If you are looking at a franchise opportunity perhaps you should beware if your prospective franchisor says the following:

  1. You don’t need a lawyer to review the agreement. 
  2. I would prefer you don’t talk with the other franchisees.  You should only talk with me.
  3. We won’t negotiate any terms.
  4. Trust us, we can’t (and won’t) change the agreement but we won’t really hold you to that provision anyway.

Like many people you may be considering an investment of your retirement savings in a franchise.  You owe it to yourself to do the best job possible investigating that franchise and performing the most due diligence possible.  That includes hiring franchisee counsel to review the franchise agreement and disclosure document and talking with as many franchisees as possible.  Some franchisors won’t negotiate but many will consider your needs.  And never, I mean NEVER, believe the franchisor that tells you they won’t hold you to the terms of their written agreement.  You can be assured that the franchisor’s lawyer in any lawsuit will never acknowledge that statement was ever made and most franchise agreements are written so that any such statement could not be used as evidence anyway.

Trust your gut.  Don’t believe the hype.  Be willing to walk.

photo on flickr by Picture Perfect Pose.