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Major Things to Consider Before Choosing a Co-Working Space for Your Business

Concept of co-working space is a rapidly growing business culture now-a –days worldwide. It’s a real opportunity for freelancers, entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups to start and grow with a minimum affordable operating budget. These workspaces offer a range of benefits that traditional office spaces cannot offer. Right from cost savings to increased productivity, co-working spaces are well suited for any new venture.

Though choosing co-working space option for your office space may be a wise decision for your business to start or grow, but few things to be checked carefully before choosing a co-working space to avoid any difficulties or troubles later. So, we will discuss here few things preference wise that must be considered before choosing your co-working space in any Indian city.

Feasibility – At the very beginning, one have to analyze whether the business you are doing is suitable for the co-working space or whether it is cost effective for your type of business. Suppose, some businesses need to maintain large number of product samples in their offices. In that case, a co-working office may not be suitable as you need a spacious office for that. There may be other reasons that may keep your type of business not fit for a co-working. But, in most of the cases co-working space option is always cost-effective especially for startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers, e-commerce operators and even for branch offices of big enterprises.

Documentation checklist – If you are opting for a co-working office for mailing address or to attend your clients only, then you can ignore that point. But, if you are ready to operate your business from your co-working office with legal business formation or Company Formation and tax registrations or GST Registration, then this point is most important for you to consider first.

Property documentation of a co-working space may be of two types – (1) Legal owner of the property himself is the owner of the co-working space or (2) the owner of the co-working space running his/her venture from a rented or leased property taken from the original property owner.  Government authorities that approve business registrations or GST Registrations based on Principal Place of Business (PPOB) strictly follow the following things for a PPOB:

  • Name in the Utility Bill (Electricity Bill) and Property Tax (optional in some cases) should be the same as the name with whom you are entering into agreement for your co-working office (if the co-working space is an entity/firm, the person should be the proprietor/partner/designated partner/director of the firm/entity). This is quite possible if the co-working space falls under type (1).
  • In case of type (2), name mentioned in the electricity bill and property tax bill will be of the owner of the property, and rent/lease agreement will be executed by other person, the lessee, the owner of the co-working space. This is also generally accepted by the authority, but one need to have the master agreement copy between original owner of the property and Co-working space owner and that copy needed to attached for any business or tax/GST Registrations.
    The difficulty arises if the name mentioned in the utility bill, property tax and lease/rent agreement are different and you don’t have any evidence to link the property ownership and justify the authority of the lessee. In some cases, instead of different names mentioned in the utility bills and lease agreement, a genuine link can be established that justify the ownership of the property. Some examples are:
  • Property is in the name of the company, but one of its director/partner entering into agreement with co-working space owner.
  • Existence of an owner through a sales deed for which mutation was not done.

But, issues arise if we cannot establish any ownership link and premise don’t have the proper documents to satisfy the above mentioned criteria.

Location – Location is a very important both for your clients as well as for the staffs of the organization. Proper well connected central location is always preferred as it saves considerable work hours and also it is easy to reach for clients. It is advisable to choose a co-working space in a business hub, office area or a prime location.

Amenities – One of the reasons people opt for co-working space is just to get the shared amenities that cannot be delivered cost-effectively by a traditional office system. From high-speed internets to conference rooms, recreational courts, all are included in modern co-working spaces. Also, proper hygienic conditions of the venue also have a prime importance.

Accessibility – It is also important to check the working hours of the co-working space and whether it is suitable for your business hours. You need to know the accessibility duration or conditions of your co-working area/space to avoid any difficulty or conflict in later stage. Also, need to check out the procedure to upgrade your running co-working plans, lock-in periods, releasing notice time etc.

Security – Security plays a pivotal role in co-working spaces. Shared work spaces generally have centralized security systems and have a thorough policy of monitoring entry and exit details. Co-working spaces should also ensure the full security and privacy of the confidential office documents and things of the co-working members.

Work Culture – One need to ensure the work culture so that it fits your organization. The venue must have a work culture that motivates your employees to work as well as it ensures full comfort to your visiting clients or stakeholders.

Overall opting for a co-working space is always an opportunity to run your business with a least overhead cost if these points are considered wisely. Many big companies grew from co-working space, like Instagram, Indiegogo, Spotify, Uber, Hootsuite among many.


by Pritam H Roy

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