The Optometry and Optical Dispensing industry generated over $2.8 billion in revenue in 2015. With over 3,010 businesses in Australia operating in this sector, growth continues to rise, particularly in high-traffic areas such as shopping centres. If you are looking to open a dispensing outlet or optometry service, it is important that you are aware of the legal considerations you should have when entering into a commercial lease.

A commercial lease will affect where you can do business. For the optometry industry, a store fit-out can be important in attracting customers, particularly for dispensing outlets. Important factors like marketing and store fit-out terms should be considered before you sign a commercial lease. A thorough understanding of the considerations relating to entering into a commercial lease will give you the confidence to negotiate new terms or renewal terms in the future to assist your optometrist business to prosper and grow.

Commercial Leasing for Optometrists

One of the most important considerations relating to a commercial lease is its lease term. An average commercial lease term for a business will be in the realm of three to five years in length. The period of a commercial lease may also vary if it is inside a shopping complex. The term of the commercial lease for your optometrist business should reflect your business plans. A leasing lawyer can review your retail lease and provide feedback on whether the lease is suitable for your business. Renewal terms can also vary between shopping complexes and often non-negotiable by the landlord. By understanding your obligations, you can protect your business’ long-term growth.

Another legal consideration associated with a commercial lease is the presence of an option to renew. An option to renew will be one of the most important terms in your commercial lease as it will allow you to extend the lease past the final date stated in the contract. If the optometry business is going well, you will be able to extend the length of the commercial lease that you signed. Alternatively, if the business is not going well, you can simply not take the option to renew the lease, allowing both you and the landowner to move on from the arrangement quickly and painlessly.

A significant barrier to entry is the shortage of prime retail space. Optical dispensers, like other retailers, have to compete to secure in-demand locations with high foot traffic. You should ensure your commercial lease sets out clauses where your lease may be changed to suit construction work or drastic changes that may affect foot traffic. Moreover, fit-out requirements will also apply to optometry businesses operating in larger complexes in shopping malls.

Key Takeaways

If you are looking to start your own optometrist business or open an optical dispensing business, you should be aware of the legal considerations when entering into a commercial lease, particularly in a shopping complex. If you have any questions relating to commercial leasing, feel free to contact our leasing lawyers. A specialist lawyer can assist you with business structuring and commercial leasing in retail spaces.

Adi Snir
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