The 8 Key Elements of Coworking Space Agreements


Ready to dive into coworking? Crafting a solid space-sharing agreement is your key to a hassle-free experience. We’ve outlined the essential elements—membership terms, pricing, and guidelines—that form the foundation for a cooperative and organized shared workspace.

Consider this your roadmap to a productive and respectful environment. Use it as a starting point for your agreement, adding your details to set the stage for a successful coworking community.

Membership Terms and Conditions

This section lays out the basic framework of the membership agreement, including the membership types available, the duration of the membership, and the termination process.

1. Duration of membership

The duration of a membership refers to the length of time for which a member is committed to using the coworking space. This is typically specified as a monthly or yearly term. It’s important to clearly outline the duration of membership in the agreement to avoid any misunderstandings regarding the length of the commitment.

2. Renewal and termination policies

Renewal and termination policies establish the procedures for renewing or terminating a membership. Renewal policies should specify the process for renewing a membership, including any notice requirements and renewal fees. Termination policies should outline the grounds for termination, the notice period required, and any applicable termination fees.

3. Usage limitations

Usage limitations define the permissible use of the coworking space by members. This may include restrictions on hours of operation, guest access, and activities allowed within the space. Clear usage limitations help maintain a productive, respectful, and safe working environment for all members.

Example of Usage Limitations:

  • Hours of operation: The coworking space is typically open from Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Members are not allowed to access the space outside of these hours without prior approval.
  • Guest access: Members are allowed to bring guests to the coworking space, but guests must be supervised by the member at all times. Guests may not use meeting rooms or other facilities without prior permission from the coworking space management.
  • Activities allowed: Members are permitted to engage in a variety of activities within the coworking space, such as working on their own projects, attending meetings, and using shared amenities. However, activities that could disrupt other members, such as loud conversations or playing music, are not allowed.

Pricing and Payment

A clear and transparent pricing structure is essential for building trust and maintaining positive relationships with members. This section of the coworking space agreement should provide a comprehensive breakdown of the pricing structure, payment methods, and any additional fees.

1. Pricing Structure

Outline the different membership plans or options available, along with their respective pricing. Clearly explain the features and benefits included in each plan to help members make informed decisions.

2. Payment Methods

Specify the accepted payment methods for membership fees, such as credit cards, debit cards, or bank transfers. If offering installment plans or recurring payments, clearly outline the payment schedule.

3. Invoicing and Payment Schedule

Establish a clear invoicing and payment schedule for membership fees. This may involve monthly invoices or pre-paid memberships. Specify the due date for payments and any late payment penalties.

4. Additional Fees

If applicable, clearly disclose any additional fees beyond the base membership fee. These may include charges for exceeding usage limits, using specific amenities, or bringing guests.

Space Allocation and Amenities

Specify the type of workspace assigned to the member, whether it’s a dedicated desk, a shared workstation, or a hot desk. Outline the amenities available to members, such as meeting rooms, printing facilities, and common areas.

1. Description of Allocated Workspace

Clearly define the type of workspace assigned to each member, whether it’s a dedicated desk, a hot desk, or a shared workstation. Specify the location and size of the workspace, along with any unique features or amenities associated with that particular space.

  • Dedicated desks: Outline the dimensions of the desk, storage options, and any personal belongings limitations.
  • Hot desks: Specify the number of hot desks available, any restrictions on desk selection, and the availability of power outlets and internet access.
  • Shared workstations: Outline the number of workstations available, the seating capacity of each workstation, and any restrictions on equipment usage.

2. Access to Common Areas and Amenities

Detail the common areas and amenities accessible to all members. This may include:

  • Meeting rooms: Specify the number of meeting rooms available, their size and capacity, and the booking process.
  • Kitchen: Outline the kitchen facilities available, including appliances, utensils, and any usage restrictions.
  • Lounge areas: Describe the lounge areas, including seating options, amenities like coffee and tea, and any noise level guidelines.
  • Printing and scanning facilities: Specify the availability of printing and scanning services, any usage limitations, and associated charges.

3. Restrictions on Space Customization

Establish clear guidelines regarding permissible modifications to the allocated workspace. This may include restrictions on:

  • Personal belongings: Specify limitations on the amount and type of personal belongings allowed in the workspace.
  • Furniture arrangements: Outline any restrictions on rearranging or modifying furniture within the workspace.
  • Decorations: Establish guidelines regarding the use of decorations, artwork, or personal signage within the workspace.

By clearly defining space allocation, amenities, and customization restrictions, coworking space agreements set expectations and promote a harmonious and organized work environment for all members.

Code of Conduct and Community Guidelines

A well-defined code of conduct is essential for fostering a respectful, productive, and inclusive coworking environment. This section of the agreement should outline the expected behavior of all members, promote collaboration and networking opportunities, and establish consequences for violating the guidelines.

1. Behavior Expectations within the Coworking Space

Establish clear guidelines for professional and respectful behavior within the coworking space. This may include expectations regarding:

  • Noise levels: Maintain a noise level that allows for focused work and minimizes distractions for other members.
  • Shared spaces: Clean up after yourself in shared areas, including meeting rooms, kitchens, and common areas.
  • Personal conduct: Refrain from disruptive behavior, including loud conversations, excessive phone use, or engaging in activities that could disturb others.
  • Respect for property: Treat the coworking space and its equipment with care and respect.
  • Personal belongings: Keep personal belongings organized and unobtrusive to maintain a clean and professional workspace.

