Category Archives: Franchise Law

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BIZ Luncheon Features Casey Niemann of AgriSync

If you are fresh off your spring break and looking for a great networking event I recommend attending the BIZ Luncheon this Wednesday, March 25th at the Ruan II Building, 601 Locust, Conference Room 101 in Downtown Des Moines. Casey will share the tale of his leap from the corporate world with Microsoft to the … Continue Reading

Business Owners: Don’t Neglect Succession Planning

All too often business owners neglect succession planning. In fact, according to a recent Inc Magazine article and Deloitte survey on the topic, 90 percent of business leaders recognize the success of their company depends on effective leadership succession but only 13 percent are confident about the succession plans they have made. And those are business … Continue Reading

20 Franchise Trends from Industry News Source

Franchise Times has an interesting article on 20 to Watch: franchise trendsetters in 2015. One of the more interesting items to me was No. 18 – So Sue Me. Apparently one enterprising insurance executive has set up a suite of insurance products specifically designed for franchisors and franchisees to limit their risk against lawsuits. You … Continue Reading

Iowa Specialty Business Court Off to Good Start

Back in January of 2013 I shared that the Iowa Supreme Court began a new specialty court for business cases. According to a recent article from the Des Moines Business Record it sounds as though the court is off to a good start. (Unfortunately the article is only available in the member’s section of the … Continue Reading

My Own (Informal) National Start a Business Day

I don’t know why or what’s in the water but November 17th must have been my own little national start a business day as I helped people form and start four businesses today. It is days like today that certainly keep you energized as a business lawyer and it is fun to see the excitement … Continue Reading

Entrepreneur Magazine Says Hire a Good Lawyer When Starting Business

Entrepreneur Magazine columnists Courtney Spritzer and Stephanie Abrams list Hiring a Good Lawyer as one of the four things a start up business owner should do that may not be in the business plan. Another professional they suggest engaging is a knowledgeable accountant. And I could not agree more. In fact, I get worried when a client … Continue Reading

Watch for Alleged Yellow Page Advertising Scams

I was recently contacted by a business client whose employee signed a “contract” purporting to be from YELLOW PAGE IOWA that had been faxed to their business for what appeared to be a free Yellow Page or Facebook ad. The contract is misleading and deceptive and the fine print actually attempts to lock the client … Continue Reading

Wall St. Journal Lists Troubled Franchise Brands

A recent Wall St. Journal article discussed some of the franchise brands with higher-than-average default rates. The highest on the list? Planet Beach at a considerable 41.1.% default rate for SBA loans from 2004 through 2014 according to the article. The franchising industry and its model of business does a wonderful job of marketing itself. … Continue Reading

Franchise Focus Blog Discusses The Secrets to Success in Franchising

I read an excellent post recently about The Secrets to Success in Franchising. I love what blog author Mike Sheehan had to say to start the article, If the title of this article caught your attention because you’re looking for a magic bullet, stop reading right now. There is no such thing – for any … Continue Reading

Rush Nigut Receives Recognition by Peer Review Publications

Rush Nigut has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2015 Edition of the Best Lawyers in America© in the practice areas of Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) and Franchise Law. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an … Continue Reading

Lessons from an early Long John Silver’s Franchisee

Recently I reviewed a restaurant franchise offering for a client. One of the things I pointed out is the franchise agreement is freely assignable by the franchisor. This means the franchisor could sell its franchise to another entity and the original franchisor could disappear. If a sale occurs it is difficult to predict whether it … Continue Reading

5 Reasons to Hire a Franchise Attorney

 It goes without saying considering I am a franchise lawyer, but I agree completely with the Franchise King who offered his Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Franchise Attorney in a recent post. In my experience a lot of prospective franchisees skimp on hiring a franchise lawyer to review their FDD and franchise agreement. Many … Continue Reading

Prospective Franchisees Need to Research Further Than FDD for Details

I read an interesting article from Entrepreneur on the Key to Understanding a Company’s FDD (franchise disclosure document). It’s an article I’d recommend prospective franchisees read but they better be prepared to go deeper if they really want to understand a Company’s FDD. The author recommends checking three key sections of the FDD: Item 3 … Continue Reading

Selling or Buying a Business: Pay Attention to Why Deals Don’t Close

Steve Sink wrote recently wrote a blog post on IowaBiz covering Why Deals do not Close. I recommend buyers and sellers of businesses to read the post. Fortunately, most of the deals I work on tend to close but from time to time there are issues with a deal or perhaps even litigation after a deal closes. … Continue Reading

Careful Planning Necessary When Using Retirement Monies to Fund Startup Business

Accountant Joe Kristan of Roth & Co. has an informative post on the IowaBiz Blog discussing the dangers of using IRA retirement monies to fund a startup business.  In the situation described, a would-be entrepreneur took about $320,000 from his 401K and rolled it into a self-directed IRA. From there, the entrepreneur invested almost all … Continue Reading

Buying a Franchise: Consider Internet Retailing Encroachment

Franchisors often tout that they are selling an "exclusive territory" to a franchisee during the sales process. Franchisees generally want an exclusive territory because they believe this protects them from competition from other franchisees or the franchisor itself. But if you are a franchise who has been sold an exclusive territory, you better make sure … Continue Reading

Government Shutdown Teaches Lessons in Negotiation

 I read an interesting blog post on the LexBlog Network from Tom Crane of the San Antonio Employment Law Blog called What We Can Learn from the Government Shutdown. The lesson Crane preaches that bullying tactics usually do not work very well in negotiation and tend to invite an equal response from the other side. … Continue Reading

Franchise Negotiation Tip: Be Willing to Walk Away

Prospective franchisees are often under the mistaken belief that franchise agreements are not negotiable. That’s often true even after a franchisor says initially that it will not negotiate a franchise agreement.  So what’s one key in obtaining concessions in your franchise agreement? Be willing to walk away. It’s true of any negotiation. If you are … Continue Reading

Proven Franchise Business System Just a Myth?

 If you’re a prospective franchise I highly recommend a series of articles written by Robert Purvin, Chairman and CEO of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers, on franchising myths. One of his best articles touches on the myth that Franchising Provides a "Proven Franchise Business System". I hear this one all the time. For … Continue Reading

The Franchise King Reveals 20 Must-Do Things Before Buying a Franchise

Joel Libava (a/k/a "The Franchise King") has a list of 20 Must-Do Things Before You Buy a Franchise. It’s a great list so I thought I’d share the article with you. The last item on his list is to "Lawyer Up". Joel explains that the franchisor has a lawyer so franchisees should too. He also … Continue Reading

Unique Look at Multi-Unit Franchisees: Empire Builders

I recommend prospective franchisees take a look at Empire Builders which is a series of videos highlighting successful multi-unit franchisees.  Most of the prospective franchisees that come to see me are seeking to purchase a single franchise. Many of them dream of becoming a multi-unit owners but usually lack the capital (at least initially) to … Continue Reading

Is a Franchise a Safe Investment?

Potential franchisees should read this article from Robert Purvin on Franchising Myth One: Franchises are Safe Investments. In the article, Purvin discusses how franchises and independent businesses fail at roughly the same rate (something discussed at length in several of my blog posts). It’s critical that prospective franchisees understand that buying a franchise will not … Continue Reading
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