Goldstein Law Firm, PLLC
1629 K St. NW, Suite 300,
Washington, DC 20006
Franchisees frequently wait too long before reaching out for a franchise law firm or franchisee lawyer; whether they do this to avoid costs or because they believe that the law will ultimately protect them down the line, waiting in the face of danger is almost always a mistake. One does not need to be a Harvard Law School graduate to know that a franchise lawyer will best be able to protect his or her franchise client if retained, for instance, with two weeks remaining on a termination threat rather than with 45 minutes remaining before the effective time of a noticed termination.
Similarly, potential franchisees who are shopping for new or additional franchises should not try to save costs by skipping over a franchise review in order to ‘get into’ the franchise. If the numbers are that tight already then the franchise purchase is probably a very poor choice financially. This has been proven to be “penny wise and pound foolish.” The myth that franchisors will always not negotiate with franchisees during a franchise agreement review is false; however, each franchise and distribution system has its own policies that it follows during negotiations. Some are more restrictive than others.
However, the view of some prospective franchisees that a franchise review would be useless unless the review could guarantee that some modifications to the franchise agreement would be achieved is also terribly misguided. One of the primary purposes of a franchise agreement review and an FDD review, at least as carried out by the Goldstein Law Firm, is to fully enlighten the client regarding the detailed meaning of all important clauses in the franchise agreement; the meanings are those that would be given to these provisions by courts or arbitrators, not by the prospective franchisee’s relative who has a friend who practiced personal injury law before moving into mortgage banking.
Indeed, many franchisee clients have come to the firm long after signing their franchise agreements professing that they didn’t understand, for instance, that ‘two defaults could result in an automatic franchise termination’ before they signed their franchise agreements, or that they ‘released’ all of their potential claims when they signed the franchise agreement. Since courts don’t accept these arguments from franchise immigrants, it’s not likely that native speakers will have any better chance.
Further, many dealer and franchise agreements have contractual limitations periods that could begin to run as early as when the negotiations to purchase the franchise occurred. Accordingly, franchisees or dealers that suspect that something might not be right, or that something unfair or wrong might be happening, they should promptly seek out a franchisee lawyer – one of the handful that remain nationally. As noted elsewhere, there is a very important difference between a franchise lawyer that represents both franchisors and franchisees, and one that represents exclusively franchisees and dealers.
Email or call Jeff Goldstein today for your complimentary consultation.
The Goldstein Law Group specializes in representing only franchisees and dealers, and in the following areas: