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Ask FrannyThis forum was created so that readers and members of Blue MauMau can post questions to Franny about issues of interest to small business and franchise owners. Franny sometimes invites world-class subject matter experts to answer tough questions

If your post is answered by Franny, it will be featured on the front page of this journal under the "Ask Franny" column.

In your post, please do not mention your franchisor's, vendor's or your own firm's name. The intent of this forum is not to give press to a brand name but rather to ask general questions that franchise owners within and outside one's brand might find of interest. (There are press release areas to sell what's great about a brand or other forums to tell tales of franchisee rip off.) Your question may be edited for clarity, brevity and frankly, some entertainment value.

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michael webster's picture

good choice

I recommend Paul's choice of Peter Lagarias, also.

Michael Webster PhD LLB
Franchise News

Paul Steinberg's picture

Overbroad lawyering

Guest quoting the UFOC: You may not develop, maintain, or authorize, without our prior written approval, any Website that mentions or describes you or the Franchised Business or displays any of the Marks.

By the language of the UFOC, if you set up a page on Facebook or a family website to share photos of your trips to Disneyworld you are in violation of your franchise agreement. And when your wife gives birth, be sure to get the franchisor's written permission before your college posts a "New Arrivals" news item on the alumni website or you could get sued by your franchisor.

If you want to have some fun, send your franchisor certified letters before each post you make on any website. And be sure to send them those 870 pictures of your little bundle of joy; I would make each photo a separate request.

...And lawyers and franchisors wonder why their franchisees regard them as a-holes...

 

Paul Steinberg
Franchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

michael webster's picture

Overbroad

Actually, Paul the quote doesn't dispose of the question that the guest asked.

Michael Webster PhD LLB
Franchise News

Paul Steinberg's picture

Overbroad fascists

OK, yes, many franchisors are overbroad fascists.

But they don't have the same standards as Il Duce; at least he got the trains to run on time, and this new bunch of wanna-bees can't even accomplish a good traffic cone prank...though a $27M loan scam would be an impressive endeavor.

Almost makes me wish I'd been alive back in the ancient days of Solomon, when big tail fins ruled the roads and Minnie Pearl Chicken franchises were selling like hotcakes.

Paul Steinberg
Franchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

RichardSolomon's picture

Those were wonderful days, Paul

Mouton Riothchild, vintage 1970, was $ 250 a CASE. Ducru Beaucaillou, vintage 1959 - a wonderful year, was $ 540 a case in 1976 when a buddy of mine and I bought the entire inventory of it in the city of Detroit - a sleeper on a restaurant wine list that was dying to get rid of it.

A birthday dinner for 30 at Mario Lelli's great restaurant in Detroit, with great wines, was only about $ 2,500, including the  tip.

The magnificent home my ex wife now lives in cost us $ 135,000 - current value about  $ 1,300,000.

My bar tab at the IFA May Legal Symposium where I was the speaker on franchise litigation and walked out of the room with over $ 3,000,000 in new business was only about $ 12,000 - Marriott Hotel as I recall. (Circa 1982 or 83)

Don Sniegowski was in Jr High School.

You were ????--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

KaBloom

Anyone familar with the KaBloom flower franchises?

Re: KaBloom

have worked for the franchise for several years and watch as each store slowly looses its clientele and quality designers due to lack fo sales. have since joined another franchise long established for over the past 15 years..was told that kablooms as it is was crated is no longer really a franchise in any standing..and its franchise operator larry flaherty also leaving makes the final stamp of disapproval on it this past march....a dying franchise and borderline below par florist at best..

Curves

Does anyone have any information regarding getting released from Curves? I am a franchisee in good standing, and have contacted my area director to start the process, but she will not give me any additional information, just that releases are handled on a case by case basis. She gave me an email address without a contact name. I sent an email but have not gotten a response.

cleaning franshise

I am looking at vangaurdcleaning franshise I need to know is it a good one or not is it worth investing 10000$ and hope that I well some money back I looking for an advice thank you

franchise due diligence

I am looking at purchasing a franchise (EWS). Where do I go to find truthful information?

RichardSolomon's picture

Go to www,FranchiseRemedies.com

Great pre investment due diligence - expect to pay about $ 2,500 for vetting one deal, or $ 5,000 for many deals over a six month period.

