor.

Do not neglect to obtain permission. Without it, and in the event of a dispute, the landlord can terminate the lease and ask you to leave. Be careful!

This is also an opportunity to check the consistency between the rental price demanded by the landlord and the amount requested for the sublet by the tenant. The latter must not be disproportionate. 

Good to know: When you become a sub-tenant, you have the same rights and duties as the original tenant. However, you do not have to bear the constraints of the 3/6/9 lease, particularly in terms of the duration of the commitment. Another significant advantage of subletting an office?  You will not have to take charge of many of the indispensable aspects of day-to-day office management (cleaning, internet, maintenance, furniture, etc.). These expenses are generally included in the rent charged by the tenant, but your teams will not have to manage them themselves. Think about it!

3. Coworking for more flexibility (less than 20 jobs)

What if you could put your stuff down tomorrow in a workspace adapted to your needs? Without having to worry about administrative obligations and technical constraints such as the purchase of furniture, computer equipment or cleaning? Coworking is not only for freelancers and mobile workers who need a temporary workspace or a few hours per week. Coworking centres usually offer private offices on the floors where you can have your own space, while benefiting from common areas shared with other companies. Most day-to-day expenses are usually included in the rent, so these packages allow you to simplify your life and focus on your core business. No more ordering paper for the printer, repairing the coffee machine or replacing burnt-out bulbs in the meeting room. In a coworking space, there is no classic lease (or 3/6/9 lease) with a minimum three-year commitment. You sign a service contract for a period adapted to your needs with a few weeks' notice. A good compromise for companies with less than 15-20 employees for whom flexibility is a key criterion.

4. flexible offices (from 20 desks)

The classic commercial lease gives you total independence and the freedom to arrange your offices as you wish... However, there are many disadvantages to this formula which forces you to make a long-term commitment.

First of all, you will have to pay for all the expenses required to move in (architect, layout, work, furniture, etc.). Add to this the security deposits and other GAPDs required by landlords, which represent a total of 6 to 12 months' rent tied up for the duration of the lease.

As is often the case, you may opt for a larger space for the future. But note that in order to sublet this space, you will still need to furnish it and that finding and managing sub-tenants will take up a lot of your staff time, with frequent vacancies in the process...

Amongst the more flexible solutions, coworking spaces allow you to reduce the duration of the commitment and free you from the daily management of your offices. However, once you have twenty or more employees and want to build your company culture, you will feel the need to feel at home. A sweet dream that will be difficult to fulfil in a coworking space that leaves very little room for customization.

What if you could have independence, customisation but also flexibility?

This is now possible with new players like Deskeo. This is called "flexible serviced offices", a formula that combines the advantages of the 369 lease and coworking. Deskeo designs unique workspaces specifically for your business, with flexible terms of engagement. Our teams find the office that meets your criteria and then design the space in collaboration with your teams. Layout, design, decoration. Everything is taken into account to reflect your company's culture and objectives.

The offices are delivered on a turnkey basis and Deskeo manages all the day-to-day operational aspects: cleaning, maintenance, IT, printers, photocopiers, internet, etc. A single monthly invoice allows you to know your total budget over the long term, without the risk of unpleasant surprises.

In conclusion, Deskeo manages the entire chain of design, construction, production and office management for your company, so that you can concentrate on your development. You develop your business and Deskeo takes care of the rest.

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