Franchising: Should You Hire a Franchise Attorney?

Hiring a franchise attorney is something that you should strongly consider if you are getting ready to start a franchise. While you could potentially go through the process by yourself, having a franchise attorney at your disposal can be very valuable. An attorney can provide you with a number of services that are designed to limit your risk and improve your chances of success. Here are a few reasons that you might want to consider hiring a franchise attorney.

Reviewing the UFOC

When you are considering a franchise, the franchisor will present to you a document referred to as the UFOC, or Uniform Franchise Offering Circular. This document provides you with a great deal of information associated with purchasing a franchise. It will have information about the purchase fees, ongoing fees, obligations and other requirements. This is a very detailed document, and you might overlook some important piece of information when making your decision. Perhaps the most important part of the process of starting a franchise is choosing the right one. Hiring a franchise attorney to look over this information with you can be extremely helpful. She can look at all of the details and help you decide if the information that the franchisor provides is adequate. If you need more information to make your decision, the attorney can also help you come up with this.

Franchise Agreement

Once you decide to purchase a franchise, you will be presented with a franchise agreement. This is the document that outlines all of the terms and conditions of the purchase of the franchise. For this part of the process, you will definitely need to have an attorney review the document for you. An experienced franchise attorney is an expert in this area and will be able to determine if the contract is fair. She may have seen franchise agreements from hundreds of different companies and can tell you if the contract is missing something important. This will help you avoid signing a document that could limit your opportunities as a business owner.

Setting up the Business

Besides dealing with matters that are unique to the franchise opportunity that you choose, you may also need help with other aspects of setting up your business. You will have to find a location for your business, and you may need help negotiating a purchase price or terms for a lease. You may need to set up a new business entity such as a corporation, partnership or LLC. 

A franchise attorney can also help you set up contracts with the key employees that you need in order to be successful. Sometimes, the success of your business depends greatly on the quality of people that you are able to bring on board. With the help of a qualified franchise attorney, you can set up a contract that will be beneficial to you and your future employees.