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The Cost Of Opening An Office In Canada

By Townes Haas   |    February 10, 2016   |    8:56 AM

What is the average cost involved when purchasing or leasing office space in Canada and how can you work to lower those costs?

Leasing or purchasing office space can be a considerable expense for small businesses, therefore it is important to consider all the options. The most expensive option is to purchase office space which is why most companies prefer to lease. A virtual office is also a great option as you can dramatically cut costs whilst retaining all the benefits of a real office.

When buying an office the price will be dependent on the location. In Toronto this could range anywhere from $150,000 in the outskirts of the city, to millions of dollars for office space downtown or in fashionable areas. Prices in Vancouver run a similar gamut, whilst prices in the rest of Canada may be slightly lower. In order to find the cheapest office spaces for sale, look in the suburbs or in less up-market neighborhoods. You can lower purchase costs by buying non-furnished offices and finishing them off yourself with inexpensive decoration.

Leasing is a cheaper option. Office rent in the Toronto GTA area may range from $8.00 to $27.00 per sq.ft. net rent. Average rent in Vancouver in 2015 was about $1,674. Office space on Bay Street is very expensive, costing $68.87 per square foot. Renting office space on Burrard Street in Vancouver is costly, average rents are $58.47 per square foot. An office space on Calgary's Second Street S.W. is about $55.29 per square foot. Outside of this area cheaper rents may be found. Once again the lease price will be lower in less central locations.

Apart from choosing cheaper areas to lease in, there are several ways to reduce costs. If you approach property owners who have a surplus of empty office space they will be more receptive to writing more favorable lease terms. You can also bargain for a better price for unfinished floor space. You can then decorate the office yourself with cheap options such as stackable panel systems. Other ways to reduce your budget involve being savvy about your leasing, calculate exactly how much space you will need and do not lease any additional footage. Landlords often have a hard time leasing smaller spaces so your bargaining power may be stronger. Alternatively you can lease a larger space and make some income by subletting it.

A great way of reducing costs is to rent a virtual office. This can permit your small business to have an address in a prestigious building, hence maintaining a high profile image at a relatively low price. As the costs of most services are split between clients these will be cheaper than leasing. Furthermore, unlike in an actual office, you won't have fees such as overheads. Price structures for virtual offices and meeting rooms are usually competitive and clearly defined which means you can predict your costs with facility and as you are not the owner there will be no sudden surprise expenditures. Virtual offices are a cost effective solution that small businesses are increasingly turning to.