It is a good thing that you will finally be a franchisor of this company you love their work. You have saved and invested before getting to this point and now is that time you can think about setting up in your preferred location. You must have met the franchise representatives already and you have talked at length about the business and maybe they have made some promises to you as well. Congratulations!
Before you go ahead and sign the papers, however, there are some things you should do. chief of those is considering getting a franchise attorney. This is a business attorney who specializes in legal issues regarding franchises. This part of the business is different from the traditional business setting, no wonder there are thousands of franchise attorneys in the US alone.
It is not wise enough to give out your hard-earned money in business without strong legal backing. There are no simpler words to say that. Forget the promises and arguments of the franchise representatives, you should get a franchise attorney that will help understand difficult terms, advise you on how best to go about the process and ultimately let you have peace of mind when you sleep.
Below is a list of some of the top reasons why you should hire a franchise attorney.
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1. Franchise Attorney Knows What to Look For
Except you have already acquired tens of franchises that you are so vast in the process that you might want to consider not getting a franchise attorney. Even at that level, it is still not advisable and we will get to that soon. However, at this point, the simple truth is a franchise attorney knows what is important and how to get it for you. One of the documents the franchise is supposed to give you is the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). It is usually 150-200 pages of documents containing many unfamiliar words.
A franchise attorney, on the other hand, is familiar with such document and knows what to look for since he is working in your best interest. Aside from the FDD, other documents that you will need may not be provided to you if you don’t have a franchise lawyer representing you.
Different franchise owners have rules and regulations that set them apart and should you break any of those rules, you might have to forfeit your business. However, your franchise attorney is aware of these rules and regulations and is able to warn you beforehand and keep you in business.
Never assume that the franchise owners or representatives are interested in your business doing well. They can be, but that is not their job. They are salespeople and their primary job is to get you to sign the papers. The one fellow you can trust is your franchise attorney. Never make the mistake of not having a franchise attorney before approaching a franchise representative. And you have met a franchise rep already, now is the time to get a franchise attorney.
2. A Franchise Attorney Can Help You Negotiate
A good franchise attorney knows where to help you. And negotiating with the franchise representatives is one good aspect to do that. You must know, however, that not everything is negotiable. Some of the things your financial attorney will be able to help you negotiate are the royalty payments.
It is common practice for franchise owners to remove a certain amount of your profits automatically every month or depending on what your agreement says. That is all and fine until a month when business isn’t good as you expect and the automatic royalty becomes a pain in the ass. Your franchise negotiates will be able to help you negotiate a payment schedule that favors you.
Your franchise attorney can also help you negotiate franchise territories. Most franchise owners give exclusive territories but their definitions are often different from the franchisors’. It is your franchise attorney’s job to ensure you get enough franchise territory that supports your business growth.
Other negotiations your franchise attorney can get into for your sake include the litigation disputes that can occur between you and your franchise owners. You should also have the right to close the franchise if the business is no longer booming or you don’t feel up to it as well. The often sad story, however, is that the agreement does not give room for that, at least not until the signed date is reached. Your franchise attorney can be able to help you negotiate this and you are realized from the agreement in the case of such unfavorable situation.
3. Franchise Attorney Gives You the Right Business Advice
Depending on your agreement, your franchise attorney you not be a one-time deal. Having settled all documents that include the franchise owners, the next thing is settling up your franchise. Where and how should you register your business? Will a Subchapter S Corporation or Limited Liability Corporation fit your business? These and many more are part of the business questions you will have to answer.
Worry not, however, you are a wise business person; you have a franchise attorney. Your attorney can help you decide what is best for your business having done it for many other clients and also having a clear understanding of what your business agreement says.
You don’t have to join the multitude to do trial and error and fall into a problem or pay another huge sum of money to another attorney in other to get the information you need. A situation like that will waste money, time and resources. One thing that getting a franchise attorney will save you from.
A franchise attorney is your ultimate saving grace.
4. Franchise Attorney Helps You When Things Go Wrong
It will be delusional to believe that there will never be a time when some things will go wrong in business. There will be times and times and time again when things will fall apart and go south. The one person that can help you in times like that will be your franchise attorney. Since he has been there from the start of the franchise acquisition, he is the best legal representation to get you out whatever trouble your business might be.
Say the issue is even beyond his capability, a very rare situation though, he knows whom to call to come to your rescue. That is not to say to not follow rules and regulations he must have told you beforehand. However, be rest assured that when issues arise, they will meet you in the right hands.
5. The Franchise Representative Says You Don’t Need A Franchise Attorney
When a franchise owner or representative tells you that all is fine and you do not need to hire a franchise attorney, be careful. In fact, that is the right time to look for another franchise to partner with. However, if you are convinced about the business model of the franchise, then do not go ahead without first securing the services of a franchise attorney.
More often than not, the franchise representative only wants you to get you to sign the document and that does not make him a bad person. He is in business to get you to sign, but you are in business to ensure you are doing the right thing and making the good use of your life savings.
When you are in doubt whether you should get a franchise attorney or not, the question you should ask yourself is how much in the price you can put on your financial investment. Hiring a franchise attorney is never a waste of money. You will be saved from having to deal with the trauma of losing money and business. More than anything, when considering getting a franchise, never go ahead without first contacting and securing the service of a certified franchise attorney.