Working with an Attorney to Franchise a Business

The other day we got a call from a business owner who wanted to franchise a business and like everyone who calls us he was seeking some answers.  However this call was different.  He called us because he liked that “we do everything under one roof” (read about our franchise development services beyond franchise documentation). In talking with this business owner, he further revealed that he had actually already started with an attorney to franchise his business who he found on his own. He quickly expressed his dismay over the chain of events that happened with this attorney. Unfortunately what we heard from this business owner is very disheartening… but not unusual.

Okay, So What Happened?

The attorney he hired to franchise his business was local to his area and gave him an initial estimate for what it would cost, then reduced his estimate indicating he was “giving him a break”. As the business owner told his story it turns out the biggest frustration he had with this attorney is that he felt like there was way too much work put back on him (more on this below). He indicated that the attorney did not:

  • talk with him about his concept;
  • fully understand his concept;
  • do any research on like-and-kind businesses that were franchising (he knew there were others out there that did what he did); and
  • have any clue as to what others were offering.

The attorney immediately gave a questionnaire packet for this business owner to fill out and then later gave him a franchise document to review and make edits. This business owner said he felt like he was doing the work on his own and more importantly felt that he was paying someone for an exercise in reverse delegation. When we asked him how long he had been working with this attorney to franchise his business we were surprised to find out it had been over one year and still no progress. WOW!

Upon hearing this business owner’s misfortune and misguided trust, he asked if we had ever heard of this type of thing happening before and unfortunately we said yes. We indicated that we have had clients who had been down this path, and even went so far as to complete the franchise process using some attorney they found. Turns out they either ended up not getting approved for franchising in their state or even worse found out later that the documents created were simply templates not even related to their type of business. To illustrate, we had a client who had this exact same thing happen after using an attorney he found on his own to create his franchise program and documents. When he went to sell franchises he was embarrassed to learn that his documents were for a restaurant concept. Not so bad except he was not franchising a restaurant, he was franchising a retail store!

What To Do & What To Watch Out For

Needless to say this is not the case when working with The Franchise Maker because we specialize ONLY in franchise development and work with franchise attorneys (who are well versed in the field of franchising) that we assign to our clients (read “The Difference Between The Franchise Maker and a Franchise Attorney”). Fact: It is cost prohibitive for any attorney to do all that we do and provide the hand-holding style of service we value. Remember that the attorney is only one piece of the equation in the franchise development process, not a do all end all (see a list of the steps we take to franchise your business). You can relax knowing that all of our attorneys specialize in their respective fields, share our values, philosophy and integrity.

If you are talking with an attorney who you found on your own and appears to be: over-promising; magically reducing their rates to get your business; making claims that he/she has franchise brokers who will sell your franchises for you (learn how  you can market and sell franchises yourself); or is even asking for a percentage of equity in lieu of fees… turn around and run!

So if after reading this message you are still thinking about working with an attorney to franchise your business (who you are not even sure if this attorney specializes in franchising) and you are not sure what questions to ask, call us directly at 1-877-615-5177 or simply contact us. We will be happy to provide you with a list of questions to ask attorneys so you can decide if going that route really makes sense for you. You can also visit our main website for additional information on franchising your business.