Gentlemen Franchise Lawyers from Alabama, Richard Duell and Malcom Hunt of Duell Law Firm, inspect the dirt under your store on The Franchise Show to make sure there are no cracks in the foundation as you get ready to build your first store—or your hundredth!
We’ve talked before about how critical the right location is to the success of your franchise, and from a real estate guy’s perspective, I can tell you that a great operator will still only have an average store if it’s put in the wrong place — and that the wrong place is a reality you cannot easily (or inexpensively) change after you sign the lease.
So here’s where the lawyers come in. Richard and Marcus discussed protecting your brand in their first visit with us, and this time they’re talking about protecting your contingent liabilities — that 5, 10, or 20 year lease obligation that shows up on your business and personal balance sheet as . . . a debt; the total rent for the total remaining term of the lease. How much is this? Well, a 10-year lease at $3,000 per month rent equals $360,000 — and you thought your Visa card was out of control.
OK, here’s what you need to do as I discussed in my articles on AllBusiness: Site Selection: What Your Franchisor Will and Won’t Do For You, and Do-It-Yourself Site Selection. But if site selection and commercial retail leasing are not an area that you’re an expert in, then you need help, upfront, BEFORE you sign the lease. Talking to lawyers like Richard and Marcus is a good way to start. Get lawyers involved early, and then they’ll work with you as a valuable member of your team — you know, an ounce of prevention, and all that.
We cover a lot more with Richard and Marcus on The Franchise Show, including a valuable discussion on how the downturn in the economy has definite regional parameters. These live interviews are worth listening to — maybe even, I hope, enjoy.
I like to kid with Richard and Marcus about their plans on reopening the Lincoln assassination. Usually they kid back . . . I think.