Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig represents both franchisors and franchisees. Our legal services for franchisors include: help with the formation, expansion, and divestiture of franchise systems; trustworthy advice regarding marketing and distribution agreements; advice and help with state law compliance, franchise registration, and state and federal disclosure requirements; dedicated representation in litigation matters, including franchise termination and post-termination obligations; enforcement of franchise contract requirements, including maintenance of quality standards, reporting duties, and restrictive covenants; registration, protection and licensing of trademarks, service marks, copyrights, and trade secrets; assistance and representation in commercial loan transactions; and representation regarding the purchase, leasing, or development of real property. We help established business owners make the jump to becoming nationwide franchisors, and as our franchisor clients expand and face new challenges, we continue to provide sound legal guidance and representation.
Because the services of Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig extend across all 50 states, our attorneys are familiar with both the federal and state laws that govern franchise agreements. Franchisors and franchisees alike can benefit from legal counsel and guidance when drawing up, presenting or reviewing the required documentation.
Are you one of the thousands of entrepreneurs considering buying a franchise this year?
Opening a franchise in your own community may seem like a smart way to run your own business and be your own boss. Thousands of savvy entrepreneurs have chosen to franchise, and they’re happy with that choice. Others, however, have had quite negative experiences. Before you make the choice to go into franchising, make sure that your research is exhaustive, and be sure that you avoid these common mistakes that so many entrepreneurs make when they first enter the world of franchising:
- Don’t buy a franchise to be the boss: Franchising is about conformity and uniformity. As a franchise, you do not really call the shots. You may technically be the on-site boss, but you must follow the rules and orders from the home office.
- Don’t be lured in by good public relations: Lots of awards and newspaper/magazine puff pieces may indicate the company focuses more on PR than on the strength and profitability of its franchises.
- Avoid free franchise “coaches” and “consultants”: These are people who live on the internet and pretend to offer free, neutral advice. The fact is, they have little or no franchise experience. They’re paid commissions to deliver prospects like you to franchisors.
- Understand that when franchisees fail, franchisors can still succeed: Typically, franchisors get a percentage of the franchisee’s gross sales whether or not the franchise is profitable. Many franchisors require franchisees to buy equipment, products, and supplies directly from the franchisor at marked-up prices.
- The government will not help you: Franchisees are not consumers, so they do not receive the legal protections that consumers enjoy. Legally, franchisees are considered entrepreneurs and investors. If you believe that you were misled or intentionally deceived, your only recourse will be to hire an attorney.
Far too many entrepreneurs and investors buy into a franchise without first having an experienced franchise lawyer explain the contract agreement. Franchising is a huge commitment, one of the biggest you’ll ever make. You’ll put up thousands of dollars, and you probably expect to run the franchise for the next ten or twenty years of your life. When making that kind of commitment, you simply must hire someone who is professionally experienced in franchising – and the laws that govern franchising – to help you with the franchise opportunity and to go through the contract agreement with you word-for-word.
Ready to own your own franchised business?
Federal law requires franchise sellers to give you a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) at least 14 days before you commit to buying a franchised business. FDD’s can be extraordinarily complex and depending on the nature and maturity of the franchised business, they can range from 100 to 300 pages in length. The dense legalese contained in FDDs can be intimidating to many entrepreneurs, making it difficult to figure out whether a franchise opportunity is the right one for them.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have an experienced franchise attorney review your FDD and prepare a customized report to de-mystify the complex legal jargon and help you evaluate the franchise opportunity before you make such a huge investment?
Well, now you can. CLICK HERE to START your fixed fee FDD review that includes a detailed attorney-draft custom key point memorandum and outline showing you the hot spots and deal points of concern and of particular interest while providing advice on the issues that uniquely affect you in purchasing or pursuing a franchise opportunity. We have prepared these analyses for most every large franchise opportunity and are thus efficient and familiar with them.
Our lawyers at Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig provide a fast, easy and affordable solution for entrepreneurs who are considering the purchase of a franchise. We offer flat fee FDD review packages that include:
- Introductory phone consultation with an attorney to discuss your goals, objectives, and concerns
- A review of your FDD by an experienced franchise attorney, with no page limits
- A customized Critical Points Memo that cuts through the dense legal jargon in the FDD and summarizes the critical legal issues in plain language for you
- A follow-up phone conference with your attorney to discuss the Critical Points Memo
Becoming a franchisee can be a life-changing event that requires substantial financial and time commitment. For more information on how Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig’s team can help protect you from making a decision without understanding the legal implications, please contact our Client Services team at 800-747-9354 to schedule a consultation.