2. Collaboration and Networking Opportunities

Coworking spaces offer a unique opportunity for collaboration and networking among members. Encourage and support these interactions by outlining opportunities for:

  • Networking events: Organize regular networking events to foster connections and build relationships among members.
  • Knowledge-sharing sessions: Encourage members to share their expertise and knowledge through workshops, seminars, or informal discussions.
  • Community projects: Facilitate collaboration among members on community projects that benefit the coworking space or the broader community.

3. Consequences for Violating Guidelines

Establish clear consequences for violating the code of conduct and community guidelines. This may include:

  • Verbal warnings: Address minor infractions with verbal warnings to remind members of the expected behavior.
  • Written warnings: For repeated or more serious violations, issue written warnings to document the infractions and emphasize the importance of adherence to the guidelines.
  • Suspension or termination of membership: In cases of severe or persistent violations, reserve the right to suspend or terminate membership to protect the community’s well-being and maintain a productive working environment.

By clearly outlining behavior expectations, promoting collaboration, and establishing consequences for violations, coworking spaces can foster a thriving and harmonious community where members can work, connect, and grow together.

Services and Facilities

Detail the services provided by the coworking space, such as internet access, IT support, and administrative assistance. Clearly outline the availability and usage limitations of these services.

1. Internet and IT Infrastructure Details

Outline the internet and IT infrastructure available to members, including:

  • Internet access speed and reliability: Specify the bandwidth and uptime of the internet connection to ensure seamless connectivity for members.
  • IT support: Describe the IT support services provided, including troubleshooting, device assistance, and network maintenance.

2. Availability of Printing, Scanning, and Other Office Equipment

Detail the availability of printing, scanning, and other office equipment, including:

  • Printing and copying services: Specify the type and cost of printing and copying services, along with any usage limitations.
  • Scanning and digitization facilities: Outline the availability of scanning equipment and the process for digitizing documents.
  • Other office equipment: List any additional office equipment available, such as shredders, laminators, or binding machines.

3. Any Additional Services Provided

Describe any additional services or amenities offered by the coworking space, such as:

  • Event spaces: Outline the availability of event spaces, their capacity, and any associated fees.
  • Workshops and seminars: Provide information on regularly organized workshops, seminars, or training sessions for members.
  • Other value-added services: List any other unique services or amenities that enhance the coworking experience.

Confidentiality and Security

Address the handling of confidential information and the security measures in place to protect member data and belongings. This may include policies on password protection, access control, and incident reporting.

1. Measures in Place to Ensure Data and Information Security

Outline the measures in place to protect the confidentiality and security of member data and information, including:

  • Data protection policies: Describe the policies and procedures in place to safeguard member data, such as encryption, access protocols, and data breach notification protocols.
  • Physical security measures: Detail the physical security measures in place to protect the coworking space, such as access control, surveillance systems, and secure file storage.

2. Confidentiality Agreements for Sensitive Projects

Establish guidelines for handling sensitive projects or confidential information, including:

  • Confidentiality agreements: Require members to sign confidentiality agreements when working on sensitive projects or handling sensitive information.
  • Data handling procedures: Outline procedures for handling sensitive data, including secure storage, restricted access, and data disposal.

3. Security Protocols for Accessing the Coworking Space

Establish clear security protocols for accessing the coworking space, including:

  • Member identification: Specify the requirements for member identification, such as badges, key cards, or biometric authentication.
  • Guest access: Outline the process for authorizing guest access, including visitor registration and restrictions on guest activities.

Insurance and Liability

Outline the insurance coverage provided by the coworking space and the extent of liability in case of damages or accidents.

1. Insurance Requirements for Members

Specify any insurance requirements for members, such as professional liability insurance or general liability insurance.

2. Liability Responsibilities in Case of Damage or Loss

Define the liability responsibilities of both parties in case of damage or loss to property or personal belongings within the coworking space.

3. Indemnification Clauses Protecting Both Parties

Include indemnification clauses that protect both the coworking space provider and members from liability arising from the actions of other members or third parties.

Flexibility and Change Policy

Address the process for requesting changes to the membership terms, such as upgrades, downgrades, or extensions. Establish a timeframe for responding to such requests.

 1. Procedures for Requesting Changes to Membership or Services

Establish clear procedures for members to request changes to their membership plans or services, including the timeframe for responding to such requests.

2. Notice Periods for Adjustments in Pricing or Terms

Specify the notice periods required for adjustments in membership fees, terms, or services to provide members with ample time to plan and make necessary arrangements.

3. How the Agreement Accommodates Future Growth or Downsizing

Outline how the agreement can be adapted to accommodate future changes in the coworking space, such as increased membership, expansion of services, or downsizing due to changing market conditions.

Closing Thoughts

Creating a strong space-sharing agreement is crucial for a smooth coworking experience. The eight key elements we’ve talked about—membership terms, pricing, and guidelines—lay the foundation for a cooperative and organized shared workspace.

By clearly outlining things like workspace details, community expectations, and security measures, this template ensures a productive and respectful environment. Feel free to use this as a starting point for your agreement. Just plug in your specifics, and you’re on your way to fostering a successful coworking community.