What to Look For in a Franchise Attorney

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Finding the right franchise attorney is important to ensure that you’re protected and have all the angles covered when you’re buying and running a franchise. However not all franchise attorneys are equal, and if you want to choose the right one it would help to know what to keep an eye out for.

Get the Right ‘Type’ of Franchise Attorney

In general a franchise attorney is basically any attorney that specializes in dealing with franchise law and franchising agreements. That being said, it is important to know that there are two distinct ‘types’ of franchise attorneys: A franchise attorney that specializes in representing the franchisee, and a franchise attorney that specializes in representing the franchiser.

While both of these ‘types’ of franchise attorneys have a lot of experience in dealing with franchise law and agreements – the former clearly is more in line with what you’re looking for. Make no mistake, a franchise law firm that represents franchisers may be able to help you as well – but their specialization is framed from a different angle.

Meet and Discuss Key Areas

Once you find a franchise attorney that you feel you may be interested in hiring – have a meeting with them where you can discuss your business and its key areas. During this meeting it is important that the lawyer is properly briefed on the business that you intend to run, and at the same time you need to ask any questions you may have about the services that they can provide.

Even if you’re generally uncomfortable talking about finance – it is important that you do. One of the main problems that franchisees often have is they hire a franchise attorney without fully understanding the costs that will come along with it.

At some point if you feel the meeting is going well you should also ask about what the next steps should be. That way by the time you leave the meeting you’ll know what needs to be done to start running your franchise.

All said and done, hiring a franchise attorney is certainly beneficial when you’re purchase a franchise. Not only will it help you to ensure that your interests are protected in the disclosure documents and agreements that you have to sign, but at some point or other you may need help to settle a claim or negotiate a dispute – and at that point having a pre-existing relationship with a franchise attorney will help too.

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