Yesterday I attended the Trade Regulation and Corporate Counsel Seminar sponsored by the Iowa State Bar Association. In his presentation on franchising, Mark Hamer of Meardon, Sueppel & Downer, P.L.C. confirmed a growing trend in franchising is that every clause is negotiable. This often includes some of the more troublesome issues for franchisees. This is a trend I have seen for some time.
Your ability to negotiate depends a great deal on your bargaining power. Is the franchisor new? If so, you probably have a great opportunity to negotiate terms. Are you financially solid? Are you buying multiple franchises? These are just some of the factors that may improve your bargaining position.
You may be told the franchise agreement is not negotiable by the sales representative. I would not let that deter you from attempting to negotiate certain terms of the franchise agreement. The key is to know what, when and how to negotiate franchise agreement terms.