For a prospective franchisee, one of the best ways to learn about a franchise is to talk to current franchisees. Franchisors are required to list current franchisees and franchisees who have recently left the system in the Franchise Disclosure Document. Before purchasing a franchise, a prospective franchisee should contact as many current and former franchisees as possible.
If you are considering buying a franchise, you should beware of boilerplate disclaimers. They come in many forms. Some are buried in the fine print near the back of a thirty-page franchise agreement. Many are duplicated in a separate document back near the receipt in the FDD.
It was inevitable. The franchise sales engines have been spewing speculative claims about what we might call “pandemic opportunities”. The story is that many restaurants (estimates range from 3% to 50%) will close permanently because of the pandemic and the corresponding recession.
If you decide to go into business with a friend or family member, you should think twice and then get your deal documented better than you would need to with a stranger.
Finding oneself unemployed during 2020’s combined recession and pandemic and watching your savings get rapidly depleted, it is normal to start looking for alternatives to replace your income.
As franchisees try to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, one more thing to beware of is “help” that comes with strings attached. Many, if not most, franchisees are behind on bills, including royalty and fee payments to their franchisor. Many of those will receive an “offer” from their franchisor that they will “defer” some of the fees until later—if you will just sign this “standard form” agreement.
If you are having problems with your franchisor-or issues that could become serious, your first reaction may be to send an email to a friend or to an attorney seeking advice.
The Bundy Law Firm is proud to announce that partners Howard Bundy and Caroline Fichter have been selected as the 2021 Franchise Times Legal Eagles. The Franchise Times named Caroline Fichter as a Legal Eagle and Howard Bundy entered the Legal Eagle Hall of Fame.
When you launched your business and set up a limited liability company, you probably signed an operating agreement. Your operating agreement is essentially an agreement among the owners about how the business will be operated.
Franchisors require virtually every person who buys a franchise to sign a personal guarantee, even if they plan to operate the franchise through a through a corporation or limited liability company. You should think twice (or more) before signing a personal guarantee.