If you want to open a company branch in Ukraine, you need an office that meets your team’s needs.
If your team is small, you may consider placing your employees in a coworking location.
Requirements for an office space in Ukraine
First of all, make a decision about your requirements for office space—think about your key points and write them down:
- Type of premises: class of business center: A, B or C
- Layout: open plan or private offices and corridors; bathroom facilities and kitchens in a block or on a floor
- Air ventilation and conditioning systems
- Fire prevention
- Stability of power supply
- State of premises
- Internet and providers, backup channel availability
- Location: close to subway stations and convenient driveways to the office area
- 24/7 access to the office
- Infrastructure: location close to shops, cafes, banks
- Bicycle parking spots
- Building security
Comparison of business center classes in Ukraine
Depending on the characteristics of premises in Ukraine we can highlight three main classes of business center: A, B, and C.
We recommend B-class premises or above for IT companies.
|CLASS A||CLASS B||CLASS C|
|LOCATION||Central part of the city||Along the main highways of the city||Commuter town|
|BUILDING||New building: less than 3 years occupation||New or reconstructed building: after 5–7 years’ occupation||Building with no reconstruction, built in Soviet times|
|PREMISES MANAGEMENT||Professional building management according to international standards||Professional maintenance service||Building operation by the owner|
|LAYOUT||Open plan||Open plan or private offices and corridors||Private offices and corridors|
|SECURITY||24/7 security, modern security systems and automated access control to premises||24/7 security, modern security systems||24/7 security|
|PARKING||Guarded ground-level and underground parking||Guarded ground-level parking||Spontaneous parking spots or none at all|
There are also intermediate classes, B+ and C+, which are improved versions of the B and C classes. For instance, if the premises fit the B-class criteria and in addition are located in the central part of the city, this can be classed as B+.
Engagement of a real estate agent for an office search
Working with a real estate agent involves lengthy negotiations and personal checks on premises. IT-Rex will take over all communications with Ukrainian real estate agents for you.
Alternatively, you can deal with real estate agencies directly or find a real estate agent by yourself. Real estate agents utilize a large contact database of landlord information, and they will quickly be able to offer you a number of options at first hand.
Step 1. Search for a real estate agent.
Normally, a real estate agent’s services cost half the premises monthly rental paid by the tenant. Sometimes the owner will pay for a real estate agent’s services.
Step 2. Sending a request form to a real estate agent.
Once you have found a suitable real estate agent, send them a request form with the requirements for premises. Within the first 2–3 days you will be sent a couple of options.
Step 3. Processing of premises options
You need to look through the offers made by the real estate agent personally. Arrange a meeting with the owner on site as soon as possible to check whether the premises fit your requirements, the description in the post and the published photos. Take some photos on site to make it easy to compare the details later with other variants of the premises—this should help you make the right decision in the end.
Negotiations with an owner
After one of the options is approved, negotiate with the owner and discuss all obligations, conditions and terms of payment.
Often in Ukraine the following expenses are not covered by the monthly rental:
- fire alarm system
- garbage disposal
- land lease compensation
- cleaning services
You need to discuss all additional payments during these negotiations.
Prepare for the negotiations in advance: research the market for commercial real estate in Ukraine.
Rentals for offices of the A and B classes in different cities are shown in the table:
|Rental cost per 1 m²||$20–40||$15–30||$15–25||$15–25||$15–25|
Signing a rental contract
If you come to an agreement with the owner and are ready to sign a rental contract, you have to register a legal entity or become a self-employed person (SEP). You can learn more about registering each form in the “Registration of business in Ukraine: forms and comparison” article.
If you run a business in Ukraine without establishing a legal entity or SEP, you will not be able to rent an office or sign a rental contract.
As a rule, the contract is signed for one year with a right of extension. To analyze the rental contract you should hire a Ukrainian lawyer.
Make sure that statements about changes to the rental cost are written into the contract (no more than …, or, as agreed by the parties…) and the right of the tenant to claim advance notice of termination of the contract and a review of the rental cost.
If the owner’s right to terminate the contract at his/her discretion is specified in the rental contract, insist that such termination is given by means of a written notification, one month before the termination date, and that is legally justified by the tenant’s non-fulfillment or an act of God.
Rental payments for premises
If you rent an office in Ukraine, you must pay for rental services one month in advance and sign acts of transfer and acceptance of rented services for the previous month. In addition, you must make a deposit payment of an amount equivalent to the monthly rental, when you sign a rental contract.
Locating a team in a coworking space
If you have a small team and you don’t want to spend time on searching for a real estate agent, selecting suitable premises, and negotiating with owners, you really should consider coworking. This is an excellent option for those business owners who haven’t opened their office in Ukraine yet, but who have already recruited a team. Place your developers in coworking for a fixed period of time while you search for an office or renovate one.
In Ukraine most coworking premises are based in the central part of the city and provide all the necessary facilities: a comfortable workplace, equipment, fast Internet access, kitchenettes, lounge area, and conference rooms.
The most popular and comfortable coworking premises in Ukraine are:
- Kyiv: Chasopys, Coworking Platforma, and Creative Quarter;
- Kharkiv: Fabrika.space, The Place Of, and Branch;
- Lviv: Communa, Startup Depot, and ITEA Hub;
- Odesa: Impact Hub, Terminal 42, and iQSpace;
- Dnipro: Coworking 365.
On average, each workplace costs about $5–7,5 per day. Most Ukrainian coworking premises provide special conditions and rates for teams.