Skip to main content
Nancy L. Lanard

Nancy Lanard’s Answers

411 total


  • Do both my wife and I need to sign a franchise agreement, or can only one of us sign?

    We are purchasing a fast food franchise, and the development agent asked if both my wife and I will be signing the franchise agreement. I assumed yes, but my wife says no based on what others we know have done. I believe we both will likely have t...

    Nancy’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues that you should sign as a separate legal entity - either an LLC or corporation. If a personal guaranty is required, which in my experience is typical, you have at least protected your personal assets from any 3rd party (non-franchisor) claims against you and the business. You will likely have to sign a personal guaranty with the landlord too (if this is a brick and mortar business).

    Good luck

    See question 
  • I bought into a franchise-they fall short in many areas but THEY CHARGE FOR BUT DO NOT DO NATIONAL MARKETING-any recourse?

    Long story short I am just starting, I have reached out to many other franchisees and the consensus is they are pretty inept-but if you just go rogue it is a good business-no recourse in "not getting much for the 6%" that said they have a monthly ...

    Nancy’s Answer

    Unfortunately, this is the not the forum to get all the answers you seek. You will need to retain counsel if you wish to move forward and the attorney will need to review the franchise agreement you signed with the franchisor. As one of my colleagues pointed out, many franchise systems collect for national advertising to create a fund in anticipation of doing national advertising. In addition, they likely did not promise that any national advertising would be in your territory or in any way help you.

    I always advise my prospective franchisee client to speak with as many franchisees in the system as they can to learn about the franchise and any unhappiness or unrest in the system. In addition, an experienced franchise attorney can educate you on the terms of the franchise agreement (contract) you are entering prior to signing the document. This would at least have provided you with realistic expectations of what the franchisor's obligations to you are.

    If many of the franchisees are unhappy, you may want to form a franchisee association and speak as a group, which would give you more power as a united group against the franchisor. You should seek counsel to advise the group.

    See question 
  • How does a franchise owner protect their personal assets during their 10 Year commitment period?

    Is it possible to get out of an agreement if the business isn't profitable within a reasonable timeframe? Can it be sold?

    Nancy’s Answer

    As some of my colleagues have pointed out, even if you signed the franchise agreement under a separate entity, you likely guaranteed the franchise obligations with a personal guaranty. The best solution to get out of your franchise agreement is to find a buyer who will assume all of the obligations of the franchise (and if there is a lease, the obligations of the lease). This is always the cleanest, simplest way to get out of a franchise agreement early.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • I want to start a franchise company. How much does it cost to have a franchise agreement put together?

    I own a successful business. We now have open two stores. We have develop our full training manual, supply chain, and management system. In order to have start selling the franchise, I will need the agreement. My question is how much would it co...

    Nancy’s Answer

    Your question is quite complex. To start franchising your business I always recommend that a new franchise corporation or LLC be formed that is the franchising entity. You will need a trademark registered with the US Patent & Trademark Office if you don't already have one. You will need a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) prepared that is compliant with federal law and with the laws of the states in which you must register the franchise, if any. You will need a franchise agreement and any other contracts you will have with the franchisee.

    As far as the training manual, operations manual, business decisions about franchise fees, royalty fees, territory definition, etc., I usually recommend that my clients retain experienced franchise consultants who can prepare and help with all of that.

    Franchising a business is very complex and highly regulated. You will need to consult with an experienced franchise attorney. There are many articles on the web that can explain what is required. In addition, many of us that handle this area of law routinely, provide free consultations. Good luck.

    See question 
  • How can i go about registering the name with out having to do it online, like with a lawyer in person?

    and if is possible with a lawyer in person, about how much would cost me the process, price range

    Nancy’s Answer

    As the other attorneys have stated, it is unclear whether you are looking to register a trademark, file a corporation or limited liability company or register a fictitious name. For any of these you should use an attorney. I am sure someone on Avvo in PA can assist you.

    See question 
  • My husband signed a franchise agreement without my consent. We are 50/50 shareholders in the Corp. is the agreement binding?

    We've been Area Franchisees in our state since 1948 w\ NO signed agreement. We've never payed fees or royalties to Franchisor. They've never visited, helped, or advertised here. They refer to us as the Area Franchisee, allow us to collect royaltie...

    Nancy’s Answer

    This question will require an attorney to review your specific situation in order to advise you properly. You should consult an attorney immediately. You and your husband may have rights that should be explored.

    See question 
  • Can a franchise I purchased that I am now in jeopardy of loosing because of no revenue go after my home because I signed a guara

    Going postal franchise is threatening me to stay open even though I can't afford too.

    Nancy’s Answer

    If you signed a personal guaranty, the franchisor may have rights to go after your personal assets (house, bank accounts, etc.). There may be ways to properly terminate your franchise. In addition, you probably have a lease that will need to be terminated too. I would STRONGLY suggest you find a good franchise attorney to assist you with this immediately!

    See question 
  • Do I need a franchise lawyer?

    My co-worker and I went to talk to owner of the company. Only the owner talked to my co-worker about situations for getting a job. I put a lot of money in it. The owner agreed to have an appointment with me for my questionings and concerns about t...

    Nancy’s Answer

    I am confused by your question, but it sounds like you put money into a company as a franchisee or you are looking to invest in a franchise and haven't yet done so; I am unclear. Regardless, it seems from your question that you should speak with an experienced franchise counsel to assist you in sorting this out. Most franchise attorneys will speak with you initially free of charge.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • Do no compete clauses really hold up in court ?

    The company my husband works for was sold without any type of warning to the employees . They were handed a job application and a non compete clause to sign or they couldn't work for the company that did the buyout . If he didn't sign he was autom...

    Nancy’s Answer

    They are not looked upon favorably by the courts in PA. However, if it is limited in time (less than 2 years typically) and limited geographically (you didn't mention any geographic limitations) it may be enforceable. The courts will try to narrowly interpret any employment non-compete. Other factors are considered too, such as whether the employee had the skills prior to joining the company or whether he/she was trained by the company. In addition, there must be adequate consideration given by the company when an employee is asked to sign a non-compete. Employment with the new company is likely adequate consideration (compensation).

    I would suggest you show the non-compete to an attorney for specific advice for your situation. My advice is merely generic since I have not seen the non-compete agreement nor been retained by you or your husband.

    See question 
  • I hired a contractor to perform home renovations. They never finished what they were supposed to do,

    There is no written contract and no receipts. They do not return my calls, and I do not have an address. Is there anything I can do?

    Nancy’s Answer

    Pennsylvania has a "Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act" and it appears that the contract violated the act in a few ways. I would report the contractor to the PA Attorney General's office. Here is the site to review your rights and link to the Attorney General - http://www.hicpacompliance.com/hicpa.aspx. Good luck.

    See question