A lot of people choose to launch a new business as a franchisee. This is because it works on proven business plans and models and, therefore, has a greater chance at being successful. However, it also means having to deal with a set of particular circumstances that are very different from those faced by other startup businesses. In order to be guided through this process, you must work with an attorney who is specialized in dealing with franchise transactions. They have certain pieces of skills and knowledge that are absolutely vital to you, particularly when it comes to setting up your Franchise Agreement.
What Is a Franchise Agreement?
This agreement is a legally binding contract. It also has various important financial implications. You must, therefore, speak with an experienced franchise attorney who can look over this agreement and explain to you what your rights, responsibilities and obligations are in accordance with the contract itself.
How to Find a Franchise Attorney.
There are two important tools at your disposal in order to find an attorney to suit your needs:
- Contact the Bar Association to receive a list of all specialized attorneys in your area.
- Speak to other franchisees and ask for their referrals.
The Bar Association will generally allow an attorney to list their specialization. Additionally, it has a list within the Forum of Franchising Committee, which is dedicated specifically to franchising legal matters and issues. It is also designed to promote attorneys receiving an education in this field. You will be able to find a full list of members of the Committee and how to contact them.
However, speaking to other is equally important. You can either do this through personal conversations with other franchisees, or you can use the internet and social media. The Better Business Bureau, for instance, will tell you whether a law firm has received any complaints and how these have been resolved. Social media is a great tool to hear what personal opinions are on the work that has been done.
Choosing the Right Attorney.
Once you have a list of a number of potential candidates, you need to take a number of factors into consideration in order to help you find the right one. The most important thing is that they have an excellent understanding of the franchise agreement. Indeed, this should be your number one reason for using an attorney at all. Everything listed in this agreement is legally binding, so it is vital that you understand it as well. It should include fees, costs, your responsibilities to the franchiser and their duties and responsibilities to you and more. It is a complicated legal document and a good franchise attorney will be able to translate it into plain English for you.
A franchise attorney can critically analyze the agreement with you. They can tell you whether or not it is a good contract to sign and what it actually means to you as an individual. They will also tell you if they feel the contract is not in your favor and should be avoided.