US Bankcard Services Industry Blog

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Merchant in America: The Series Episode 3: Rental Checklist

Alright…I finally found the perfect space for my SMB (Small to Mid-Sized Business). My rental agent told me there are three things that are important for commercial real estate: Location, Location and Location. She explained that storefronts must have good ‘traffic’ meaning, there needs to be a lot of people physically coming near the store and the store needs to have easy access for customers, their vehicles and vendor deliveries. Then she also told me that the at the most important thing about the interior space of a commercial property is: Design, Design, Design. She went on to explain that you must make the interior functional, attractive, clean and if you can …unique. And before I left her office she gave me a ‘walk-through checklist’. She said that I could use this list to make sure everything is acceptable before I sign the lease or make my first rental payment…boy, she was really helpful.

And she also told me some basic things to consider as a new renter and new business owner:

  1. Do you have the rental agent, landlord contact information and rental payment information?
  2. Do you have your signed copy and a signed file copy of the rental agreement (lease)
  3. Is your Insurance (Renter’s, Business, Inventory, etc.) purchased and ready to go?
  4. Are the utilities functioning properly?
  5. Are all your business accounts set up and Federal Identification Number (also call tax i. d. or EIN) retrieved, including your Bank(s) and other vendors.
  6. Are all service providers’ contact and account information written down or saved on your PC for easy access?
  7. Does anything need to be negotiated (like work needing to be done)? Is the negotiation acceptable?
  8. If you do any interior construction, make sure that you are not responsible for de-construction/demolition costs.
  9. Could any portion of the lease be prorated if I cannot move in to the space on the move-in date?
  10. Do you have any disaster emergency plan aka Business Continuity and Business Resumption
  11. Do you have all keys and needed copies to Property?
  12. And do I have what’s needed for my MSP (Merchant Services Provider) so that I could begin your credit card processing:

Proof of Existence – Make sure to include a business license, a seller’s permit and/or a utility bill. All of these items are another step closer to proving to the processors that your business is legitimate.

Proof of Residence Existence – A driver’s license and/or most recent previous home address goes a long way towards showing the processor that just because the merchant recently moved, doesn’t mean they present any risk.

Processing History – OK If this is your first business you will not have this, but if you have a business and wish to make a change your previous processing statements greatly influence the time it takes for Underwriting to review an account.

PCI Compliance – A handy dandy reference sheet to ensure that you are compliant with the PCI-DSS

Although listed separately, it’s a good idea to get as much as the above documentation as possible. It is better to be proactive instead of reactive.

Well I have a lot to do…so I better get cracking…. WOW...I must admit this is a great rental space for my business. Just now she sent me a text message with a cool and convenient smart phone app link. The app is: Commercial property inspection; Rental property and apartment building move-in, move-out checklists; Residential property surveys and inspection reports…She is thorough…I will do my best to satisfy my customers, too.

Previous Episodes:

To find out more about your industry and our service, please call us at 888-525-8558 or on the web visit US Bankcard Services, Inc. or drop us and e-mail and follow us on Facebook (Log-in and search ‘US Bankcard Services, Inc.’).