Lawyer

3 Things To Consider Before Signing Your Franchise Agreement

Franchises offer a balance between the freedom of starting your own business and the stability of an established brand. Unlike starting a business from scratch, purchasing a franchise offers access to resources, capital, brand identity, and other extremely helpful assets that can help your business thrive. However, there are a few things you should consider before signing your franchise agreement and opening your new franchise:

How much will it cost?

Starting a business can be extremely expensive, which is why franchising can be such an attractive opportunity. While the costs are still substantial, you may be able to get funding from the franchisor or use the brand’s reputation to help obtain a loan from a bank. Before signing your franchise agreement, make sure to consider exactly how much it’s going to cost and how you’re going to finance this new venture.

Is it right for you?

Franchising exists in a number of industries, not just fast food. As a potential business owner, determine whether your skill set and passion align with the needs and goals of the franchise. While it’s possible to run a successful franchise with no prior experience, being passionate or knowledgeable about the industry before signing your franchise agreement can be extremely helpful.

How much time can you invest?

Opening a franchise is just like opening your own business. It requires a lot of time and commitment to ensure everything runs smoothly. If you are already employed or have other commitments, consider if you’ll have enough time to dedicate to opening your new franchise.

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3 Red Flags to Watch Out For When Buying a Franchise

Franchising is a great way to run your own business with a fraction of the risk of starting from scratch. You’ll have access to an existing brand and consumer base, an established supply chain, and more. However, there are times where opening a new franchise is not a good idea. However, if the franchise is consistently losing sales, taking advantage of franchisees, or there are any other noticeable issues, you may want to proceed with caution and consult a franchise lawyer before jumping in. Here are a few red flags to watch out for:

Supplier and Vendors

Some franchises require franchisees to purchase supplies from a single source. While this may be the most efficient and convenient option in some cases, it may also be a red flag. Mandatory suppliers may drive prices up and quality down, which could prevent your new business from reaching its full potential. Consult a franchise lawyer to get an expert opinion on the matter before making a final decision.

How Many Years in Business

Consider how long the franchise has been in business. While it’s possible for newer franchises to succeed, the possibility is much higher for brands that have already been around for decades. Speak with a franchise lawyer to find out what they think about your potential purchase.

Geographic Area

Does the franchise currently have experience in the area you are planning on opening your franchise? For example, the brand may be popular on the west coast, but may not work out on the east coast due to increased competition or other established options that could limit your growth.

Franchise lawyers discussing business in Waterloo.

3 Benefits to Hiring a Franchise Lawyer

Opening a new franchise can be an exciting opportunity for all parties involved. Whether you’re a first-time franchisee owner or a seasoned franchisor opening your 50th location, there’s a lot to know about franchise law.

From disclosure documents to conflicts of interest, navigating your franchise agreement can be a tricky task without the right expertise. Fortunately, franchise lawyers can help lay the groundwork for a prosperous relationship. Here are a few ways that lawyers can streamline the process to make it easier for everyone involved:

How to structure a franchise system

The way a franchise is structured plays a huge role in the way it operates. If you’re unfamiliar with business agreements, corporate lawyers can help you determine the best structure for your needs. They can help you decide whether a single unit, multiple units, or master franchise is best, along with the ideal type of corporation.

The laws that govern franchising

Franchise contracts are a tricky subject with lots of legal jargon that can be difficult to interpret without the right knowledge. Franchise lawyers can clarify and detail the laws that govern franchising so that you can better understand the relationship you are entering into. They can inform you about any legal boundaries and guidelines to help you streamline your operation.

How to help franchisees secure financing

Opening a franchise can be an expensive investment. While there are all sorts of banks and other lenders that can help you finance your new endeavour, the difficulty is in choosing the right one. Franchise lawyers can help you get the best rates and terms to finance your business as efficiently as possible.

Franchise Agreement signed in Waterloo

Four Types of Franchise Agreements

Opening a new franchise is an exciting opportunity, but it can also be a bit overwhelming if you don’t have a lot of experience. Whether you’re opening a single store or a new chain, your franchise agreement helps determine the guidelines for the relationship between franchisee and franchisor.

A franchise lawyer can help you understand your franchise agreement, but it’s important to understand what type of agreement you are entering into so that you can choose the right lawyer for the job. If you are considering opening a new franchise, here are the four types of franchise agreements that you may come across:

Single Unit Franchises

Single unit franchise agreements are the most simple and common form of agreement, and the name pretty much says it all. These agreements allow a franchisee to open a single franchise location, and they are a great way to learn about the franchise system before considering additional units.

Multi-Unit Franchises

Multi-unit franchise agreements grant the franchisee permission to open multiple units. They outline the number of units the franchisee is allowed to open over a specific period of time. If franchisee owners have multiple units, there’s a good chance that the franchise organization is stable and doing well.

Area Development Franchises

Area development franchise agreements are similar to multi-unit agreements in that they allow the franchisees to open a specified number of units. The only difference is that this type of agreement limits development to a specific area.

Master Franchise Agreements

Finally, master franchise agreements are just like area development and multi-unit agreements, but with a bit more authority. These agreements allow franchisees to open a specified number of units in a given area, but also give them the power to sell units and usually receives royalties from franchisees.

