Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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New lease to make life simpler for small businesses

New lease to make life simpler for small businesses

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 04 July 2012

Small businesses will now find it easier to move into new business premises more quickly and at a lower cost, thanks to a new business lease which has been launched today by Business Minister Baroness Wilcox.

The Small Business Lease, which is free to down load and use, will in particular help new and independent retailers.

Development of the new lease was led by the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS), working with the British Retail Consortium and British Property Federation. RICS members advised on the new lease which was authored by Nick Darby, a solicitor with SNR Denton UK LLP.

Business minister Baroness Wilcox said:

"This initiative will make life simpler for independent retailers and other small businesses. Negotiating a lease for a shop or office should not be a daunting task. By using this new contract both landlord and tenant will know that they are agreeing fair terms that provide clarity for both sides.

“This is a significant step in the government’s work to make it easier for small businesses to survive and prosper. Government will work with the private sector to ensure small businesses are accessing the new contract and reaping its benefits.”

Paul Bagust, Associate Director, Professional Groups and Forums at RICS said:

“In simplifying the leasing process for landlords and small business tenants, we hope to support SMEs and provide a boost to the British high street in a time of decline – thereby contributing to overall UK economic productivity.

“Moreover, by offering mutually beneficial terms to landlords and tenants in a flexible lease, we are directly addressing the principles of the Code for Leasing Business Premises - identified in the Portas Review as a key tool in tackling the high street’s decline.”

The new lease is the result of collaboration between property professionals, landlords and the retail sector. Government will work with these organisations to raise awareness among small businesses.

Notes to Editors 1. The new lease is free to download and use. The documents provided include two versions of the contract, together with guidance materials for landlords, occupiers and professional advisers. These are available at

2. The lease is a development of the Code for Leasing Business Premises, a voluntary agreement to which many commercial landlords and Local Authorities are committed. In her report on Britain's High Streets, Mary Portas identified the Code as an important resource that needed better promotion.

The Leasing Code:

Landlords using the Code:

Portas Review:

3. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB) , published at Budget 2011:

· To create the most competitive tax system in the G20

· To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business

· To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy

· To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.

4. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices and speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.


BIS Press Office

Joanna Fletcher
Phone: 020 7215 5951

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