You have decided to invest in a franchise opportunity. Why is it important that you retain an experienced franchisee attorney to evaluate the franchise documents? The answer to that question is simple.
1. Complex laws – franchise law is a complex series of regulations and statutes issued by the federal government (FTC) and various states. Although the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) items are supposed to be written in “plain English”, their importance and implications are often difficult to understand.
2. Is the clause typical – experienced franchisee attorneys, such as the attorneys at Lanard and Associates, review FDD’s daily. They know what is typical and what clauses are of concern and should be modified.
3. Costs – the attorneys at Lanard and Associates review FDDs on a flat fee basis, so you know up-front exactly what your costs will be. Our flat fee for the FDD review has not changed in over 9 years, is comprehensive and includes negotiating the franchise agreement on your behalf.
4. Education – the most important aspect of retaining experienced franchisee counsel like those at Lanard and Associates, is the knowledge you can gain about the franchise, the FDD and the opportunity, as well as the various resources that the attorneys can provide to you.
5. Review process – the attorneys at Lanard and Associates follow a specific review process when retained to review an FDD for a client. This process includes checking that the trademark is a live, valid trademark (it is the cornerstone of the franchise opportunity), reviewing the FDD sections that are not part of the franchise agreement (the contract between the franchisee and franchisor) and the franchise agreement (a thorough review of the franchise agreement), including revisions to the agreement.
6. Red flags – as attorneys who have been handling franchise law for over two decades, the attorneys at Lanard and Associates know when there are red flags in the franchise documents that indicate that a prospective franchisee should walk away from the opportunity.
7. Resources – our founder, Nancy Lanard, has decades of experience in franchise law and many resources and connections to connect you with accountants, financing services, and even consultants who can help connect you with a good franchise.
8. Franchise bar association membership – as experienced franchise counsel, Nancy Lanard has been an active member of the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising (the ABA’s franchise law section), Pennsylvania Bar Association Business Law Section, and Montgomery County Bar Association Franchise Law Committee for years. Nancy has been named a Franchise Legal Eagle by Franchise Times six consecutive years, an honor awarded to less than 5% of all franchise attorneys in the United States.