Understand the legal issues

Get a lawyer if you can

While there is an inevitable amount of trial and error involved it is vital to dot your i’s and cross your t’s at the beginning. A property – even an empty one – is a big responsibility. No one will trust you with an empty space unless you can show you’re serious about it. If you can afford it (or ideally find someone pro bono) get a lawyer involved early to assist with planning the project, establishing the company (or other structure), drawing up our license agreements and the other paperwork involved. Not only will it help if you can refer property owners to credible lawyers when they ask legal questions, it also makes it much easier for owners to take the idea of lending their property seriously.

Whoever is planning and negotiating the use of the space needs to understands the details of insurance, who would do what, and how and when to vacate the properties if a commercial tenant came along. On this page are links to some template legal agreements however they aren’t a substitute for getting your own legal advice – only a place for your own lawyers to start.