Representing Prospective FranchiseesMarch/April 2010 – Articles Business Law Today
Lawyers with any knowledge of franchising recognize that a franchisor cannot even take baby steps toward starting its business without engaging the services of an experienced franchise lawyer. But what about the prospective franchisee? When talking to potential franchisees, a lawyer may hear: "Well, I am told the franchise agreement is not negotiable, so why should I need a lawyer?" or "The franchisor says I don't really need a lawyer until I start my business or negotiate my lease. What can you do for me now?" This article is meant to answer these questions. An experienced franchise lawyer can provide a host of valuable services to a prospective franchisee considering an investment in a franchised business and launching that business. A franchise lawyer can educate the new franchisee on the rights and responsibilities of being a member of a franchise system and offer advice about the franchisee's rights under franchise laws and regulations. The lawyer can give insight into the business of franchising and, upon learning the prospective franchisee's circumstances, can offer constructive comments for negotiation with the franchisor. Aside from the other legal needs that any business, franchised or not, has, a franchise lawyer can help the potential new business owner take a first giant step into the world of franchising.