Commercial Real Estate Investment/how to change


Hello Rachel,

I will try to be direct and if you are able to help me with any advice that I could use.
I am planing to rent/lease large commercial building but then invest some money to make it nice inside to be used as large catering events.Can you please tell me anything, of what needs to be done,any laws that I need to know about, any idea what licence should get etc. anything I can use to help me with this.
Thank you very much for your time,
Brad M.
Orlando, FL

Hi, Brad,

There are several things to consider here, and I will answer as best I can, based off the information provided.

First, let's address the space. Typically, a property owner will have a reserve account specifically required by their bank for Tenant build-outs.  You want to assume this is the case when negotiating your lease.  It's a tough market and there are a lot of vacancies out there right now, so you should be in a good position to negotiate the landlord putting up some money so they can get their space filled.

You will need to work with the landlord to determine who will oversee the construction process.  You will have to agree on a contractor, and all parties should get copies of final floor plans, proposals, estimates, waivers, building/construction permits, and the contractor's GL insurance declarations page.  A reputable contractor will get the permit, and will know building code, but it's still a good idea to be familiar with it, as it is your investment.

So, you've found your space, worked through negotiations, and now it's time to sign the lease...You will want to sign the lease under the business entity, so a business license is needed.  Depending on whether you will be preparing the food in this space, you will need either a food establishment license or a catering license. The website has a lot of up to date valuable information for rules and regs on catering in your state.

I hope this helps, and I wish you luck in your new business.


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Rachel Armstrong


I can answer questions specifically relating to all aspects of Commercial Real Estate Legal documents, including PSAs, Mortgages/Deeds, Notes, Assignments, Management and Leasing Agreements, as well as other contracts. When your "Loan Servicer" advises you to obtain legal representation when you have questions, it's because they work for the bank, and not for the Property Owner. I can assist with questions about insurance requirements (coverage, loss guidelines, easements), escrow analyses, FF&E reserves, TILC reserves, Replacement reserves, Lockbox triggers, Cash Management Accounts, DSCR testing, leasing requirements, property management requirements, and other compliance issues that arise, as they pertain to your legal obligations to your loan servicer.


I have more than 10 years of experience within the insurance and banking industries. Specific departments I worked in as a Commercial Banking Loan Servicer include Insurance, Credit Analysis, and Account Management.

AWE, a Contracts Consulting Group

I hold a BS in Business Administration, and have been licensed in all Insurance lines. I have completed 40 hours of continuing education, each year, within the banking industry.

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