5 Steps to Starting a Franchise – Failure is Not an Option

Starting a business is one thing, here's how you take it to the next level without things falling apart

  • Research and hire a franchise attorney.

Franchising is a federally regulated industry, and not following the law can get you into trouble. So before you file any paperwork, hire a lawyer with franchising expertise; a lawyer with experience in business or corporate law just isn’t enough. “Most attorneys will say they know all about [franchising] when in fact they don’t,” says Burton Cohen, founder of Florida-based franchise consulting firm Burton D. Cohen and Associates L.L.C., and professor of strategic franchising at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. If you need a starting point, the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers has a list of franchise lawyers by state (www.aafd.org/legaline.php).

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