Providing independent legal advice to intended franchisees
Starting any new business can be a daunting experience without the right help, regardless of whether you’re inexperienced or a seasoned entrepreneurs. If you’re looking at buying into a franchise, you’ll need to pay special attention to the franchise agreement and disclosure documents to understand your rights and obligations under that franchise. After all, that’s what’s going to be controlling your franchising life.
To help you along this journey and aside from all other requirements determined by law, you must obtain independent legal advice before you enter into the franchise agreement. We assist many clients who have taken up franchises in various industries, especially the fast food business – but we’ve also consulted just as many clients who have had issues with their franchises and franchisors, or who have wanted to exit the franchise because it’s not as easy as they had initially thought.
They key is about choosing your franchise carefully. Understand what the franchise is offering to you and how they’re going to support you. What’s the value of the franchise? That’s what you’re paying them for, isn’t it? In most cases, your accountant will also be a good source of advice in relation to your future plans of being a franchisee and the business goals that you’re setting for yourself.
Do you run a business? What sorts of legal issues do you normally encounter when running your business? For that matter, when was the last time you saw a solicitor? Would it be before you started your business – or only after you encountered a problem?
Solicitors are a little bit like doctors. You usually only ever see a doctor when you are sick – when something has gone wrong with your body. In the same way, businesses usually see solicitors when something has gone wrong. That shouldn’t be the case.
It is understandable that a majority of businesses are averse to seeking legal advice from a solicitor. Legal advice is often seen to be intrusive, complicated, annoying, and more often than not – expensive. However, the reality of the situation is that in order for your business to be successful, you need to get your business in order – and that includes sorting our your legal obligations as well as seeking ways in which your business can better protect itself. And the sooner you can do that, the easier it is to deal with problems in the future.
What sorts of matters do businesses commonly deal with? Terms of Trade, Trade Practices, Compliance with ASIC, Intellectual Property, Confidentiality, Leases, Bad Debts, Contracts, Disputes… the list is innumerable. Yes, you can ignore it or attempt to deal with it on your own. However the bottom line is that if something goes wrong, a significant sum of money can be spent attempting to rectify the problem. In contrast, investing a little time and money into getting some advice beforehand can greatly reduce the chances of such an incident occurring.
After all, if you have peace of mind in these aspects, you can better concentrate on running your business.
We want you to succeed – so if you ever need any help or a quick consultation and review of your business practices – please do not hesitate to call us!