Last Updated: August 3, 2023 • Visit Blog Homepage


Starting a dog daycare and kennel business requires finding the right location to accommodate all your furry guests and provide a safe, comfortable environment for them to play and rest. You're going to want to find a place that offers plenty of both indoor and outdoor space, if possible. Dogs needs to be able to run both inside and outside, so having adequate space is important. Once you find the perfect spot, the hard part begins...negotiating the lease. If you're able to buy, congrats! However, most have to rent at the start. One of the most critical aspects of setting up your business is negotiating the lease on the building you choose. Negotiating the lease on your dog daycare building can be a challenging process, but by following these six tips, you can help ensure that you get the best possible terms for your business.

1. Know Your Rights

Before entering into negotiations, make sure you are aware of your rights as a tenant. Research local and state laws that regulate commercial leases, as well as any industry-specific regulations that apply to your business. This knowledge will help you understand what you are entitled to and what you can reasonably negotiate. You need to be prepared for the negotiation process and if you go in without knowing your rights, a tricky landlord might be able to pull the wool over your eyes.

2. Research the Market

Research the real estate market in the area you plan to open your dog daycare. Compare the rent prices, lease terms, and available amenities of other similar businesses. Use this information to determine what you should be paying and what terms are standard in your market. Knowing the market values in your areas for similar properties will also give you leverage once you start negotiating the lease. If you can show the landlord that a similar business across town is going for $250 less per month, you might get them to budge on their price. If you don't know the prices in your area, you're putting yourself at a disadvantage.

3. Get Professional Help

Consider hiring a real estate attorney or commercial real estate broker to help you negotiate your lease. They can provide you with valuable expertise and guidance on what to look for in a lease and what to avoid. As they say, it's expensive to go cheap. You don't know what you don't know, and having the assistance of a professional, even though it might cost you more money up front, could end up saving you money in the longterm by getting you a better rate, etc.

4. Be Flexible

Be open to compromise and be willing to negotiate on non-critical lease terms. For example, if the landlord won’t agree to your preferred lease term length, consider compromising on the rent price or other lease terms. If you think you found the perfect location for your dog daycare, it might be worth being a bit flexible in order to lock down the property and get to work building out the facility. You don't need to feel like you're getting a steal on your lease. You just need to feel okay with the price you're paying.

5. Consider the Long-Term

Consider the long-term implications of your lease terms. Will the terms you agree to now still be feasible for you in five or ten years? Make sure the lease terms you agree to are sustainable and won’t restrict the growth of your business. It's best to talk with your business attorney before signing any lease paperwork, because once signed, there's a good chance you'll be on the hook for any payments, etc. Run some financial projections for your dog daycare business to see if you'll be able to consistently pay your monthly payments. The last thing you want is to have a few slow months and have to shut down your business and cancel your lease.

6. Get Everything in Writing

Finally, make sure that all the terms and conditions of your lease are put in writing and signed by both parties. This protects both you and the landlord and ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding the terms of the lease. The old "handshake agreement" is not a good idea. You might think that you're dealing with a standup guy/gal, but they might try to change your lease if you didn't get everything in writing. Be safe and have everything in writing and keep multiple copies on file for proof should you need them.

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