At HJS Accountants we can provide businesses in the Southampton area with advice and support on a wide range of business issues. This article includes information on leasing equipment.

Leasing equipment rather than buying it can often be better for your bottom line, but it is important to read the fine print and weigh up all the factors before signing anything.

Above all, shop around and compare deals.

Below is a checklist of the most important factors to consider.

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Is the initial term of the lease and the amount and timing of rental payments clear?  
Do the terms of the lease provide an option for renewal and if so on what terms?  
Are you allowed to sublease the equipment?  
Who is responsible for maintaining the equipment? Will your maintenance costs be higher or lower than if you owned it?  
Are you allowed to make any modifications to the equipment?  
Who is responsible for ensuring the equipment conforms to any existing or future regulations it might be subject to?  
What happens if the equipment is lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed? Does the lease specify what liability if any you would incur?  
Who is responsible for insuring the equipment? To whom would any claims be paid?  
Can you change the lease if your circumstances change?  
Do the terms of the lease include a right to purchase, and if so on what terms?  
Does the lease allow for premature termination, and if so in what circumstances? What penalties, if any, does premature termination incur?  
What costs will be incurred at the termination of the lease, and how much of this will you have to cover?  

This list is by no means comprehensive. There are many other potential pitfalls with leases such as warranty issues, regulatory requirements, taxes, license fees, and public liability.

If you are in the Southampton area and are looking for support and help from experienced accountants and business advisers, contact HJS Accountants.

Southampton Office

12-14 Carlton Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2EA

Tel: 02380 234 222

Winchester Office

6 Charlecote Mews
Staple Gardens
Winchester
SO23 8SR

Tel: 01962 842000

Reading Office

3 Richfield Place
Richfield Avenue
Reading, Berkshire
RG1 8EQ

Tel: 0118 9511 115

London Office

90 Long Acre
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 9RZ

Tel: 0203 470 0777