If you choose to lease, consider getting a bank loan for the equipment instead. For example, suppose you need a high-quality colour laser printer that costs around $10,000.
If you ask the dealer to quote for the monthly costs of leasing the printer for three years, you'll typically find that there is not much difference between the monthly payments of a bank loan versus leasing.
Why then would you want to lease, where you never end up owning the asset? Obviously leasing suits the seller best, because at the end of the leasing contract, (say three years) they can persuade you to lease another machine. If you don't, you lose the use of the equipment, because with leasing you never own anything. So as long as you need the printer your leasing payments will go on, years after year. But does it suit you best?
The argument for leasing is typically that you will always have the latest technology. This may sound attractive, but remember that the three-year old machine does have some residual value. The leasing company will usually dispose of it on the second hand market. Why should you not benefit from that residual value? In addition, although getting a brand new machine every three years might sound enticing, you might well be able to get another few years of good service out of the equipment, particularly if you buy quality equipment in the first place.
In the case of the laser printer, you might reckon on getting six years of good service from the machine. After the third year, you pay nothing further (apart from maintenance costs). If you work out the amount you'll save over that three to five year period, the difference could end up being a tidy sum.
You could also check with the equipment dealer about a lease to own option, where you do own the equipment at the end, but you will probably end up paying a higher lease fee.