Sep 23, 2022 - Blog, Franchise Articles by |

When buying a franchise, making informed decisions is critical for maximizing your chances of success. This is a multi-step process that starts with hiring an experienced Chicago franchise litigation attorney to guide you through the process.

Why should you hire an attorney—and why is this especially important when buying a franchise in a major city like Chicago in our post-pandemic world? Here are 10 reasons to speak with a Chicago franchise litigation attorney before you move forward:

1. Not All Franchise Opportunities Are Alike

There are all types of franchises; and, even within each niche, different franchisors’ systems can be very different. Before you commit to pursuing a particular franchise opportunity, you will want to consult with an attorney who can provide an overview of any preliminary considerations that should guide your due diligence efforts.

2. Not All Franchises Have the Same Post-Pandemic Prospects

As the economy continues to struggle with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (among other factors), some franchise systems are faring better than others. An attorney who regularly consults with prospective franchisees and who represents active franchisees in litigation will be able to provide insights into which types of franchise concepts seem to be faring better than others.

3. Not All Franchises Are As Well-Suited to Major Cities Like Chicago

Geography and local demographics can greatly influence the viability of a franchise opportunity. While some concepts are well-suited to major cities like Chicago, others are not. An experienced attorney can provide insights here as well—and your attorney can also assist with selecting and negotiating your protected or exclusive territory.

4. Past Results Aren’t Indicative of Future Success

Even if other franchisees have found success in Chicago or other cities in Illinois, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your franchise will be profitable. Again, this is especially true in the post-pandemic world. Your attorney can help you evaluate the franchisor’s financial performance representations in Item 19 of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), if any, along with all other pertinent information.

5. The FDD and Franchise Agreement Are Long and Complex

The FDD and franchise agreement are long and complex documents, often comprising 100 pages or more. They are also legal documents that have significant implications for your franchise opportunity. A Chicago franchise litigation attorney can review these documents for you and make sure you know everything you need to know before you decide whether to move forward.

6. The FDD and Franchise Agreement Don’t Tell You Everything You Need to Know

Despite their length and complexity, the FDD and franchise agreement don’t tell you everything you need to know. In addition to explaining what these documents say, your attorney can also explain what they don’t say—and why this absence of information could be even more important for understanding your risk if you move forward.

7. A Chicago Franchise Litigation Attorney Will Have Key Insights to Offer

Along with insights into post-pandemic and location-related considerations, an experienced Chicago franchise litigation attorney will be able to provide other key insights as well. This includes insights on everything from the franchisor’s litigation and bankruptcy history to what questions you should ask current and former franchisees.

8. Your Attorney Can Help with Financing and Other Franchise-Related Matters

In addition to comparing franchise systems and evaluating your chosen franchise opportunity, your attorney can assist with financing and other franchise-related matters as well. For example, if you will need to lease a retail space, your attorney can assist with reviewing and negotiating your commercial lease.

9. Your Attorney Can Identify “Hidden” Risks in the Franchise

Buying a franchise comes with many hidden risks. This is especially true in major markets like Chicago, and it is especially true in the post-pandemic world. Your attorney can help you understand these risks so that you are truly making an informed buying decision.

10. Your Attorney Can Help You Negotiate Your Franchise Agreement

Even though many franchise sales representatives will discourage you from trying to negotiate your franchise agreement, you can—and should—negotiate. From territory rights to termination rights, your attorney can help you decide which terms to prioritize, and your attorney can propose alternate terms on your behalf.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with Chicago Franchise Litigation Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein

Are you thinking about buying a franchise in Chicago? If so, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule a free initial consultation with Chicago franchise litigation attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein, please call 202-293-3947 or contact us online today.

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