For a small city, Wilmington, NC has an impressive number of franchise businesses. From fast food mainstays to upscale grocery stores, a variety of retailers and service companies, the Port City has proven a profitable location for such operations. Many prospective small business owners choose the franchise route because it usually simplifies the trial and error process and eliminates some of the headaches associated with business start-ups. Additionally, they have the added confidence due to the built-in support a corporate franchise headquarters can provide. However, many do not realize the pitfalls that owning a franchise may present.
As an attorney for the greater Wilmington, NC area, Wesly Scott Jones frequently works with small business and franchisee clients. Wes has walked down this road before and is aware of the legal complexities that owning or investing in a franchise can pose. Wes certainly acknowledges that each case is unique. However, when it comes to disputes within the realm of franchises and franchisees, there are several typical scenarios.
– Competition – Your franchise agreement should mention the limits on the number of franchises that may be established within a given geographical area. In setting yourself up for success, this is a very important detail to consider and confirm.
– Full disclosure from franchisor – As with all laws, this point can vary area by area. Most jurisdictions require franchisors to provide their franchisees with absolutely all of the material facts they know about the business. For example, unresolved legal issues, finances, insurance issues, or anything else that stands to impact the business. Omissions, misleading details, and misinformation, may be against the law and grounds for legal action.
– Breakdown in the support system – Many small business owners are attracted to franchises in the first place because of the promise they hold for ongoing support. All too often, that promised backup disappears after the final monetary obligation by the franchisee is resolved. Wes can review your franchise agreement and see if any violations have been made.
If you’re in the Wilmington area and thinking about starting a franchise, you should be aware of the many legal issues surrounding these types of businesses. Whether you’d like to review a proposal, have questions about an existing agreement or would just like to have a pair of experienced eyes look over whatever is already in place, we invite you to contact the Law Firm of Wesley Scott Jones.
For a free consultation, call 910-256-5800 or complete the form to the right.