Choosing the right office space

Whether this is your first commercial office space or you are just looking to move to a new work environment there are several things to consider such as:

  • What is the space primarily being used for?
  • How big does it really need to be?
  • Your budget
  • A preferred location
  • The leasing terms


First, up is location. Consider factors such as an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) tax break if It applies to your business. Also think about your commute and the job pool applicants in the area. If your business is a retail store, putting a space in an office complex may not be a good idea. You need to consider the types of clientele, the types of employees and the type of business you have hen choosing an ideal location.

Your preferred location could and ideally should, be somewhere closer to your home and/or close to your kids school. Also consider access to freeways and highways and the proximity to restaurants and shopping if that is an important factor for you.

Space Use/Type of Business

When choosing the proper space you will want to consider:

  • How many employees do you have?
  • How many visitors will you have? Will customers be coming on site?
  • Will you just be housing a small, mission critical staff?
  • Is your business dependent on the foot traffic?
  • Essentially what is the purpose of the space?

Calculating Space Requirements

According to, in typical office scenarios, you can estimate 175-250 square feet per employee. If you need a few large executive plan to add around 150-400 square feet per office. Secretarial and administrative space will range from 60-110 square feet. In regards to meeting room space you should allow 25-30 square feet per person. A reception area should accommodate your receptionist, plus you have to think about how many people at one time could be in your waiting room or reception area. 6-9 people require at least 300 square feet, while 3-5 people require least 200 square feet. Don’t forget about any storage or filing cabinets and make sure you leave ample room according to your needs.

Should You Lease or Buy?

Deciding if you should lease or buy a commercial office space is a big decision. Obviously a strong cash flow is required to purchase a space, but there are also other benefits to consider such as tax breaks.

If you choose to lease a commercial property, here are some benefits:

  • Credit rating does not need to be as strong as it would need to be if you were buying a property.
  • Your rent is tax deductible.
  • You probably will not have to pay building maintenance fees.

If you choose to buy a commercial property, here are some benefits:

  • Interest on the mortgage is tax deductible.
  • You can take annual depreciation deductions on your taxes.
  • No rent increases
  • If the real estate market is good when you sell, you will reap big monetary benefits.
  • You can lease out extra space to supplement your income

Ghattas Enterprises is a leading commercial real estate developer in the Hagerstown, MD area. We offer numerous commercial spaces for lease and commercial spaces for purchase. Please contact us for more information.