The process of buying a franchise can be a lengthy and complicated process but hiring an experienced attorney is always a good place to start. While an accountant can advise prospective franchisees on how to finance the business, a franchise attorney can help guide an individual through the legal aspects of buying a franchise. A qualified franchise lawyers can help prospective franchisees make an informed investment before any money is paid to the franchisor. A competent attorney can help prospective franchise owners review important franchise documents such as the Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”). A Franchise attorney can advise the business owners as to which legal entity makes the most sense for the success of the franchisee. Hiring an attorney with franchise experience is an important stage of the franchise purchase because he/she can, protect your interests, advise you on choosing a business entity, and provide franchising representation during franchise operation.
- Protecting your interests. Franchise Attorneys are experienced franchise professionals that are familiar with the laws and regulations that are unique to franchising. An attorney is aware of all the latest franchise laws and therefore can provide legal counsel to the prospective franchisees. Factors that should be considered during the franchise-buying process include: finding the appropriate franchise opportunity that fits your goals, business interests, and investment budget. Professional advice from an attorney can secure one’s investment and help the prospective franchisee understand the details of the deal. An attorney who is experienced in franchises is able to properly expose the risks and other important terms that apply to the business transaction. Prospective franchisees should consult a Franchise attorney in order to secure their investment before the franchise agreement is signed. An attorney should oversee any franchise-specific document before it is signed, including the FDD franchise disclosure document — a lengthy document that is mandated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). An attorney can help a person who is interested in becoming a franchisee owner understand the terms of the agreements before a final decision is made.
- They can advise you on choosing a business entity. An attorney that specializes in legal issues surrounding franchises will know the best course of action when it comes to choosing a legal entity. An attorney can help new and established franchisees create a business entity for their franchise. Choosing the adequate business entity is vital to the success of the business because it will determine the legal rights and liabilities of the business owner. An experienced attorney who knows franchising inside and out can help franchise business owners decide what type of entity to form will best fit his/her business. Professional advice from an attorney can help franchisees decide whether a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, and Limited Liability Company or LLC is most beneficial for their business. An experienced franchise professional is knowledgeable of the various business entities as well as the advantages and disadvantages that come along with them.
- Provide general advice during your ownership of the franchise. Hiring a professional with the appropriate expertise is important to the continuous success of a business. Entrusting your franchise counseling and franchise matters to a knowledgeable attorney allows the franchisee to protect his/her legal rights as a franchise business owner. These can include your rights and obligations as a tenant (review of commercial lease), as an employer, as a supplier/vendor, as a company that has a social media following and other various interests and vulnerabilities that any business owner faces.
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