A franchise lawyer is an attorney who specializes in franchise law. Typically, there are two types of franchise lawyers. The first are attorneys who represent people who want to buy a franchise. The spectrum of legal services by these franchise lawyers include reviewing the FDD Franchise Disclosure Document, evaluating the provisions of the franchise agreement and helping negotiate the contact. Fees to do these tasks are usually an hourly rate that ranges from $300 to $600 per hour.
The second type of franchise lawyer are attorneys who help successful firms become even more successful by entering the franchise industry. These franchise lawyers typically draft a FDD Franchise Disclosure Document, prepare and file franchise registration applications in the various registration states, as well as respond to comment letters issued by state examiners. The same $300 to $600 hourly rates apply for these franchising a business services.
FINDING A GOOD FRANCHISE LAWYER Using a franchise attorney early on is the proper starting point, whether you are franchising a business or thinking about buying franchise. But don’t use any franchise lawyer – find one who also has an MBA and you’ve narrowed the field considerably. You can Google the search term MBA franchise attorney. Now you’re dealing with someone who understands both the legal and business issues in buying a franchise. Good job, but don’t stop here. You can narrow the field even more by finding a franchise attorney, with an MBA, who has also owned a franchise before. Buying a franchise or franchising a business advice is incredibly more meaningful when it comes from a former, successful franchise owner – as opposed to someone who never operated a franchise before. Finding a franchise attorney, with an MBA, who has owned a successful franchise will give you the cream of the crop.
QUESTIONS TO ASK A FRANCHISE LAWYER
(1) Is their law practice devoted 100% exclusively to franchise law – and for how long? (2) Total number of FDD Franchise Disclosure Documents (formerly called franchise offering circulars) they have drafted and reviewed?
(3) Experience filing franchise registrations and working with state examiners in all 14-plus franchise registration states?
(4) Experience representing franchise companies as well as persons buying a franchise?
(5) Experience owning and operating a successful franchise? Knowing both sides of the fence is a tremendous asset. (6) Does the franchise lawyer have an MBA? As discussed above, this is especially helpful to address both the business and legal aspects of the franchise industry. You can do a Google search with “MBA franchise attorney” as a search term and narrow the field considerably.
Subjective factors, such as being a member of the American Bar Association’s Forum Committee on Franchising, for example, are of little value. Membership in a franchise committee or franchise association only means the franchise lawyer pays a yearly membership fee, usually with the motivating purpose being tax deductible travel expenses and learning about subjects they don’t know very well.
Author credentials and background Kevin B. Murphy, Mr. Franchise, is a franchise lawyer attorney based in San Francisco with a 30-year practice devoted exclusively to franchise law. Mr. Franchise holds degrees in business administration and law from the University of San Francisco and an MBA from San Francisco State University. He is the author of over 50 franchise publications, including 4 books on franchising and one book on trade secrets. A franchise lawyer California, is experienced and successful authoring 50 publications.