Four Things to Think About Before Renting a Commercial Warehouse

Written by Small Business Magazine on September 18, 2016. Posted in Commercial warehousing, Leasing a warehouse, Tampa office space

Finding a warehouse to rent

Are you interested in renting a warehouse? Renting a warehouse is a necessary part of business if you have inventory that has to be stored somewhere, or if you business needs a large space for operations. While renting a warehouse seems like it wouldn’t be too complicated. You aren’t going to be living in the warehouse you rent, and most likely, won’t have clientele walking through. Factors that are important when you’re leasing office space, such as location and ambiance do not really matter when you are renting a warehouse. However, commercial warehousing has it’s own set of considerations that you should keep in mind. If you are in the process of determining warehouse space needs for your business, you should take the following considerations:

  1. What zoning restrictions are applicable in this area?

    Depending on the business you are in, you may have trouble conducting business operations in some commercial warehouses. For example, if you own a micro-brewery, you must make sure that the warehouse you rent is in a zone that allows alcohol production. If you produce food of any sort, the commercial zone you are in must be approved by a health inspector. Some musical bands like renting warehouses to have a space they can make noise in during practice; even if sound ordinances allow this, it may not be zoned appropriately to accommodate concerts. If the nature of your business brings clientele onsite, you need to make sure that this is allowed. Before signing the lease on a commercial space, make sure the zoning regulations jive with the purpose you will be using the space for.
  2. Is the space set up to accommodate distribution?

    No matter what business you’re in, you’ll likely need to be able to get delivery trucks in and out, and will need to be able to conveniently get shipments. Even if your warehouse has ample space to carry out your business operations, if you can’t get the supplies you need in and out, you’ll struggle to make the most of the area. Consider your business operations, and how the set up of your future warehouse will impact them.


    While we’re on this subject (and touching back on zoning), some commercial or industrial zones only allow commercial trucks to be parked outside during certain hours. Make sure you look into this before signing the dotted line.
  3. What is the internal square footage?

    The square footage of a commercial warehouse is actually based on the external perimeter of the building. At the very least, there is at least a small amount of usable space lost since you’re only using the space inside the building, minus the insulation and utility areas. If you determine that you need a thousand square feet of space in order to make the most of a commercial warehouse, you want to pay attention to how much usable space is actually available, rather than relying on the square footage advertised alone.
  4. What ongoing cost will be required to use the space?

    Heating and cooling a large space like a warehouse isn’t cheap. Depending on the product (or people) you’ll have in your commercial warehouse, you might need a specific temperature range. Factors such as insulation, shading, and environment will determine how much energy must go into making the space usable. Choosing a commercial warehouse that has a higher monthly rent, but lower utility costs might be better for you in the end.


    You should also consider additional costs you might be subject to in a particular building. Most commercial warehouse leases require that you perform your own maintenance and upkeep on the building. If you rent a warehouse in poor shape at a really low rent, it might not be worthwhile if you have to constantly pour money into making repairs. Other commercial warehouses have additional fees for shared space upkeep (for example, if you share a parking lot with another business). Take all of the costs into consideration before signing a lease on a commercial warehouse.

When renting a commercial warehouse, it might not be important what type of flooring your building has. The school district isn’t something that you have to worry about. But there are things you should consider; pay attention to this list and you should be in good shape.

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