How to rent a shop – The 8 most important steps

Do you dream of opening your own store or moving your existing business to a new and better location? But feel overwhelmed by all the steps involved in renting a retail space? We have developed this guide for you so you can safely achieve a new space without wasting unnecessary time and energy.
7. September 2023 | Author: Editor
How to rent a shop – The 8 most important steps

Do you dream of opening your own store or moving your existing business to a new and better location? But feel overwhelmed by all the steps involved in renting a retail space? We have developed this guide for you so you can safely achieve a new space without wasting unnecessary time and energy.

If, on the other hand, you want to rent out or transfer a retail space, check out this 10 simple steps to successfully renting out a retail space that we have written.

Step 1: Define your needs and desires for a shop for rent 

The first step is to clarify what you're actually looking for in your new retail space. Consider the type of store you wish to open and which needs are essential for your business. Ponder the following questions:

  • What kind of store would you like to open?
  • How essential is the location for your business? Do you want to be near the center, in a busy neighborhood, or in a quieter part of town?
  • How much space do you need? Consider the size and layout of the retail space.
  • Do you require parking options for your customers?
  • How long of a rental period do you need?
  • What's your budget for rent? Remember to account for other costs like electricity, water, and possible common charges.
  • Should the retail space have specific facilities or supplies?
  • Are there any particular requirements or permits you need, depending on your business activity?

Step 2: Search for a shop for rent 

Once you have a clear idea of your needs, it's time to search for the perfect retail space. There are several methods to find potential shop locations:

  1. Online portals: Use websites like, which provides an overview of available commercial space, for example, shop for rent in Europe, shop for rent in Denmark, shop for rent in Sweden, shop for rent in Norway, shop for rent in the Netherlands, and shop for rent in Germany, among others. Filter your search by location, size, and price to find the most relevant options. On, you can find various shops for rent, with many different usage possibilities.
  2. Local newspaper ads: Keep an eye out for local ads in newspapers and on bulletin boards in the area where you want to open your store. There might be hidden gems in the form of shops for rent that precisely fit your vision.
  3. Word-of-mouth references: Ask friends, family, and acquaintances if they know of any available retail spaces in the area. Often, personal recommendations can lead to the best opportunities.
  4. Real estate agents: Reach out to real estate agents specializing in commercial properties, as they might have information on relevant shop rentals in specific areas. Remember to note down all the interesting shop locations so you can compare them later.

Step 3: Visit and evaluate stores for rent 

Now it's time to visit the landlords who have retail spaces that have caught your interest. When visiting each location, be mindful of the following points:

  • Is the location ideal for your target audience? Find the retail space for rent that best suits your target group's behavior and needs.
  • Is there sufficient space to meet your requirements? Think about the store's size and layout and if it fits your products or services.
  • Are there good parking options for both customers and staff? Customer accessibility is vital for your business.
  • What's the condition of the retail space? Is there a need for renovation or maintenance? Find a retail space in good condition that can be a suitable framework for your business.
  • Is there sufficient natural light or good lighting options? Proper lighting is crucial for creating a pleasant atmosphere in the store.
  • Check the nearest neighbors - could they attract potential customers or possibly drive them away? Investigate the area and its potential for your business.

Step 4: Negotiate the lease contract of the shop for rent

Once you've found the perfect shop for rent, it's time to negotiate the lease contract. This is a crucial part of the process where you need to ensure you protect your interests as a tenant. Here are some tips for negotiating the lease:

  • Get everything in writing: Ensure that all agreements and terms are documented in the contract to avoid misunderstandings. This way, there's no doubt about what has been agreed upon, preventing any discrepancies later on.
  • Rental price and terms: Negotiate the rent and make sure you're comfortable with the other conditions, such as the deposit, lease period, and any rent increases. Also, be aware of any additional expenses associated with the lease.
  • Flexibility: Consider negotiating flexible terms if needed, e.g., for expansion or emergencies. Flexible terms can offer more freedom and security as a tenant.
  • Permits and changes: Check if there are specific permissions or restrictions for the type of business you'll run, and ensure they are included in the contract. This helps avoid unpleasant surprises later.

Step 5: Pay the deposit and sign the contract 

After successful negotiations, pay the agreed deposit and sign the lease contract. This is a significant legal commitment, so ensure you're entirely satisfied with the terms before signing. Always consult with a lawyer before the final signing of the lease contract.

Step 6: Move and set up your shop location

Once you've secured your dream retail space, you can begin preparations for moving and setting up. Create a detailed relocation plan and make sure to notify the relevant authorities about your move. Handle all logistics swiftly so you can focus on setting up your new, fantastic store and start earning money.

Carefully consider how to design the store to best present your products and appeal to your customers. Also, consider any renovations or upgrades needed to create the right atmosphere in your store.

For inspiration on moving and setup, check out these two guides: Checklist for relocating a retail space and Guide to rental shop design - Create the perfect atmosphere.

Step 7: Open your dream shop

Finally, the day has come to open your dream store to the public! Celebrate this milestone and welcome your customers with a smile.

Remember, even though your store is now open, the work isn't over. Continuously evaluate your business, listen to your customers, and adapt to market changes. With the right effort and dedication, your store will thrive and be a success!

Step 8: Build a close relationship with the landlord 

It's essential to establish a close relationship with your landlord, which will be crucial for your business development opportunities. A good relationship can create a win-win situation, benefiting both the tenant and the landlord. Here are some points to be aware of in relation to the landlord:

  1. Establish clear communication channels with the landlord, whether through email, phone, or personal meetings. This ensures quick answers to any questions, challenges, or needs that might arise.
  2. Be open and honest with the landlord about your plans and intentions for the store. If you plan to make changes to the space or expand your business later, share this with the landlord well in advance.
  3. Maintain regular contact with the landlord to ensure everything is optimal in the retail space. If issues or challenges arise, address them immediately with the landlord to find a solution together.
  4. Always adhere to the terms and conditions set out in the lease contract. This includes paying rent on time, following maintenance rules, and obtaining any necessary permits for your business activities.
  5. A good relationship with the landlord isn't just about getting the best start in your new retail lease but also thinking long-term. If you prove to be a reliable and responsible tenant, the landlord will likely be more receptive to your needs now and in the future.
  6. Receive feedback from the landlord with an open mind. The landlord might possess valuable knowledge and experience that can help optimize your business in the new lease. Listen to their input and incorporate it into your future decisions.

Frequently asked questions