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Renting an office space in Addis Ababa.

Renting an office space in addis ababa might not be an easy task as it seems. You have to know what kind of location is good for your type of work and you have to know how much the market price is.

Before you can get your business license in Addis Ababa, you must rent an office and provide proof in the form of a contract agreement between you and the owner of the building or house. This contract agreement should be authenticated by the Document Authentication and Registration Office (DARO).

Bole, 22 Mazoria, Megenagna and Piazza are some of the most sought after places to rent an office since they are accessible and most of the new buildings are found around those areas. The monthly rate for offices located around these areas is relatively expensive, somewhere between 250 - 500 Ethiopian Birr per square meter. For most buildings, the rate goes down as the office is on the higher floors and the ground floor offices are the most expensive.

Let’s say you rented a 30 meter square office on the ground floor and are paying 15,000 Ethiopian Birr per month. If you had rented the same kind of office with the same dimensions on the 8th floor, the price might be as low as 9,000 birr. Different building owners have a different way of setting the rate but you should keep this in mind as it might give you a chance to ask for a discount on the price.

To find a suitable office, you can contact local brokers who take 10% commission from you on the payment you made. Meaning if you paid the building owner a 6 month rental fee of 30,000 ETB (5000 per month), then the broker will take an additional 10% from you, which is 3,000 birr. So you’ll actually spend 33,000 for the office and the broker. So if you the time, it is recommended that you go to a building, ask where the building administration office is, then ask if they have any office for rent.

After you successfully find a suitable office, the next step would be to have a contract between you and the building owner. This contract has to be done in the Documents Authentication and Registration Office. Here are a few things to consider

  • Make sure the contract lasts for at least a year, 2 years being ideal. This will make sure that the building owners won’t increase the price whenever they want. A 1 year contact is pretty common these days.
  • Try to negotiate a smaller advance payment. Most building owners ask for a 6 month advance payment. 6 months advance payment is common nowadays, but try to negotiate for a 3 month advance payment.
  • Make sure the sockets, phone and internet lines are working.
  • It wouldn’t hurt to ask for a new lock on the door.

After you have successfully rented an office, now you can start the process to get your business license.

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