If I’m considering investing with a partner in a gym, will I be personally liable if we sign a lease?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I’m considering investing with a partner in a gym, will I be personally liable if we sign a lease?

I’m investing cash for 20% partnership, other party is getting an SBA loan to finance rest. I do not want to sign a personal guaranty for the loan. Even if I don’t sign, am I still responsible if I co-sign the lease?

Asked on January 15, 2016 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Assuming you don't personally guaranty the lease, then it depends on how the business is structured, how you sign the lease, and who the lessee is:
1) Business is a corporation or LLC, the business is the lessee (the party leasing the space), and you sign as a manager, etc. of the business (it states that under the signature) line--you are not liable.
2) Business is a corporation or LLC, but you and the partner are the persons leasing the space and you sign personally--you are liable.
3) Business is not a corporation or LLC--then there is no separate entity to be responsible for the lease, and whomever signs it (you and/or your partner) are liable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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