Shannan@sscollier.com
404/419-7114

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I buy a franchise?

Prior to purchasing a Franchise, an individual should determine the industry in which he wants to work. Then, he should research to see if any such franchises exist and whether they have favorable reputations. Then a potential franchisee should determine whether he has the resources to fund and whether he has the stamina and skills to pursue the particular Franchise System.

A potential franchisee should contact the franchisor(s) to determine whether a franchise is available for sale in the area in which the individual wants to work. If a franchise is available for sale, the franchisor will typically ask the potential franchisee to fill out a standard application. The franchisor reviews the application to determine whether the potential franchisee has sufficient resources and skills to purchase, establish and operate one of the franchises. If the potential franchisee is approved, then the franchisor will send the potential Franchisee Disclosure Document.

We assist our clients in reviewing the FDD and identifying key issues. We also assist our clients in negotiating the Franchise Agreement, which is the contract between the franchisor and the franchisee.

How do I franchise my business?

Prior to establishing a Franchise System, the business owner must determine whether he has a franchisable concept. The franchised business should be one which is somewhat unique, easily identifiable, and successful.

An identifiable concept is one which must have a federally registered tradename and trademark and may have additional trademarks and service marks which enhance its business recognition. We work with our clients to obtain such marks or refer our clients to a firm which solely engages in intellectual property work.

The next step is reducing the business operating procedures to writing. The potential franchisor must determine what does and does not work in forming the business, the problems incurred and the resolutions thereto, and the day-to-day systems and procedures which indicate the uniqueness of the business and which contribute to its success. This will serve as the foundation for the Operations Manual and the Training Manual. We work closely with businesses that formalization these procedures into working manuals.

We work with our clients to properly establish the franchised business system and then to prepare the federally-mandated Federal Disclosure Document (FDD). The FDD is a twenty-three part document, not including its multiple exhibits, which complies with both federal and state guidelines for the sale of a franchised business.

The Franchise Agreement is the contract between the franchisor and the franchisee. It sets forth the obligations of the parties and protects the franchisor’s legal interests. The Franchise Agreement includes several exhibits, such as a personal guaranty, and any catalog agreements, supplier agreements, and vendor agreements, which depend upon the nature of the Franchising System.

Certain states require filing or registration for a franchisor to offer franchises for sale in such states. We prepare and file the necessary application and documentation and maintain constant contact with the appropriate state agency to obtain registration status.

We also offer ongoing services, such as the distribution of the FDD to potential franchisees (with complete instructions) and the preparation and issuance of the Franchise Agreement (with complete instructions) – which the franchisor may negotiate or which we may negotiate on the franchisor’s behalf.

How do I get a will?

Although state laws allow individuals to prepare their own wills, state laws do require that the document include certain statements, that the document be written in a particular manner, and that the document be properly executed and witnessed. If any of these requirements are missing, then the will may be found to be invalid by the Probate Court. Unfortunately, most families of an individual who prepares his own will or uses on-line or electronic will kits do not know whether the will is valid until after death.

We help our clients address important family-related issues and prepare a will which accurately reflects each client’s wishes regarding the management and disposition of estate assets after death and the people who manage these assets.

When we prepare any will, we always offer to prepare medical directives and durable powers of attorney, at no additional charge.

How do I make a trust?

When a family member passes, under law, the heirs have certain rights in and to the assets of the decedent. Heirs are defined by law. Whether the decedent has a valid will determines the extent of the rights of heirs (under law) and beneficiaries named in the will. If the decedent owned any real property (land), vehicles, financial accounts (checking, saving, money market, investment, retirement), intellectual (music or literary rights, trade names or trademarks, invention/patent rights), insurance, or claims as a creditor, then probate may be required. Probate is using the court system to lawfully pass the decedent’s assets to the proper individuals, in accordance with state laws.

We help our client determine whether any and which assets must pass through probate and navigate through the probate and non-probate process of managing and distributing assets of a decedent in accordance with state law.

What do I do when a family member dies?

When a family member passes, under law, the heirs have certain rights in and to the assets of the decedent. Heirs are defined by law. Whether the decedent has a valid will determines the extent of the rights of heirs (under law) and beneficiaries named in the will. If the decedent owned any real property (land), vehicles, financial accounts (checking, saving, money market, investment, retirement), intellectual (music or literary rights, trade names or trademarks, invention/patent rights), insurance, or claims as a creditor, then probate may be required. Probate is using the court system to lawfully pass the decedent’s assets to the proper individuals, in accordance with state laws.

We help our client determine whether any and which assets must pass through probate and navigate through the probate and non-probate process of managing and distributing assets of a decedent in accordance with state law.

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