How to find office space in the USA
UK-based businesses trying to find office space in the USA may find it a difficult task indeed. Not only is the USA a vast place, you’ll have the added complication of not being able to spend a great deal of time and money scouting out the best premises yourself. However, you can feel confident you’re making the right decision if you employ these tips…
First, decide on your location
The first thing to do when you’re looking for office space in the USA is to whittle your search down to a state. Decide which state you want to incorporate in, and then choose a particular city to look in (or city fringe, if you want to pay cheaper rates).
You’ll need to think very carefully about this, considering factors such as transport links, climate, geography and infrastructure. The availability of potential staff is another thing to think about, too – if your business operates in a particular niche, look for ‘talent hotspots’ or locations with prestigious universities so you can tap into a pool of potential employees. Once you’ve done this, you can start your hunt for office space in earnest.
Seek feedback from trusted contacts
If you’re struggling to choose a state or city, why not ask your trusted contacts? Make use of your business connections by asking for suggestions from businesses who are currently operating in the US – particularly if they’ve recently expanded from the UK.
Of course, trusted contacts are just as useful even if you’re not experiencing any roadblocks: a dispassionate person who’s happy to talk through your plans might prompt you to consider alternatives you haven’t thought of.
Contact a specialised commercial property agent
Unless you have time to really get to know the area you’re thinking of setting up in, you’ll need to place your trust in the hands of someone who does know the area very well.
That’s where a specialised commercial property agent comes in: appoint someone to scout for office space in the USA on your behalf, using their insider knowledge of the area to inform your search. However, be prepared to do some additional homework. As well as personal recommendations, look up these agents on sites such as LinkedIn and Zillow. You’ll be able to see what their previous clients say about particular agents and their services, giving you the chance to work with someone else if you spot any red flags.
Get your attorney involved
Renting office space in the US could prove a little problematic if the owner of the building wants to see evidence that you’ve incorporated (or are going through the process of doing so), or requires that you pay your rent from a US bank account, for instance.
If you come up against issues such as this, get on the phone to your attorney. Your attorney’s specialist knowledge of assisting businesses like yours to set up in the USA will mean that they can talk you through what you need to do, or liaise with the building owner on your behalf.
Also, it’s a good idea to ask your attorney to read over a commercial tenancy agreement, regardless of whether or not you have any worries: the law in your chosen state may be different to the kind of rules and regulations you’re familiar with in the UK.
Think outside the box
Finally, if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, it might be time to think a bit creatively… why not look for co-working spaces where you can rent by the day or month, for example? This is particularly helpful for businesses who are expanding to the US, like yours, as it means you won’t have to commit to an entire year (or sometimes three or five years) of rent. The charge for using the co-working space will cover infrastructure that already exists, such as internet, phone lines, utilities and perhaps even kitchens, conference rooms and a reception.
These tips should help you to find office space in the USA, but do remember that there is another option… rather than renting a work area and hiring employees directly, you can hire staff through us. Some of our clients found that this option worked best for them, allowing them to get a feel for an area before committing to it. You might find it a useful step for your business too.