Starting a Business: Leases

Starting a new business comes with many challenges, such as finding a space to operate.

As a new business owner, you’ll likely enter into a lease agreement unless you decide to operate from home. In British Columbia, a business lease varies greatly from a residential lease. Many protections under the Residential Tenancy Act don’t apply to commercial leases. For example, commercial leases are referred to as “triple net” leases because the base rent doesn’t include any of the expenses incurred in operating the property. The tenant is charged for their share of property taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance.

In general, the process of leasing a property includes negotiating a lease, the offer to lease, the lease agreement, and registering the lease. Each stage is complex and requires a great deal of preparation. If this is your first time negotiating a commercial lease, you may want to seek assistance from a commercial real estate agent, a lease consultant, or a lawyer to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Get the Guide

To learn more about important considerations and information on starting a business in BC, download our in-depth guide.

More topics for start-ups to consider:

The Necessary First Steps

There are many necessary initial steps to take in order to successfully start or continue operations.

learn more

Business Structure

One of the very first steps of starting and running a business is choosing a legal structure for your business.

learn more

Shareholders’ Agreements

Shareholders should enter into a shareholders’ agreement in the early stages of starting a business.

learn more


At some point in your business’ lifecycle, you’ll probably need cash exceeding what your business is able to generate.

learn more


About Fraser

Fraser Hartley has worked with clients on a range of transactional matters, with a focus on corporate financings, mergers and acquisitions and financial restructurings. In addition, he provides advice on corporate governance and securities compliance issues and general corporate and commercial matters.

Fraser has acted for domestic, U.S. and international public and private companies and has significant experience acting for financial institutions in public and private capital markets transactions, secured lending and acquisition financings.

Prior to joining EKB, Fraser worked at an international law firm based in New York, practising U.S. law and also as legal counsel at a major U.S. investment bank supporting capital markets transactions.