Read All About It

Legal Eagles

After you receive this treasure trove of information, you must take another vital step to make the most of it: Find professional advisors to help analyze the UFOC. Unless you are experienced in reading financial statements and analyzing complex commercial contracts, the money it costs for the assistance will be well worth it.

Using the information in the UFOC, a good accountant can put together a projection for your planned business and give you an educated guess about whether it will be profitable and how much money it may generate. Without a basic cash-flow needs analysis, you'll have no idea how much capital you'll need to run the business and no clue as to whether it will meet your income needs.

An attorney is invaluable in reviewing the UFOC and the franchise agreement. The franchise agreement is usually quite long and complex--after all, it will govern a complicated commercial relationship over a long period of time. An experienced eye looking it over with your interests in mind can identify any essential points of negotiation. Your lawyer can also explain exactly what all that legalese means for you as a franchisee.

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This article was originally published in the March 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Read All About It.

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