Are you considering buying a franchise business? Do you need your contracts reviewed by a lawyer? Most people wonder when the right time is to get legal advice. To this question, the answer is always as soon as that need arises. However, note that it is wisest to have the expensive parts of your research fall towards the end of your process. This is because you might get information that causes you to lose interest.

You need to consider what the attorney would do for you. Do you want them to review the agreement for your franchise? Do you need legal documents? Whatever the case, proceeding without legal counsel could prove disastrous. Hiring a franchising lawyer can help you avoid conflicts of interest later on. You will also be saved from issues such as paying for legal documents twice (based on location). How then do you navigate the market to find the right attorney? Here are five tips you can use:

Franchisor vs. franchisee knowledge

Your lawyer needs to have experience either as a franchisor or dealing with them. If the majority of the work that your attorney has done is for the franchisee, their advice may lean on the side of the franchisee. Additionally, they may lack the experience in things such as drafting franchise disclosure agreements in which case they are not qualified for the job.

Litigation vs. transactional focus

A transactional lawyer will be focusing on preparing all your legal documents for the franchise. If they do not have experience on the transactional side, it means that they will not be as efficient as you want. On advantage of working with a franchising lawyer who has litigation practice is that should the need arise, they can represent you. What is more, they are well aware to draft the papers with a focus on preventing litigation.

Hourly vs. flat fee

Franchise disclosure agreements have very few variations. As such, many attorneys charge a flat fee on the transactional side. They have enough experience to know the average time a startup business might take. The advantage of going with such a lawyer is that you will know for sure what you must pay by the end of each month and so you can budget. The disadvantage is that you might end up paying more than if you were paying an hourly fee. However, bear in mind that a lot of attorneys want a long-term relationship and so they might discount you on that account.


There are few industries where it is not necessary that the franchising lawyer has experience. An example would be when you want to start a non-regulated service business. However, in most cases, industry-specific knowledge is very important. In fact, some industries have very complex regulations that only specialised knowledge can deal with. For instance, do not go for a general attorney if you are looking to franchise in health care, dental or any medical fields.

Size of franchising firm

If you are looking to hire an attorney from a firm, the size matters. The larger the firm is, the more resources they can bring to your case. You also get more expertise since large firms have many lawyers and connections. However, it will often mean that you may have to pay more so it is a thing worth considering. A smaller firm will give you more exclusive access to legal services.

All attorneys will tout accessibility. It will be your prerogative to determine during your interviews whether or not to take them at their word. When considering the matter, you can factor in where they are located and whether or not you like them. Remember that you will be working with your attorney for years so, at the very least, you want someone you can stand. Franchising can be very complicated and it is impossible to do it successfully without a lawyer. Therefore, contact your franchise lawyer today for advice regarding your franchise business.