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Your Ultimate Guide to the Pros and Cons of Subleasing Office Space

When in search of a new base for a small business or other entrepreneurial ventures, many people opt for leasing office space. However, if you’d like to skip the hassle of such a complicated procedure, setting up meetings at your local Starbucks is not the only way to go. You can easily gain access to a private office equipped with all the necessary supplies at a coworking hub. Or better yet, you can sublease a workspace, which has many more advantages compared with the traditional way of leasing.

If you decide to sublease an office space, you won’t be dealing directly with the landlord, but rather with a so-called sublessor. The latter is a tenant renting the place from the proprietor directly and subleasing to a small business owner for a more advantageous price. The fair fee is not the only advantage of subleasing, however, and there are some disadvantages to acknowledge as well.

Consider both the pros and the cons of subleasing office space before you jump on the bandwagon!


It’s Easier to Acquire

As with any traditional lease, you’ll have to meet a set of requirements in order to qualify for a sublease contract. With that being said, sublessors tend to ask for less rigorous specifications than normal landlords do, making the deal much simpler to score.

It’s a Budget-Friendly Option

In a market where office space rental rates are higher than ever, every penny counts for a fresh business venture that is at the very beginning of its journey. Thanks to its affordable prices, subleasing is quite a feasible option for novice entrepreneurs who don’t have or who don’t want to pay a fortune for a simple office space. You can actually save between 15% and 40% of the rent if you opt for subleasing spaces over leasing directly from a landlord.

You Get More Flexibility, Fewer Restraints

Unlike other types of commercial leases, subleasing contracts tend to be much more straightforward and easy to understand. They generally come with a loose set of requirements, with fewer restraints, while at the same time offering plenty of wiggle room. Chances are your sublessor (often referred to as the Master Tenant) might not ask you for both a personal guarantee and an additional security deposit for your business, but naturally this is always up to the individual.

You Have the Option of Signing Short-Term Leases

Another great advantage of subleasing contracts is that they offer a short-term base for your growing business, while landlords often ask people to sign their contract for at least a three-year minimum. This is an excellent asset for entrepreneurs who cannot predict exactly how their business will grow over the coming few years, giving them additional flexibility and the chance to move on if they outgrow the office.

The Space is Turnkey Ready

Instead of spending weeks (or even months) renovating and decorating, you won’t need to worry about these minor details, which can set your work back. Thankfully, subleased spaces are often in move-in-ready condition, even boasting furniture in many cases. All you need to do is bring your most valuable stuff and get right to work.

You Gain Access to a Wide Variety of Amenities and Services

More often than not, unlimited access to the building’s fire alarm system or the Wi-Fi network is a complimentary bonus in the case of subleasing. Some other services, such as the use of office equipment, may also be negotiated to your advantage in exchange for a small fee. If you share your space with like-minded entrepreneurs, you might make a deal with other sublessees to help each other out. This way you can get your calls or even your emails answered even if you are not in the office.


Despite the many advantages of subleasing an office as a small business owner, there are some downsides that should not be overlooked.

It’s Only a Temporary Solution

Despite being a great idea for a couple of years, your subleasing contract will eventually expire, reminding you that this is merely a temporary solution until your business really kicks off. Jumping from one subleased place to another isn’t such a great solution, since you might need to relocate every 1-2 years, which will prove to be exhausting. With that being said, re-entering the world of traditional commercial leases might prove to be quite hard, due to the grueling conditions and financial requirements set by landlords.

You’re Dependent on Others

Because of your direct contact (and your legal contract) with your sublessor, you and your business are basically dependent on them. If they decide to default, your office space and venture will surely be affected as well. For example, if the master tenant and the landlord have a fallout and the former is asked to give up the space, you’ll probably be evicted as well. You’ll probably want to avoid such situations, which leads us to our next point.

You Have to Pay Meticulous Attention to Detail

When going through your legally binding documents regarding your new office space, make sure you reach out to a professional attorney and go through every paragraph to check the details of the agreement. Remember that you’re not only required to go through your subleasing agreement, but also to look at the original commercial lease between the main landlord and the master tenant, to make sure that there aren’t any conflicting or misleading details.

You Get Limited Use of the Space

Not exactly a deal-breaker, but the limited use of space available to you and your business might prove to be less than ideal. With potentially no chance to grow and limited opportunities to make your office space feel like your own, subleasing is certainly not for everyone.

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