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Which type of office space is best for your business?

If you're starting a small business where you and your employees will primarily be working at your desks, one of the first things you need to do is find office space. You may also be in the market for new office space if you want or need to relocate from your current offices or if you need a satellite location for some of your employees to work.

You may have already learned that there are two primary types of office space -- conventional office space and executive suites. Let's take the look at the differences between those and how you can determine which type is best for your business before you sign a lease.

Conventional office space is generally the best choice if you're planning to stay in the location for at least three to five years. Longer leases are typically a better value than shorter ones, so if you're able to commit to over a few years, you'll get more for your money.

Conventional office spaces are larger than executive suites. Most are over 1,000 square feet.

If you have a one- or two-person operation, an executive suite in a business center is probably the best choice. Many professionals, including attorneys, rent or lease executive suites. They share common areas like lobbies, conference rooms and break rooms.

Executive suite business centers often have front desk receptionists and other personnel who can assist with administrative tasks. These executive space business centers provide a professional environment for meetings with clients.

The time commitment for an executive suite is shorter than for conventional office space. You may be able to sign a month-to-month agreement or get a longer one for a year or even more. The individual offices are fully furnished, with desks, chairs, phones, art and Internet access. Executive suites can be a cost-effective choice if you don't need much space and/or don't want to make a lengthy time commitment.

Before signing an agreement to rent or lease any type of office space, it's wise to have your attorney review it. These may seem like standard agreements. However, you don't want any surprises -- particularly if you plan to be in the space for any amount of time.

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