Your expansive guide to franchising’s legal frameworks, and what a business should look for when it comes to comprehensive counsel
Interview by Kieran McLoone, deputy editor for Global Franchise.
The legalities of franchising might not be the most outwardly thrilling subject associated with this dynamic and global business model, but it’s a specialism that is intrinsic to international success.
Protecting your brand from a whole litany of legal troubles can only be done with an experienced, knowledgeable team. Foregoing proper system and processes will open a brand up to issues which could damage not only the brand’s reputation, but could also jeopardize an entire franchise network.
To cover everything you need to know and highlight some key trends within the industry, we’ve spoken to several experts from a plethora of legal firms and have prepared a crash course for brands with global ambitions.
This week Lane Fisher, FisherZucker LLC speaks about prioritizing experience.
KM: What kind of skills and background should a franchise be looking for when vetting its legal team?
LF: Franchisors should be looking for a legal team with actual and deep experience in franchising.
A good franchise lawyer isn’t someone who dabbles in the practice, but rather dedicates the practice to franchising matters. Any lawyer can arguably write a minimally compliant disclosure document, but it takes one with real experience to ensure that the franchise offering documentation and system is designed to be competitive and includes best practices and “lessons learned”. This can only come through years of exposure and experience.
KM: What does an experienced legal team bring to the table?
LF: A solid understanding of the business goals of the franchisor and the regulatory environment in which it operates are critical for the legal team in order to serve the client and the system’s needs.
Many brands don’t think through the appropriate development schedule and often find themselves with little recourse when things go off the rails. An experienced franchise firm can help see around corners and spot likely issues down the road.