After we chose our location, we began lease negotiations: how long are we renting, how much is rent, what will the landlord provide us with, what will our schedule be, how many days can we be closed, how long do our lights have to be on after we close at night, what can we put on the sidewalk, how we must ask permission for any changes to the structure or facade, how we can’t keep the store above 60% humidity and on and on. It was tedious. We hired a lawyer to help us understand what was standard for this type of rental, what we should clarify and what we could negotiate.
We also needed a lawyer to help us set up the structure of the business. We decided to become a Limited Liability Company, honestly I don’t know the details of why we chose this but I think it is a flexible model for a small business and also allows us to open other stores under the same company in the future. My investment was not monetary because I don’t have any, instead I am commited to the company for time. We did all this legal stuff sometime in May.
The lease was signed not until the first week in August. The space was finally “delivered” to us (meaning that the landlord gave us the space the way he had agreed to in the lease–in this case that included a working bathroom) on AUGUST 25th. That’s when we got the key. Yeah, getting a business started takes a long time!