Who hasn’t thought about owing or starting a franchise? Most business owners dream of seeing their brand spread worldwide with thousands of franchisees sending in royalty checks every month. Many individuals, probably 95%, have dreamed of being their own boss and looked at franchises at some point in their career.
Michael is a widely respected franchise attorney in Atlanta who has extensive experience having been an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia as well as Special Project Coordinator for the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs, and a Special Assistant Attorney General.
He’s been specializing in franchise law for over 20 years and is well respected and known in the Atlanta franchise practice area. He counts franchisors as clients from all over North America and has seen and had to deal with a lot of legal issues surrounding starting, running or buying a franchise.
You’ll want to listen in to find out why most businesses who try to expand by “licensing” their concept to someone else trip the trifecta of specific tests that will make you subject to the FTC and state franchise laws. Michael says that the test for determining if you are a franchise is a three legged stool so you need to understand what those are for certain. It’s not a trivial issue, the going fine for each offer you make (remember the 10,000 emails you sent out?) is in the $10,000 plus each range… so it’s not something you want to learn about when you get a “dear felon” letter in the mail from the FTC…
A good franchise attorney can help you structure your concept to avoid the tripwires and consult with you to give you to plusses and minuses of being a franchise vs. a license arrangement. There are definite advantages to being considered a franchise vs. licensing so don’t automatically think it’s not a good solution. With a lot of sketchy advice about this subject alone, it’s worth talking with a pro when you are thinking “I’ll franchise my business.”
As a franchise buyer, you need to have a specialist in franchise law on your team who can advise you and help protect your interests and your family attorney is seldom expert in this legal specialty. Attorneys like Michael will help you understand the FTC required Franchise Disclosure Document all franchises must give prospective franchisees. They will also give you sound pointers on what the key questions you must answer before buying the franchise are and how to get the real answers to those questions.