One of the best things about blogging is the great people I have had the opportunity to "meet". One of my favorites is a franchise consultant and blogger from Cleveland, Ohio named Joel Libava.  The Franchise King and I share a passion for helping prospective franchisees obtain information to properly research franchise opportunities. I have read his eBook on the Essential Steps to Researching a Franchise Opportunity and I encourage you to read it if you are interested in becoming a franchisee. The following is a guest post from the Franchise King on franchise research and a little about his eBook.

Information is power. Getting the right kind of information is even more powerful. It never fails. I’ll be packing up my presentation equipment after I’ve finished presenting a seminar or class on franchising, and someone will saunter on over to me and say:“I wish I would have met you before I bought my franchise. If I would have known then, what I know now….”Or, during the Q & A time I always set aside towards the end of a presentation, I‘ll hear this; “I never knew that I could call former franchisees of a franchise system, and find out why they weren’t franchisees anymore.”

It’s safe to say that almost no one knows how to really research a franchise opportunity. After all, how could they possibly know? Did you know how to do the right kind of research before you purchased your first new car? Did you know how to research an area to see if it was a good one for your first home? Let’s assume that someone had to teach you how to research major purchases like a car or your first home. If not, I’ll bet you bought a book or tow, and learned how to do it, right? You didn’t “make things up as you went along, did you?” I hope not. 

Purchasing a franchise business of your own is also a major purchase. Do you know the proper research steps? If not, are willing to learn and follow them?

I wrote an eBook last year called The Essential Steps to Researching a Franchise Opportunity.” It has had some nice reviews, and the people who have purchased it are glad they did. It lays out the research steps in an easy to follow format, and is essential reading if you are seriously thinking about investing in a franchise of your own. 

When it comes to investing in a franchise, there are certainly some legal issues you need to be aware of. In my book, I discuss who to use and who not to use, in all things legal; “It’s now time to find and meet with a lawyer who is familiar with franchise law. Even though you may be tempted, this is not the time to use Uncle Sol, or Aunt Martha, your family attorneys. {Unless they also happen to be small business/franchise attorneys!}You may feel that using your Aunt or Uncle for a review of the Franchise Disclosure Documents would be wise, and that it is smart budgeting, but it may end up costing you more in the long run.”

In the book, I also explain how to go about finding some appropriate attorneys that are thoroughly familiar with the unique laws that involve the business model of franchising. I also give you some questions that you should ask prospective franchise attorneys;

  • Do you regularly review franchise contracts and Franchise Disclosure Documents? 
  • Are you totally up to date on local franchise laws?
  • Can you recommend what types of business entity to set up that will protect us?
  • What will you charge for the review?

The legal aspects are really important, and you definitely need to have a good understanding of what is involved in starting and operating a franchise. The laws that are in place are complex, but a good lawyer can help you understand them.

There are several steps in researching a franchise, and the legal portion is only one of them. If you learn how to conduct your research correctly, your decision on becoming a franchise owner will be a little easier. It may be a little safer, too.

{Joel Libava is The Franchise King, and is the King over at Franchise Selection Specialists Inc. a Cleveland, Ohio franchise consulting and marketing firm. His award winning blog is The Franchise King Blog. His eBook can be found at}