Rush Nigut of the Brick Gentry law firm represents businesses that are interested in expanding their business through franchising. His services for franchisor clients includes drafting and implementation of the franchise disclosure document (FDD) and franchise agreement plus assistance with the franchise operations manual. He is also available to serve as general counsel to the franchise operation including the drafting and review of contracts, assistance with employment matters, litigation and other legal matters.
The decision to franchise your business is a complex decision that should not be taken lightly. Many people desire to enter franchising because it allows you to work "on" your business rather than "in" your business as Michael Gerber discussed in the E-Myth Revisted. While the E-Myth doesn’t necessarily endorse franchising, the franchising model of business can certainly help the business person leverage themselves and expand their business opportunities if done correctly.
Some questions to ask yourself before you franchise your business include:
- Are you making a good living in your business?
- Have you operated multiple locations?
- Do you have a proven system of operation?
- Are the profit margins large enough for the franchisee to make a good living, support employees and pay you a royalty?
- Do you have the time to devote to a franchise operation?
- Do you have the skill set to promote a franchise operation?
- Do you have start-up and operating capital?
- Will franchisees be able to get financing from afforable sources?
- Does your business have a unique selling proposition?
- Does success of the business depend on skills people have or can quickly acquire?
- Is the market stable enough to provide for growth over several years?
- Are you able to support franchisees once you get them in business and do you have something to offer them beyond getting them in business?
If the answers to these questions are "Yes" then perhaps you are a candidate to franchise your business.
A franchise business must comply with federal franchise laws governed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and often state regulations as well. The FTC and certain states require that franchisors provide a written disclosure document to all potential franchisees now known as the Franchise Disclosure Document (formerly known as the UFOC). You will also need a detailed written franchise agreement that serves as the contract between you and your franchisees. You should also develop an operations manual and implement a training program to teach your franchisees how to conduct your business. It is also important to have sufficient capital to support your franchise system from the beginning.
Feel free to call if you have questions about the legal requirements of franchising your business. In addition to the legal aspects, we have strong relationships with advisors and consultants that can help you with the business needs of your franchise. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.