Do I need a lawyer to review my Franchise Agreement?
The simple answer is yes. Here's why. You're about to sign a binding document with unfavorable terms spread out over thirty pages of 12 point Times New Roman. The franchisor doesn't bold, italicize or underline the "important parts" for you, and you'll also sign a personal guaranty, which puts your personal assets on the line if your franchise tanks. This paragraph's purpose is not to scare you out of buying into a franchise - it's to scare you out of doing it alone.
If your home's foundation is cracked, do you get down there and fix it yourself? If your car needs the engine rebuilt, do you roll your sleeves up? How about your mortgage documents and the deed to your real estate - did you draft them up? There's a limit to DIY projects entrepreneurs should take on. Maybe you formed your own LLC. Maybe you filed your own trademark (or thought you did). Franchise Agreements are foreign to 99% of lawyers. These are highly specialized contracts with enormous consequences. At Barber Power Law Group, we only practice franchise law. Not only have we read, reviewed and negotiated hundreds of Franchise Agreements, but we actually draft them for our franchisor clients all the time.
NOTE: Even if you hire a franchise attorney to review your documents, you should still read the Franchise Agreement and at least make a good faith effort to get through the Franchise Disclosure Document. After all, your name will be on this contract, not your attorney's.