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Q. What is the best/hottest/most popular franchise or business opportunity to buy?
A. You should choose a business in which you enjoy being involved, and not merely because it promises to make you a lot of money or that you like its “sizzle”. The choice of a business may be based upon many combinations of factors such as an individual’s personality, life experiences, business background, and personal goals.
Q. What do I need to do to lawfully sell franchises for my business ?
A. You will need to comply with the laws of both the federal government as well as those of the particular states in which you will seek to offer franchises for sale. Some states require advance registration and approval before any franchise offering can legally be made. This is a complicated process. A good starting place to find more information about franchising within the U.S. is on the Federal Trade Commission’s website at https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/selected-industries/franchises%2C-business-opportunities%2C-and-investments.
Q. I’ve operated the business for a while, and want to acquire another unit. Do I need a lawyer to go about doing that?
A. No, most franchisors will be happy to sell you another unit if certain conditions are met. However, it is recommended that you have a lawyer review the documents and advise you of any contract changes from those signed for the original unit, as well as any new obligations or waviers which were not a consideration in the original contract package.
Q. I’m not happy with my business, it isn’t living up to what I expected of it. Is there anything I can do after I’ve signed the franchise agreement?
A. Once a buyer of the franchised business begins to operate that business, he or she may realize that it does not live up to the promises made when the franchise sale was being solicited. It is natural to begin to question whether the buyer had been dealt with fairly. There may be significant legal remedies separate from the franchise documents if a buyer has been dealt with in a manner which fails to comply with the various state or federal laws which apply in franchise sales transactions. A franchise buyer should learn and understand its legal rights by consulting with an attorney familiar with franchising law prior to undertaking any decision to solve its particular franchise purchase problem.
Q. When should I contact a franchise lawyer?
A. People often delay in contacting a lawyer, perhaps not wishing to accept the current circumstances in which they find themselves. Or, they hope those circumstances will change over time for the better. What they may not realize is that many franchise agreements now contain language seeking to shorten the time in which the franchisee may bring a claim against its franchisor. In addition, the various states have differing statutes of limitations – laws which set strict deadlines by which claims must be brought against another party or those claims are forever barred. Attempting to “straighten things out” by yourself directly with the franchisor without first knowing your rights and liabilities under your particular circumstances could actually make things worse. For all of these reasons, one should contact a knowledgeable franchise attorney as soon as she suspects something might be wrong!