Before signing a contract agreement, make sure you talk to a professional franchise lawyer. Contact Law Works in Waterloo for expert business and legal advice on all types of franchise agreements.

How Franchise Lawyers Can Help with Franchise Agreements

Opening a franchise can be a fulfilling and exciting opportunity if you play your cards right. Often times, new franchise owners come across a lot of legal jargon and uncertainty in franchise agreements, which can be intimidating or even a bit overwhelming. Your franchise agreement dictates the relationship between franchisee and franchisor, so it’s important to make sure both parties are treated fairly. It never hurts to get some outside help if you are considering a franchise agreement, here are a few reasons why:

They can offer advice on how to choose a business entity

Should your business be a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)? Maybe it should be a Subchapter S? Or perhaps you should file for a C-Corporation? If you don’t know the difference, you can set yourself up for future complications. It is paramount to choose the right business entity for your new franchise. It determines your legal rights and liabilities as a business owner, and also influences how your business is taxed. A franchise lawyer can offer useful suggestions on how to set up your your new franchise business.

They can help with legal compliance

Franchise lawyers possess relevant knowledge to ensure your franchise agreement complies with local, national, and international law. Whether it’s a small municipal law or a major legal principal, franchise lawyers can help you navigate your franchise agreement to ensure its fair for both parties.

Franchise lawyers keep things simple

Franchising, especially franchise agreements, can be complicated. Experienced franchise lawyers can help you cut through complications by explaining how certain terms or documentation work together, clarify legal boundaries, and negotiate a desirable agreement between franchisee and franchisor. Contact Law Works, Canada’s leading business law firm for professional franchising help. 

Franchise Agreement: Arbitration Clauses

Every franchise is governed by a contract between the licensor; the franchisor; a licensee; and the franchisee. These contracts are called Franchise Agreements. With franchise businesses accounting for 40% of all retail sales in Canada through 78,000 franchise units, mediation and arbitration clauses are becoming increasingly prevalent. While these franchise agreements may offer significant advantages in some disputes, they may be inappropriate or even increase the complexity, time and cost in other scenarios. Here’s what you need to know about arbitration to determine if it is an appropriate franchise agreement for your business.

Franchise arbitration is one of many clauses that can provide advantages during in-court litigation proceedings. An arbitration clause is a stipulation in your franchise agreement that requires the parties to resolve their disputes through arbitration, outside of court. The outcome of a dispute is decided by one or more persons (“arbitrators”, “arbiters” or “arbitral tribunal”), which renders the “arbitral award”. An arbitral award is legally binding on both sides and enforceable in the courts. A significant advantage of arbitration is the choice of arbitrator and the opportunity to specify that the arbitrator must be experienced in arbitrating franchise disputes.

However, disputes over the arbitration clause or agreement, especially over the enforceability of certain provisions or the choice of arbitrator, can prove costly and time consuming. In these cases, the complications often negate the expected advantages of these franchise agreements, since they are designed to be a quick resolution of a dispute. Law Works Waterloo specializes in franchise law and offers a variety of solutions to franchise disputes.

franchise dispute mississauga

3 Steps in Franchise Disputes

Day-to-day business responsibilities can be complex. Ensuring your business operates effectively and turns a profit can be a constant source of stress. The expectations for operation, double if your business is a franchise. Not only must you operate in a manner that meets your own business goals, the business must follow a certain set of criteria set out by the franchisor. The franchisor and franchisee relationship can be mutually beneficial however, there also is a potential for conflict. Franchise dispute can be an unfortunate circumstance, in franchise relationships and if you find yourself facing one there are a few steps to keep in mind:

Notify other party of the dispute

You must issue a formal notice of dispute, to the other part involved, wherein you explain what the dispute is about, what your preferred resolution is, and what other steps you believe the other party should take.

Attempt Resolution

Trying to resolve the matter is the preferred method but if a resolution is not possible either party has the right to request franchise mediation.

Attend Mediation

Both parties, in person, must attend mediation or a selected representative may attend on a party’s behalf. The goal is to resolve the dispute but ensure you are willing and able to attend because if you do not, you can be fined.

If you are facing a franchise dispute in Mississauga and require professional advice, guidance, and service then contact Law Works your expert in franchise litigation, arbitration and insolvencies.

franchise lawyer mississauga

3 Tips to Selecting the Right Lawyer for You

There are many steps and processes involved in legal cases and trying to navigate them, on top of daily responsibilities can be overwhelming. Making sure you have the best representative for you and your needs is of key importance. When it comes to selecting a lawyer consider these 3 steps to help make your decision:

Select a Lawyer with Particular Expertise

Selecting a representative who has expertise in the area your case involves will be the best support system because they understand your needs and can best represent you and your case.

Research Potential Lawyers

Your local bar association will provide you some insight, as you will be able to find public records of complaints and disciplinary actions taken. There are also online sites that provide reviews but make sure to check more than one in case of bias.

Check their Website and Arrange Consultations

A lawyer’s or law firm’s website will have specific information on the type of law the attorney practices, as well as reference their years of practice and any achievements. Once you have selected a few top ones, set up consultations to get a feel for their style and take notes to refer back to.

These 3 steps are a brief guideline in how to begin the process of selecting a lawyer but the key is selecting a lawyer with expertise in your particular case. If you require a franchise lawyer in Mississauga than Law Works an expert in Franchise law is the firm for you.