Buying a franchise is a big decision that requires a substantial investment, and there is a significant amount of risk involved. As a result, regardless of your background and experience, you are going to want help along the way. You know that you need to hire a franchise attorney to review the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and help you negotiate the franchise agreement, but should you hire a franchise consultant as well?
What Should You Look for in a Franchise Consultant?
For many prospective franchisees, hiring a franchise consultant will be a good option. If you need help with things like budgeting and site selection, an experienced franchise consultant will be able to provide a lot of value as you work toward opening your franchise. If you believe that you could benefit from working with a franchise consultant, here are some factors to consider when choosing someone to advise you:
- Franchise Industry Experience – The franchise industry is unique in many respects; and, in order to advise you effectively, a franchise consultant will need to have deep industry experience. Ideally, he or she will have past experience as a successful franchisee or as a franchisor executive.
- Objectivity – When working with a franchise consultant, you need to be confident that he or she is providing objective advice. If it feels like a consultant is steering you toward a particular franchise opportunity, you will want to make sure this is based on an assessment of your best interests and not other external factors.
- Client Reviews – Client reviews are a great source of information about franchise consultants. Before choosing a consultant, ask for references, and give them each a call to learn as much as you can.
- Communication Skills – The franchise consultant you choose should be an effective communicator. Even if a consultant has vast experience and deep insights to share, if he or she cannot communicate with you effectively, then there are likely better options available.
- Your Comfort Level – Ultimately, you need to be comfortable that the franchise consultant you choose is capable of providing sound advice with your best interests in mind. Take the time to speak with a few different consultants, and then choose the one who you think is the best fit for you.
What Services Can’t a Franchise Consultant Provide?
When deciding whether to hire a franchise consultant, it is also important to be aware of the services that a consultant cannot provide. For example, while a franchise consultant will be able to use some of the information contained in the FDD to help you prepare to open, a franchise consultant will not be able to help with things like:
- Determining if the FDD is missing legally-required information;
- Assessing the legal implications of the obligations set forth in the FDD;
- Interpreting the legal language of the franchise agreement;
- Negotiating the franchise agreement; and,
- Advising you of the legal risks involved in the various stages of getting your franchise up and running.
Contact the Goldstein Law Firm
The Goldstein Law Firm is a national franchise law firm that exclusively represents franchisees. We offer four tiers of fixed-fee franchise business review programs, and we can help you if you have questions about hiring a franchise consultant. To speak with franchise attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein in confidence, call us at 202-293-3947 or request a free initial consultation online today.