How can I find an experienced franchise attorney in my area?
The best way to find an experiened franchise attorney is through a referral. I'll give you three examples of how you might do this:
1. If you know anyone who is an existing franchisee or franchisor in your market area, ask them who they use and how good they think the lawyer is. If you hear the same name or firm come up a few times, you've probably got a good potential attorney.
2. You can go to franchise industry sites and trade press publications to see who they list as experienced franchise attorneys and look for ones in your area. It's not necessary to focus only on local attorneys (especially if you're located in a fairly small town) but many people want to meet with their attorney in person so if all other things are equal that might be a preference.
3. The third thing you can do is go through your local BAR association and/or local advertising for attorneys that say they have franchise expertise and then contact them and ask for referrals.
You want to ensure that the person you're dealing with actually has some valid experience in this field and then you should be fine.
Jeff Elgin has almost 20 years of experience franchising, both as a franchisee and a senior franchise company executive. He's currently the CEO of FranChoice Inc., a company that provides free consulting to consumers looking for a franchise that best meets their needs.