Buying a Franchise

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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.

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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.

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Do you wonder whether there is value in hiring a franchisee attorney to review your Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) before you commit to buying a franchise? Every prospective franchise asks that question. The question is legitimate. The answer is a resounding “yes”. A few hundred dollars invested today can literally save you and your family from personal bankruptcy.

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When buying a franchise, you should beware of “freedom of contract”. Freedom of contract is a bedrock concept of the legal system. It presumes that every person understands every word of every contract and that their “self-interest” will cause them to not sign unfair or ill-advised contracts.

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Another day and two more prospective clients calling for help because they bought franchises. One in the senior health care industry; one in the men’s hair care industry. Both suffered devastating losses. In under two years, one lost $600,000; the other “only” $100,000. In both cases, they have nothing left and I had to talk to them about consulting a ...

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Every day people eager to own a business invest $500,000 to a million dollars in franchises where the FDD said the top of the range for “estimated initial investment” was under $250,000-and where the “initial franchise fee” is only about $35,000. When buying a franchise, the first question they should be asking is what are they getting for all that ...

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