What should I do before signing a franchise contract without spending too much for a lawyer's fee consultation?

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Before consulting with an attorney, first find out if the franchisor is willing to negotiate the contract.  If they are not, which is fairly typical with the good ones, then tell the attorney not to waste their time and your money coming up with negotiation points and strategies - it's basically an up or down decision.  You should also make sure to consult with an attorney that is already familiar with franchise agreements - you don't want to have to pay for their time while they are trying to figure out what is standard and what is not in a franchise agreement.

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