Buying a franchise can provide an ambitious business owner with some wonderful opportunities
— but it can also create some unanticipated legal headaches. If you’re giving serious thought to becoming a franchisee, you need to give equally serious thought to engaging a skilled business lawyer with experience in the subtleties of franchise law. Let’s look at some of the ways your business lawyer can help you navigate the waters of franchise ownership.
- Understanding the FDD: The Franchise Disclosure Document, or FDD, is a critical document containing all the essential facts about the franchise you’re thinking about buying. Unfortunately, these documents can contain up to 200 pages of difficult legal and business terminology. Your business lawyer can go over the FDD with you to make sure that you understand exactly what you’re getting into.
- Business entity formation: Picking the right business entity can make all the difference in your ultimate success as a franchisee, from your tax burden to your protection against personal financial liability. An experienced business lawyer can explain the pros and cons of various business structures so you can make the most sensible choice.
- Negotiation (where applicable): Does your franchisor allow for any degree of negotiation in the final franchise agreement? Many require you to follow their set agreement without any changes. But if you do have room to negotiate, your business lawyer can rewrite portions of the agreement to suit your best interests.
- Franchise agreement termination: Like many a marriage, relationships between franchisors and franchisees can sour. Even if you have no outright conflict with your franchisor, you may decide that you want to terminate your agreement. Your business lawyer may then play a crucial role in facilitating a reasonably amicable termination.
Our firm has years of experience in handling franchise matters. Contact us today before you sign on that dotted line!