How to negotiate franchise agreement issues

Make sure you're happy with the contract before you sign

It’s important to remember that buying a franchise isn’t like going to a shop and purchasing some jeans – you won’t be able to return it with a receipt and get a refund.

Being a franchisee means that you will be bound by a franchise agreement that is legally binding. If you don’t like what you’ve signed, you will have to challenge it through the civil courts – a timely and costly process.

The best way to avoid future legal wranglings is to thoroughly prepare for the deal. As with any legally binding contract it’s essential that you have the franchise agreement contract looked over by a solicitor who specialises in franchising. The BFA has a list of specialised solicitors who may be able to help be out.

Regardless of whether you’re a legal expert it’s also a good idea to look over the franchise agreement contract thoroughly yourself too. You’re the one who will be responsible for the business, so it’s important you thoroughly understand any issues raised in the contract. All franchise agreement contracts should specify:

… The franchise period and renewal details … The territory … Training arrangements … The initial fee … Arrangements for selling the business … What happens if you die or are incapacitated … Your obligations and those of the franchisor

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