Office Furniture; Lease, Rent, Own

BY: Carey Smith

Help! Should I buy, lease, or rent my office furniture?!

If Covid has taught us anything it’s that conserving cash and organizational resiliency are both critical to have at the forefront of any business decision.

When purchasing office furniture, these same principles need to be considered.

A perfect example of this is the commercial real estate market. In speaking with some of the top brokers in the markets in which we operate; Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa, we find there is pressure on the industry toward the need for shorter lease periods. And by shorter, some are facing organizations asking for one-year terms. This is far different from the 10-20 years as the pre-Covid ‘norm’.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative office furniture procurement options at play:

.. and yes, NUA offers the ability to lease office furniture and in certain circumstances offers rental furniture as well.

Owning Office Furniture

Advantages

  • Ownership itself (is an asset of the business).
  • Office furniture’s asset deprecation is long
  • Purchasing outright is usually more affordable.
  • Ability to sell the asset at any point during its lifetime

Disadvantages

  • Cash intensive, high upfront cost including down payment (50% as a rule of thumb)
  • Potential inability to invest in core, money-making, initiatives (M&As as an example)
  • Obsolescence and upgrading
  • Maintenance the sole responsibility of the business

Leasing Office Furniture

Advantages

  • Conserves cash, lowest initial cost
  • Less strain on cash flow.
  • With NUA, you work directly with the leasing partner, so you receive best-in-class pricing and discounts
  • Flexibility with ability to change look/feel
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Lower monthly payments than renting or financing
  • Sales tax paid over the term of the lease
  • Possible tax benefits

Disadvantages

  • Higher overall cost over time
  • Lease terms factor into the overall cost
  • For many competitors, their manufacturers soften discounts when using their captive leasing/financing team to maximize profitability
  • Inability to recoup costs through an asset sale.
  • Bound by the terms of the lease and borrower
  • Early lease termination fees
  • Buyout prices on leased furniture can sometimes be cost-prohibitive
  • Terms and conditions for damage above normal wear and tear

Renting Office Furniture

Advantages

  • Lowest total cost of all options (for short term needs)
  • Higher monthly cost than leasing
  • Far lower timeline commitment (generally 3-6 months)

Disadvantages

  • Limited to product availability
  • No option to select preferred aesthetics/finishes
  • Costs are fixed based on rental term
  • You’re at the mercy for maintenance, cost, and stability
  • No guarantees (ie will the product be available after term)
  • No tax benefits

In addition to the above, there are tax implications and incentives that should be considered as well!

All in all, whether you are looking to purchase office furniture that will stand the test of time or looking to lease to keep cash at your fingertips during these unforeseen times, NUA can help!