If you plan to start a business in Bucharest, or to open a branch of your company in the Romanian capital, one of the first things you’ll need is an office.
Most investors have already answered the question: rental is a much better and more flexible option, as it provides for the possibility of relocation if needed. Of course, there are also situations when buying the office space can be a better alternative, but generally speaking this is the exception, rather than norm.
At least in the early phases of the relocation, until they have the certainty of a stable and long-lasting business, most investors prefer to rent their offices. There is also the possibility that a growing business would make a bigger space necessary later, so it is always a good idea to rent, in the first place.
Should it be in a nice and cozy villa, or one of the steel-and-glass modern buildings that have grown all over the town during the last decade? Fortunately, Bucharest offers both types of locations, in large numbers.
Some areas already gathered a certain renown as business hubs, hosting many of these state-of-the-art office buildings. Names like Pipera, Baneasa or Unirii, which acquired such a tradition, are competed by newcomers like Drumul Taberei – with its AFI and Anchor business centers – and the west of the city, home of West Gate, Sema Park and several other office complexes.
The trend is clearly in favor of renting in office buildings, which avail of all amenities needed for business, to the detriment of the villas and regular apartments that were preferred until 10 years ago.
According to data available until the end of 2016, the average rental contract covers 3 to 5 years, with the longer duration being for the very attractive and well-located office buildings. Rents are usually paid on monthly basis, but large corporate tenants prefer to pay for 3-6 months at a time.
Many of the new business centers are built with all spaces already rented on the basis of pre-contracts, so they are specifically conceived with the future tenant’s needs in mind. With demand quickly rising, most companies that want such a space start looking for it 6-12 months in advance.
When it comes to the rent charged for the office space, the prices obviously depend on the area and facilities provided by the building. Those who prefer a regular apartment or villa can pay from as little as 150 Euros/month for a studio in a regular block of flats, up to 2000-3000 Euros and more for a villa in the Primaverii district – probably the most elegant and well-situated area of Bucharest, a green paradise that served as home for top communist officials in the 1980’s.
When it comes to office buildings, prices per square meter go from 10-11 Euros on the outskirts, to as high as 20 Euros in the heart of the capital, near Universitatii Square. One thing every investor should keep in mind is to ask for the status of parking spaces. Some office buildings give a number of such places for free with the contract, while others charge an extra fee for parking.