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Consulting with an attorney for franchise purchase

Question
Should I consult with a franchise law attorney during the search process, or when I'm ready to make the decision? 
Answer
Franchise law specialists are there to make sure you understand the contracts and laws in their entirety, and to protect you. Advice on whether you should invest in any particular franchise is not what you are paying them for; that's a business decision. The exception to this is if you like the deal but the franchisor has lousy or unfair contracts.

If you do your due diligence (the research) properly, you should have an idea of what franchise you want to pursue before you spend money with a franchise attorney.

Also, this is not the time to ask your real estate or corporate lawyer for advice on franchise contracts. Look for a lawyer skilled in reviewing franchise contracts. This shouldn't cost any more, but you'll get a professional skilled specifically in your area of need. To find a specialist, ask for a referral from your attorney, or from your state or county bar association. 
Brain Trust contributor: President-Life Changer of Franchise Selection Specialists Inc.
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