So many entrepreneurs have bucked the system and struck out on their own. Why? It could be to pursue a new goal, fill an unanswered need, create their own niche….or they got sick of the “corporate structure” and decided it was time to do things their way without the corporate bureaucracy and restrictions.

Regardless of your reason, no business owner likes to be at someone else’s mercy — or whims — without sufficient reason, explanation…or advance notice. Nobody wants to be blindsided. Yet that’s often the feeling one gets when one encounters unexpected expenses. There are the usual fees: business license, attorneys, computers, state corporate commission registration, etc.

What about getting an office? When it’s time to move out of the bedroom/dining room/garage, are you well informed about all the costs involved? Of course, you know about rent. Did you remember about Internet installation and fees? What about furniture and furnishings? Do you need somebody to keep an eye on operations — or take messages — when you can’t be in the office? Of course, you don’t need — and can’t afford — a full-time person, but some occasional help would be a good thing. But — and this is critical — you need to know what your monthly costs will be. You don’t want to be blindsided by the additional corporate-structured costs.

If you choose to open an office in a business center (formerly called executive suites), you know you can expect a turnkey office arrangement. Many offer the same amenities. But do your homework: interview current and/or former occupants, if possible. What did they like or dislike? How were the expenses? Don’t be swayed by the name, location, appearance, modernity, etc. You don’t need to cripple yourself by going someplace that won’t work for you, but make sure you know what you’re getting into.