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Franchise lawyers your guardian angels

Signing on the dotted line would seal the deal between you and the franchisor, but have you analysed the franchise agreement to check for loopholes. If you are nodding your head in negative, you need to revisit the situation and do the same. No one can do

By Neha Malhotra Sub Editor, Franchise India Holdings Limited, Web Division

The significance of franchise lawyer is on the rise pertaining to the imperative role played by them in a franchise relationship. It has also become much easier to find franchise lawyers today as compared to a few years back when not too many lawyers had specialisation in the field.

His role

A franchise lawyer’s major role involves imparting his knowledge and understanding of franchising to the prospective franchisees. If you are a fresher to the franchise business realm then it is of utmost importance that you seek the guidance of a franchise lawyer.

Preparing the franchise agreement

The franchise agreement which is a complex process and is difficult to comprehend is the only legal document that underlines all the details of your franchise relationship with the franchisor. After you have received the document from your franchisor, your franchisor will thoroughly analyse the document for finding loopholes and identifying things that are out of the ordinary. Some wording of the document may be tricky which might go unnoticed by you; but will be pointed out by your lawyer. Your lawyer will wade through the ins and outs of the clauses to make sure that you’re not at the losing end. Once the key issues are addressed and cross checked with the franchisor, you are ready to take your relationship forward.

Reviewing and updating

A lawyer’s work does not end with you signing the agreement. It is he who has to constantly keep reviewing the agreement with changes in the legal system and it is his duty to keep you updated about any new norms that may have come up after you signed the agreement. Once you’ve been informed you can discuss the same with your franchisor and ask your lawyer to update the agreement.

Disputes

In case of any dispute, your lawyer will play the most pivotal role. As he had thoroughly gone through the agreement and is familiar with the intricacies involved, he will be the best guide to get you out of the mess.

Things to remember

As the franchise lawyer is your legal angel, you need to be sure that the lawyer you have hired is nothing but the best. The lawyer you hire must not be a general lawyer but a franchise specialist as he would be able to give suggestions real quick.

Closing statement

To be safe and secured from the legal hassles, it is best for you to rope in your lawyer from the very beginning of your franchise journey which would make it easier for him to give advice and offer his services to you.

Few key issues that a lawyer addresses to in a franchise agreement

  • Section clearly detailing the grant of rights given to the franchisee.
  • The key clause granting the franchise rights.
  • Clause on placing limitations on the extent of the rights given. 
  • Provisions for the term and renewal of franchise agreement.  
  • Detailed obligations of the franchisor and the franchisee
  • Key performance measures or the minimum performance requirements from the franchisee’s end.
  • Payments section including payment structure and for the security for payments. 
  • Marketing and advertising section referring to the national and local marketing details.
  • Section regarding termination of the agreement.
  • Section on resolution of disputes.
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