This section related to Malta Office Space Requirements aims to give you some further insight on the most important factors to consider when planning a relocation, or setting up a new office in Malta.
The office space requirements are normally determined by the size and nature of the business. When calculating size requirements, take 10m2 of floor space per person in the organisation as a rough estimate. So an office of 50m2 would suffice for a team of 5 workers for example. Layout should also be considered. A particular businesses may have layout specific requirements and these should be identified so as to maximise efficiency whilst allowing flexibility if required.
It is not an uncommon practice for young companies to rent out properties that may allow space for expansion without having to go through a complete relocation. Sustained growth is a very positive attribute in business, and this growth should not be hampered by office relocation efforts, resulting to downtime, and other logistical issues negatively affecting performance. Plan ahead and take the potential growth of your organisation into consideration when estimating the office space requirements for your new work environment.
This is a critical factor amongst office space requirements to be considered when determining business. An organisation’s location may used to gain strategic advantages like lower costs, premium exposure, as well as less commuting time for workers. Of course some areas can be industry specific, as can be seen with legal offices and retail outlets in Valletta, scores of iGaming/insurance/financial companies located around the towns of Msida, Ta’Xbiex, Gzira, Sliema & St. Julians, and factories in the central and southern parts of Malta. When selecting location, make sure that you choose a location that is in line with your corporate strategy.
When planning to move into a new office, the entry date is also a crucial element of the office space requirements that will have to be determined and agreed upon with the landlord. At times, spaces may not be available until a certain date, and at other times, a space may not be needed before a specific date. In addition, lease duration is also a matter of discussion with the landlord. Some offices will not accept leases for less than 1 year, whilst others may not accept proposals for less than 3 years.
As far as the duration is concerned, locally, there is also a distinction made between a ‘di fermo’ period and a ‘di rispetto’ period. Here, the former will require a tenant to uphold payment of rent for the entire ‘di fermo’ period, regardless of the business’s situation. A ‘di rispetto’ period will give the tenant the opportunity to terminate the agreement during that period given a pre-stipulated notice as per agreement. It is common for commercial agreements to feature both a ‘di fermo’ as well as a ‘di rispetto’ period. Ex. A 5 year agreement with a 2 year ‘di fermo’ period, the remaining 3 years being ‘di rispetto’. Some agreements may not feature a ‘di fermo’ period yet this is becoming less common practice.
Services and facilities required are high on the list considerations of office space requirements when relocating an organisation. Some businesses may require a service lift for transport of bulky packages, where-as others may require a hi-tech office environment with backup generators, optic fibre cabling and the like.
Make a list of the facilities you require, and consider the necessity of items such as parking spaces, lifts, services, surrounding facilities and neighbourhood preferences. Determine your business priorities and evaluate your requirements accordingly.
Rent is a cost that weighs down businesses, yet this should not come at the cost of business itself. For location dependent businesses like retail outlets, prime locations will come at a high rental cost that is balanced off with the heavy traffic that passes through theses areas, resulting in more business. Conversely, selecting an area with low traffic, in order to pay low rent may not be the best strategy for a business that will rely exclusively on passing trade. To elaborate on the case mentioned above, money saved on rent may have to be budgeted for marketing efforts to increase sales volume to keep the business afloat.
It is invaluable to establish your office space requirements when calculating the budget for office space and commercial property for your organisation. Seeking the advice of a professional commercial property agent will help you to evaluate current market prices and give further insight to establish your budget allocation.
Whilst discussing and negotiating a commercial property lease, it is advised to have a legally competent person review the final agreement draft before signature. A landlord will normally provide his own agreement contract yet this may be reviewed and bounced back and forth between parties till an agreement is final reached. In the final document, all office space requirements should be addresses, whilst clauses should be clear, consistent and there should be finite terms to avoid grey areas and vague statements. It is advisable to have a negotiator, like an estate agent, or a legal counselor, to handle the correspondence related to agreement updates as this also makes part of the negotiation stage.
Once you have a clear picture of your office space requirements, you will be ready to start your property search. Here you may consider using a professional estate agency specialised in offices and commercial spaces to maximise your chances of finding the best fit for your organisation.
When communicating your office space requirements to a commercial property agent, you should have a crystal clear picture of your organisation needs. This will help him to point you towards the most eligible options and identify the most suited property.
Your agent will assist you and may also give you valuable insights on any popular industry trends and preferences. Commercial agents normally have an up to date perspective and can give accurate advice on the commercial property market. By contacting a trustworthy estate agency, you will also benefit from an experienced negotiator who will seek out a mutually beneficial agreement for all the invested parties.