Orange County Franchisee Attorney
I am franchise attorney Janet Martin, and for more than two decades I have provided pragmatic solutions to franchisees in need of legal advice and representation. I review all major legal concerns that can affect franchisees and use my background as in-house counsel for an international franchise company to the advantage of clients throughout Southern California.
Innovative Representation For Clients Throughout California
As an Orange County franchisee lawyer, I provide franchisees with the following services:
- Franchise Disclosure Documents Legal Review (FDD): I will provide an in-depth legal review of theFranchise Disclosure Document or FDD, including the Franchise Agreement, in order to provide my clients the information they need to make well-informed decisions such as the highlighting fees and obligations that are not required but may (and usually will) be instituted in the future. I will look for vague or generic nature of the Franchisor obligations; for example, a franchisor may provide “up to 7 days training on site…” This can be 1 day. I review any oral representations given to the prospective Franchisee compared with what is in the FDD. I go over the financial statements included in the FDD and look for trends in Franchisor liabilities or excessive inter-company complex transactions, or excessive loans to shareholders/directors etc. I will review the litigation disclosed and determine if there is potentially other litigation not disclosed (not required to be disclosed). After conducting thorough research, I help clients learn more about the franchisor, the franchise system and the potential obligations and prohibitions, which may not be obvious. Can I negotiate with my Franchise agreement?
- Franchise Agreement Legal Review: The franchise agreement is the actual contract signed with the more specific terms of the relationship between the Franchisor and Franchisee. I ensure that all material terms are understood, including those that relate to trademarks, products, territory, transfer payments, training and advertising, and most importantly, how to exit the Franchise Agreement.
- Should I Buy Multiple Franchises?
- Entity Formation: I will advise and prepare and file the formation of corporation or limited liability company documents, and advice concerning maintenance of the entity.
- Lease Negotiation: I will assist in site lease review and negotiation of critical terms, amendments, options and early termination.
- Contract preparation and related services: My clients benefit from my familiarity with vendor contracts, customer contracts, employee contracts, confidentiality and nonsolicitation agreements and all other contractual matters that can affect franchisees.
- Asset Purchase or Buy-Sell Agreement: If purchasing or selling an existing franchise I will review and advise, or create, the asset purchase agreement, and related assignments of vendor or other obligations. See my article on legal issues when selling your franchise. You may also be interested in my article on legal issues when buying an existing franchise business.
- Dispute Resolution: I identify cost-effective litigation alternatives which can benefit my clients, including advising and representing clients in Mediation and Arbitration.
- See Frequently Asked Questions for Franchisees