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10 Good Reasons Franchise Buyers Need A Lawyer Before you sign for that franchise, have a pro read the fine print.

By Sharon King Hoge

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Finally you're poised to become an official franchisee.

You've completed due diligence: researched potential firms, found a product that "fits" with your interests, interviewed 10-15 other franchisees to hear the pros and cons. You've narrowed it down to the business you favor and it's time to sign on. Then, the franchisor provides a copy of the Franchise Disclosure Document and agreements. Omigod. It's several hundred pages of fine print.

By FCC regulations, the company's official disclosure contains 23 separate items meant to tell you everything you need to know about the firm--the history of the business, general condition of the marketplace, costs and earnings, initial and ongoing fees, startup costs, plus some states add their own specific conditions. "It's very thick. Like a novel," says Jania Bailey, President of Frannet, a franchise matchmaker firm.

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