Tag Archives: Business Law

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

Vote ‘Yes’ to Renovate and Update Polk County Courthouse

I generally try to stay away from politics on this blog but there is an important vote on November 5th regarding Measure A:  The Polk County Public Safety Judicial System Bond. I encourage you to vote ‘Yes" for this measure. Our Polk County Courthouse has been in use for over 100 years. While it is … 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

Due Diligence Training Through Plains Angels: Classes of Stock and Corporate Structure

Those interested in raising investment capital for their business, or those interested in making investments in businesses, may want to take advantage of the monthly due diligence/investor training provided by Plains Angels.  Plains Angels is a group of Midwest angel investors that have now funded various projects here in the Midwest. The group is actively … 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

U.S. Patent Law Changes: The First-Inventor-to-File One Year Grace Period

* This is a guest post from Jessica Susie of the Brick Gentry Law Firm. Jessica is a registered patent attorney. The America Invents Act, which President Obama signed into law on September 16, 2011, has been gradually overhauling the United States patent system. March 16, 2013 marked the biggest change – the United States … Continue Reading

How to Deal with Partner Disputes

 I saw an interesting article on the LexBlog Network regarding how to deal with partner disputes. The post written by Texas restaurant lawyer, Matthew Sanderson, dealt specifically with restaurants, but the information contained in the post is applicable to any business. Sanderson recommends the following when a dispute occurs: Avoid the conflict by identifying motivators … Continue Reading

Avoid these 5 Legal Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Often Make

 Entrepreneur Magazine has a good article on Five Overlooked Legal Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make. Those mistakes include: Making handshake deals with clients and vendors; Choosing the wrong business structure; Bring on partners without a detailed agreement; Establishing a 50/50 partnership; Filing a trademark without doing enough homework. In my practice I’ve seen the mistakes outlined above … Continue Reading

Plains Angels Investing in Iowa Companies

The Des Moines Register reported that investor group Plains Angels has invested $750,000 over the last eight months. This is great news for Iowa startup companies. Venture capital in Iowa has lagged and groups like Plains Angels are definitely trying to change that. There is a $300 application fee to present before the Plains Angels’ … Continue Reading

Iowa Business Court Judges Selected

In January  I wrote about the new Iowa Business Specialty Court Pilot Project.  This week the Iowa Supreme Court announced that three judges have been selected to hear cases for the business court. The judges include: Judge Michael Huppert of the 5th Judicial District, which includes Dallas, Polk and Warren counties; Judge Annette Scieszinski of … Continue Reading

Trend Moving Toward Greater Protection for Franchisees?

With the recent passage of a new state law in Ohio and a new bill offering greater protection for franchisees in California, it will be interesting to see whether this growing trend of more pro-franchisee laws continues. Interestingly enough it is Iowa that is often cited as a pro-franchisee state because of its franchise act. … Continue Reading
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