Franchising involves a lot more legalities than one might think. Before you can even consider opening up a franchise, you need to have a sound legal foundation in place. That means having a good franchise attorney on your side.
But how do you go about finding the right attorney for your franchise? Keep reading to learn more.
What Are Franchise Attorneys?
Franchise attorneys provide legal counsel and representation to individuals and businesses in the franchising industry.
They advise on the legal aspects of franchising, such as Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs), franchise agreements, the acquisition of franchises, and litigation concerning the relationship between franchisors and franchisees.
Depending on whether a franchise lawyer works for the franchisor or the franchisee, the duties and responsibilities of the lawyer will differ.
For franchisors, the primary duty is to ensure that the FDD meets all state and federal requirements. The franchisor’s lawyer will also review and revise the franchise agreement.
In addition, the franchisor’s lawyer may provide advice on how to comply with state and federal franchising laws, how to avoid disputes with franchisees, and how to resolve disputes that do arise.
For franchisees, the main duty is to review the FDD and the franchise agreement before signing them.
The franchisee’s lawyer will also advise on the rights and obligations of the franchisee under state and federal franchising laws.
Also Read: Franchise Lead Generation Company
How To Select An Attorney For Your Franchise?
Creating the legal paperwork required to start a franchise is not something that you want to do on your own. You need an experienced attorney who has successfully completed this type of work before.
Here are some tips for how to select an attorney for your franchise:
- Get a Recommendation From Your Franchisor
If you’re already working with a franchisor, they may have a lawyer that they recommend you use.
This is an excellent place to begin since you know that the lawyer has already been vetted by your franchisor, and they trust them to do a good job.
Since the franchisor’s lawyer will also be working on behalf of the franchisor, they may not have your best interests at heart.
This is something to consider when you’re going through the process of selecting an attorney.
2. Ask Other Franchisees for Recommendations
If you know other franchisees, they may also have recommendations for attorneys that you can use. This is a great way to get vital information about attorneys who have already worked in the franchising industry.
For example, you can ask other franchisees about their experience with the lawyer, whether they were pleased with the results, and if they would recommend the lawyer to others.
3. Do Some Research Online
If you can’t get a recommendation from anyone, you can do some research online instead. Start by looking for franchise lawyers in your area and reading reviews of their work.
You can also look for directories of franchise lawyers. These directories include lists of lawyers who practice franchise law in your state, as well as information about their experience and areas of practice.
4. Check Credentials and Experience
When you’re looking at different lawyers, one of the things you want to consider is their credentials and experience.
How long have they been practicing law? Do they have experience with franchising specifically?
You want to make sure that you choose a lawyer who has the experience necessary to understand the complexities of franchising law.
Otherwise, you might end up with an attorney who doesn’t really know what they’re doing, and that could cause problems down the road.
5. Consider Their Availability
Another thing to consider is the lawyer’s availability. Are they available to answer your questions? Do they return phone calls and emails in a timely manner?
You want to make sure that you choose a lawyer who is responsive and that you feel comfortable communicating.
The legalities of franchising can be complex, so you want to ensure that you have a lawyer available to help you understand the process.
6. Consider Their Location
You also want to consider the lawyer’s location. If you’re franchising a business based in another state, you may need to find a lawyer licensed to practice law in that state.
If you’re franchising a business based in your state, you’ll want to find a lawyer near you. This way, you can meet with the lawyer in person if necessary, and it will be easier to communicate with them.
7. Have a Consultation
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you should have a consultation with the lawyer. This is a chance for you to ask them questions about their experience, availability, and fees.
It’s also a chance for you to get a feel for their personality and whether you would be comfortable working with them.
After the consultation, you should have a good idea of whether the lawyer is a good fit for you.
Read: 13 Tips For How To Make Your Franchise Business Success!
Choosing the right attorney is a crucial part of the franchising process. You want to make sure that you choose a lawyer who is experienced and available and that you feel comfortable.
By following these tips, you can be sure that you select the right lawyer for your franchise.
Amit Gupta is the founder of DrFranchises – a digital marketing agency that helps brands rank better on Google Maps through local SEO strategies. Amit has over 11 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing. He’s also the owner of multiple franchises and has helped countless brands achieve success online. When he’s not working, Amit can be found playing with his dog.