Considering Purchasing a Franchise in California?

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Get Your Franchise Lawyer Involved Early.

For some California residents looking to start a small business, a franchise makes perfect sense. There are many benefits to a franchise: not only are you able to sell a product or service with regional (if not national) brand recognition, but many franchisors offer incentives, financial assistance, and/or guidance for new franchisees. While California residents thinking about opening a
franchise may believe that applying for and operating a franchise are straightforward endeavors, there are several good reasons why involving a California franchise lawyer early in your plans is a good idea.

Franchise Agreements May Be Fraught With Peril

While franchise agreements are generally designed to help new business owners establish a successful business, this does not mean that franchise agreements are always beneficial to the franchisee. Moreover, while laws and regulations require franchisors to make certain disclosures to franchisees before franchisees are able to enter into the franchise agreement, such disclosures may be difficult to understand for some.

A California Franchise Lawyer Can Assist You With:

Understanding the terms of the franchise agreement: Your franchise lawyer can help you understand the important terms of the franchise agreement before you sign, thereby helping you to appreciate your rights as well as your responsibilities so long as the agreement remains in force and effect. More specifically, your lawyer can help explain to you what benefits the franchisor has agreed to provide to you and what responsibilities you may have in the event your business venture is not successful.

Negotiating better terms in your agreement: The agreement offered to you by the franchisor is not necessarily the only agreement the franchisor will accept. Your lawyer may be able to identify terms that, with some modification, can be of greater benefit to you (and, therefore, more beneficial to the franchisor in the long term). Your lawyer can then negotiate with the franchisor on your behalf to secure you the best terms possible.

Advise and provide counsel as you begin operations: Even with the start-up assistance and business training that some franchisors provide to new franchisees, opening and operating a successful franchise may not be an easy endeavor. Your franchise lawyer can provide you with additional advice and support during those critical first few weeks and months of operation as well as helping you successfully address legal disputes and troubles that may threaten the viability of your franchise.

James H. (Jim) Gulseth was born and attended high school in Devils Lake, North Dakota and graduated with an A.B. degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He earned his JD degree at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. He is a member of the Corporations, Business Transactions, Securities and Tax and Intellectual Property Sections of the State Bar of California and is a member of the State Bar of California, the Alameda County Bar Association, and a member and past President of the Eastern Alameda County Bar Association.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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