Many law firms claim that they are able to handle all of your legal needs. This may include everything from real estate purchases, to setting up a corporation, to prosecuting or defending a lawsuit. Some of these so-called “full service” law firms also claim that they practice franchise law. However, franchise law combines many different areas of law into one. A good franchise law firm will be familiar with federal, state, and international franchise laws and regulations, as well as with antitrust law, licensing, trademarks, patents, trade secret protection, unfair competition, and other unfair trade practices. These are complex and rapidly-evolving areas of law. It takes a firm that is focused on them to be able to keep up with the changes and to help you decide how and where to establish your franchised business.
Also, by developing standard forms that can be adapted to your specific business model, an experienced franchise law firm can minimize your initial startup time and costs.
As Rick notes, “One of the first questions a new franchisor client asks is, ‘Do you use forms’?”
Using “forms” gets a bad rap. “Forms” does not have to mean “canned, generic boilerplate where the user just fills in blanks.”
I have 30+ years of experience giving legal advice, negotiating transactions, and drafting outstanding legal documents. These documents have been reviewed by hundreds of attorneys, some of them the most well-known franchisee attorneys in the world. The documents have been examined and approved hundreds of times by government regulators. So no, when I begin drafting a new franchise agreement, I do not sit in front of a blank page (or computer screen) and start by printing at the top of the page, “Franchise Agreement.”
I start with a complete, organized library of proven, successful documents. The documents span dozens of industries. They include almost every variation you can conceive. And you would not want it any other way.
A law firm that limits its practice to franchise law is ideally situated to work with your general business law firm or in-house legal counsel. Your existing lawyers need not fear that your franchise law firm will try to take other business away from them. At The Johnson Franchise Law Firm, we frequently associate with other law firms or in-house corporate counsel for specific franchise law projects, leaving other general legal transactions to your existing counsel. By focusing on what we do well, we minimize the time, expense, and legal risks associated with franchising a business.
When you are considering franchising your business, you want a franchising lawyer who has done it many times before. You need a lawyer to do more than merely tell you about the law. You need a lawyer who will help negotiate the contracts and draft the contracts. That is what we do every day at The Johnson Franchise Law Firm. Contact us today to schedule a confidential interview and see if franchising is right for your business.