How to Find a Franchise Lawyer – What Do They Do?
Shopping for a franchise lawyer can actually be an enjoyable experience when you realize one fact. As a future franchisee, you’re in the driver’s seat.
General counsel works for you. Not the other way around.
Feels good to be the boss, doesn’t it?
Before we’re done here, you’ll be prepared for a positive business relationship with franchise lawyers.
What Is a Franchise Lawyer and What Do They Do
Your intent is to purchase one of the small businesses offered by a franchisor. But first a legal process must be followed.
Also called franchise attorneys, the main role of a franchise lawyer is to provide counsel. Consider them as a mediator between you and the franchise owner.
Now we have some good news.
With an industry shift to services from remote franchising lawyers, there’s a benefit for you.
Because they represent clients nationwide, their legal services are likely used by franchisees in your desired industry. There’s your first win in the search for help with legal issues.
Role of a Franchise Lawyer
Tasks they perform:
- Negotiate terms between you and franchisors
- Put together legal documents like the franchise agreement
- Help you avoid litigation by explaining the fine print
- Give advice on the franchise law of your specific state
- Guide you through any necessary state registrations
- Study any new programs at the federal level that may affect you
You know who they are and what they do. Next, we’ll assist you in selecting the right one.
How To Choose the Right Franchise Lawyer for You
A quick note if you haven’t selected a business to pursue yet. Start your search with the International Franchise Association.
There you’ll be able to peruse all the franchise industry options. You can narrow it down by the amount you can invest and a few other variables.
Finding Franchise Lawyers That’ll Be Your Spokesperson
Many attorneys that practice law may have the knowledge, but are they the best fit?
First, decide if you want a local or national franchise attorney. Videoconference technology has improved, but sometimes you want face to face help.
- Create a list of law firms that stand out
- Select your top two franchise lawyers
- Go deeper in your search (reviews, blogs, social media profiles)
- Interview each person, asking relevant questions for franchisees
Important Details To Cover When You Interview Franchise Attorneys
Ask about their experience with business law. And how they handle negotiations between franchisors and franchisees.
What do these franchise lawyers charge? Find out if previous clients and other attorneys view them favorably.
Write down any other burning questions that come to mind, but this gives you some ideas.
Take note of the franchise law firm which instills confidence that they’ll help you reach business goals.
Before you purchase legal services from one of these two lawyers, there’s a few more factors to consider. We’ll review those next.
Things To Look For When Hiring a Franchise Lawyer
Legal counsel alone won’t guarantee success for your particular business model. But vetting your eventual franchising law firm will lay the groundwork.
Patience and critical thinking are your best friends at this stage.
Hone in on the following:
- Do their services include litigation or mainly help with franchise agreements and franchise disclosure documents?
- Regarding their clients, have they worked with franchisors and franchisees?
- What does their flat fee cover? Is it cost effective?
Justifying the Franchise Lawyer Cost
A franchise attorney who understands the litigation process could be helpful. Especially if a disagreement between you and the franchisor occurs.
Both types will be familiar with various franchise systems. And they should know a franchise disclosure document intimately.
But the final decision is yours. Either can help you purchase and launch a new franchise.
Let’s explore the second bullet above.
Does this person also represent franchisors? If so, they realize protecting intellectual property is a concern of theirs.
Seeing it from the angle of the seller ultimately helps you. And the process of agreeing on your franchise agreement can end in a win-win for both sides.
Sleep on your decision, but when you’re ready, select the lawyer who best aligns with you.
There are perks to adding a law firm to your franchise team. Read on!
The Benefits of Working With a Franchise Lawyer
Drum roll please.
The number one reason to hire franchise lawyers is you’ll finally understand “legalese.” Just kidding.
It’s actually their role in negotiating terms that benefit you after reviewing the Franchise Disclosure Document.
Since they provide legal services to both parties involved in the negotiation, many franchise lawyers can spot vague language.
And because they’re your franchisee advocate, they’ll get clarification so you feel good about signing.
That may not seem exciting now. But it will once you open the doors of your franchise!
As an unbiased third-party, your attorney assists in a positive start to your relationship with the franchisor. Which can lead to mentorship, and most importantly, greater profits.
Our final advice is ways to reap the rewards of a solid business relationship with your attorney.
How To Get the Most Out of Your Relationship With Your Franchising Lawyer
Legal clients see a breakdown in the relationship when dialogue from attorneys is lacking.
But ask an attorney and they might state, “The franchisee doesn’t stay in touch.”
Both sides could be telling the truth, so what’s the solution?
Good communication is key. That’s easy to say, but it takes more conscious effort to put into practice.
Which leads to a final area you’ll want to ask a prospective lawyer about. Accessibility.
Final Factors in Choosing Legal Help
Determine the law firms’:
- Availability during emergencies
- Style of communication
Additionally, find out if you’ll have direct access to the lawyer.
Having multiple points of contact at law firms is wise. But in an emergency situation, you want direct access to the best legal representative for your business.
Finally, be diligent to guard your attorney-client confidentiality. Double check that each email is for his or her eyes only. Don’t cc anyone unless absolutely necessary.
And there you have it! Consider yourself supplied on selecting the best lawyer for a potential franchise.
But don’t leave quite yet, because there’s a way to apply this knowledge today.
Reidel Law Firm and the Franchise Industry
As experts in franchise law, we can help you handle the legal aspects of any franchisee issues.
In addition, our legal team can advise you on ways to shore up gaps in the following areas:
- Review personal guaranty and real estate control docs
- Franchisee formation, guidance, and asset protection
- Franchise operating compliance audit and coaching
By effectively managing risk and maximizing opportunities for businesses we answer the needs of our clients wherever and whenever they arise.
Call Reidel Law Firm today at (832) 510-3292 or fill out our contact form. And see how our advice can bring you success in the franchise industry.