Before you lease a copier, you have to understand the operating costs that you will pay to truly understand your expenses. If you have a lease with a maintenance agreement, your expenses may be limited to paper and staples. However, each company varies, and you could have to pay for everything depending on the contract.

In addition, never assume that just because you have a maintenance plan, you will be covered. Examine the terms and make sure that the warranty will cover anything that fails. This includes configuration needs and network support. The advantage of maintenance agreements is that they will cover drums, toner and all maintenance.

The costs of maintenance typically increase as the life of the copier progresses or parts wear out. Before getting a maintenance plan, ask who will pay for the shipment of copier supplies. This is a subtle tactic that many lease companies use to stick the business owners with a cost that adds up. The right maintenance plan, however, reduces downtime, and it gives you the competitive edge because you will not have to pay thousands of dollars for a copier to keep working.