Starting your own business is a huge investment and not one to be taken lightly. It is therefore extremely important to instruct a lawyer to offer advice and support from day one. Winkworth’s New Franchising team recommends using a lawyer with specific franchising experience.
“Centrally we work with a team of lawyers who are all extremely experienced in the world of franchising,” comments James Campbell, New Franchising manager. “I have often progressed potential franchisees who initially use a local lawyer and have always found as applications develop the need for a franchise lawyer becomes imperative. Their knowledge of the industry makes the whole onboarding process a lot smoother and quicker.”
The franchise agreements are there to protect both the franchisees and the franchisor during their working relationship together. The industry however has a lot of documentation with specific, and sometimes complicated, clauses and definitions. Although the New Franchising team can talk any potential franchisees through the specifics of the franchise agreements, they cannot offer legal advice as it’s deemed a conflict of interest.
Most large solicitors’ firms have a representative with specific knowledge of the industry and if not, they will be able to refer you to one in most cases. Another route to finding the right legal representative to advise you could be your bank. Most of the big banks in the UK have franchising departments who loan to potential franchisees, (Winkworth work closely with and recommend HSBC). They will have several trusted relationships with solicitors that they will probably not mind referring.
“Although the thought of saving money initially to help cash flow is at the forefront of potential franchisees minds, I always advise against this when it comes to hiring a lawyer,” comments James. “Although Winkworth’s franchise agreements are standard, they are each almost 100 pages long, and if you are not experienced in the world of franchising these can seem extremely daunting to digest.”
If you would like to learn more about becoming a potential Winkworth franchisee or simply wish to understand the importance of correct legal advice further, please don’t hesitate to contact the New Franchising department today.