Why is it important to have a lawyer specialising in franchising compared to a normal attourney?

While it is best to consult a lawyer specialising in franchising, you can also consult with a lawyer specialing in contract law.


It is essential to have a lawyer review your Franchise Agreement before you sign anything. Here’s why:

  • A legal expert will be able to work with your accountant to help you choose an arrangement that will best protect your home and personal assets from liability claims in the event something goes wrong.
  • It’s called ‘Legalese’ for a reason – legal language has terms unto itself and unless you’re well verse, you’ll need a lawyer to convert the Franchise Agreement into plain English.
  • An advantage of having an expert in ‘Legalese’ is that they will be able to identify and play with negotiables. Typically the franchisor holds all the cards, but there is leeway for discussion if you know where to look for it in the Franchise Agreement.
  • Related to these negotiations, a lawyer will be able to set boundaries related to the extent of your geographic territory and demographics you’re granted for your outlet.
  • Added support. If you require support in a particular area of expertise or operations, a lawyer will be able to negotiate with the franchisor for your benefit.
  • A signed contract is a legally binding document. This means that a lawyer will be able to check all the ‘t’s are crossed and ‘I’s dotted before your signature touches the page. In the event of a dispute between you and the franchisor, a legal expert will be able to fight your corner based on the agreed upon terms in the contract.
Tracy Lee Nicol
About the Author
Tracy-Lee Nicol is the managing editor of Franchise Zone Magazine and deputy editor of Entrepreneur Magazine. She studied her Masters degree in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University and spent the next two years working and travelling in Asia. Her love of people, business and teaching is reflected in telling the stories of entrepreneurs, franchisees and franchisors, inspiring others to take the leap to being their own boss and bringing about positive change in South Africa.

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