Moving from working out of your your house into a private office space? Expanding into a new location in a new state? We have tips and advice for all types of moves. It’s an exciting time, and if you’ve given your choices proper consideration, it doesn’t have to be stressful.
Your First Office: “I work remotely and want to move into private office space. How do I pick the best space?”
You’re taking a big step, both for your practice and for your bank account. Make sure you properly vet any space you are looking at to ensure it satisfies your growing firm’s growing needs and doesn’t become unaffordable overhead.
We recommend asking the following questions of your potential landlord or space provider:
- What’s the shortest lease term I’m able to sign?
- What happens if I need to scale up during my lease term? Or scale down?
- What amenities are included in my base rent and what ones are add-ons that I need to pay each month (like water, heat, office equipment, etc.)?
- What are the benefits to being at your space? And can you think of any negatives?
We especially want you to ask that last question – there are negatives to ANY arrangement, and having a landlord or space provider who is honest and upfront with you means you’re getting into business with someone you can trust.
Your New Office: “The attorney I sublease from isn’t renewing their lease. What do I do next?”
Many attorneys sublease space from other attorneys – who are effectively trying to be both landlords and law firm owners. It’s no surprise then, that so many find themselves suddenly kicked out of their space when the attorneys they sublease from decide to give up the dual roles and not renew their leases.
If this is your situation, you’re probably stressed out, and potentially a little angry. You want to make sure your next situation is stable, and you probably discovered a few options:
- You can sublease again
- You even take on the dual role yourself and lease a large floor
- You can take an office with a shared office space provider
Before you make a choice ask yourself: “What do I really need to practice law successfully.”
If this move isn’t really that cumbersome, and isn’t interfering with your day-to-day business, then go with option one. Just keep in mind that you may need to move again sooner than you expect, and that your options may be more limited so price and location shopping will be difficult.
If you loved your traditional space and like the idea of having a small floor of other attorneys in a community you hand crafted, then go with option two. Make sure you speak with other attorneys who have done so first, though. Otherwise you may find yourself stressed and overworked (and not with legal work).
If this move is causing stress, and you want both stability and the ability to shop around for the best price and best location, then a shared office space is your best bet. Additionally, you’ll get the same benefits as option two – a community of attorneys – if you choose a boutique shared office space provider who specializes in supporting law firms. Check if your area provides one!
Your New Beginning: “I’m opening my firm in a new state. Any advice?”
Congratulations on your success! Aside from the legal business of becoming an attorney in a new state, you’ve got a new market you’re trying to enter. Many of our own attorney clients find success by first setting themselves up to work remotely. Most often they purchase a Virtual Law Office program which gives them a local address on one of our floors, a local phone number for their firm, as well as access to all of our locations and our conference rooms for meetings. This saves them the overhead of renting private office space until they are more established in their new city, while giving them all the amenities they need to run their practice in the new location.
The added benefit of opening a Virtual Law Office is that when they do make the move into physical, private space, they are able to maintain their address by simply upgrading from their Virtual Law Office into private office space. Need more information on how this works? Visit our Virtual Law Office page!
Additional Resources for moving your law firm: