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Look before you lease: Avoiding the pitfalls in retail leasing

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education


This booklet was authored by the then Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education as part of the Small Business portfolio policy functions which have since been transferred to the Treasury.

This booklet is designed for people thinking about signing a new lease for a business location. It can help you answer general questions about retail leasing all over Australia, but remember there are some specific differences among the States and Territories.

The purpose of the booklet is to help you avoid mistakes that others have made. If you know what questions to ask before signing a lease, and where to look for more information, you might avoid expensive misunderstandings that could cost you your business.

This booklet is a guide to help you ask the right questions. It cannot replace professional advice but it can help you focus on what advice you will need.

The booklet gives you warnings and checklists to help you decide how and when to ask for expert help. You should get advice from a solicitor, your local retail tenancy office, small or retail business association, or fair trading office before you sign anything.