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

FDD (FOC) wording

When disclosing litigation in the FDD companies (i.e. MBE/UPS) dismiss the litigation saying things like they intend to "vigorously defend themselves". But, they tend to try to settle and bury the litigation.

Can they be held accountable for their own wording in the FDD (or FOC)? Are they not misrepresenting the fact that they think they are innocent, by stating thay they intend to defend themselves?

Cuppy's

Does anyone have a mailing address for FranSynergy in Alabama?

Tinker knows

You could ask Tinker to serve the lawsuit papers on FranSynergy. She would do it for free.

Cupp's

I'm trying to serve them with legal papers--I need to contact regarding money that Specialty Coffee Coop owes my company. I have a phone number but no address.

Thx.

FranSynergy suit

Typical Cuppy's victim.

Too cheap to pay a process server.

Boomer businesses?

As a baby boomer, no, I'm looking to start a business to work in until I retire in six years and maybe beyond. Any one out there doing this? If so can we talk?

Joe4912004@yahoo.com

Dry Cleaners

What is your opinion on the dry cleaning business...good and bad. As well as what things should I watch for as I begin my due diligence process?

Paul Steinberg's picture

Dry clean lease

Watch out for your property lease. Some leases and some zoning regs used to restrict dry cleaners because of the fumes and chemicals. My understanding is that the chemicals have changed, but you may still have the restrictions in place. You don't want to waste a lot of time if you can't operate a dry cleaners in the site you picked.

Paul Steinberg
Franchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

Dry Clean

Paul...thanks for the information!

What sort of margins are typical (EBITDA) are typical for a dry cleaner?

Is anyone familar with Amcorp management?

I am interested in learnig more about these folks as a business opportunity. Does anyone have any info on these guys?

Amcorp Management Scam

Read all the other reports on them. It is a scam. That other posting was right immediately call your state attorney's office or the division that controls franchise or business opportunity sales in your state. They would have to be approved by the State and bonded. If not report them

Amcorp Management a scam

Yest it is a scam, whomever is telling you that it is not, please look at their motives. There is no training to sell complex tax services except a crappy monday night "training" call where none of the reps are allowed to speak or ask questions. It's just them talking
PLEASE RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN TO YOUR STATE AND SEE IF THEY ARE EVEN LISTED TO SELL A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY IN YOUR STATE. IF THEY ARE NOT, YOU NEED TO REPORT THEM!

It's time to stop the scams!

AmCorp Management, Inc.

Yes, give me a call and I will fill you in on the details -- all positive.
Don Allen
239-821-3426

AmCorp Management, Inc.

Yes, give me a call and I will fill you in on the details -- all positive.
Don Allen
239-821-3426

Amcorp Management a scam

Amcorp Management is not a scam in a sense; you are just going to pay for having a job without any support whatsoever.good luck selling their services. Do your due diligence out there, it's a tax service but before I paid I did research, Well I found out that the owners previous company did not pay their sales people and the tax audit they did those clients are having tremendous problems with the IRS now.
If they have asked you for money you need to call your State's department that deals with fraud and report them immediately. Unless they have been approved to sell a business opportunity/franchise in your state it's most likely that there is something wrong with this picture. Let the State handle it. Good Luck- Word of Advice, Keep looking

Re: Amcorp Management a scam

Yes, it is a scam! look to see what the person's motives are that is trying to tell you otherwise. Like the previous post said, there is no support from management only a monday night "training call" where none of the reps are allowed to speak! CALL YOUR STATE ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IMMEDIATELY TO SEE IF THEY ARE EVEN APPROVED TO SELL IN YOUR STATE! IF NOT, REPORT THEM, BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE LOOSES THEIR HARD EARNED MONEY!

AND PLEASE PASS THE WORD, AND KEEP IT GOING

RE: Is anyone familar with Amcorp management?

Yes, they are run by Darren Oliver, who also ran the now bankrupt Tax Recovery Group.

Do a little research using Google about Tax Recovery Group - TRG, and you'll be glad you did.

Long story short - TRG and leadership went bankrupt after a flood of problems - that were verified by the BBB and listed (now gone) online.

Oliver claims in his bio to be a Businessman of the Year - a dubious title that can be "Earned" for a contribution to the Republican National Congressional Committee for $100 or less.

Do yourself a favor and use a service like www.abika.com to get a complete background investigation on the principles in AmCorp.

My previous post disappeared, a typical tactic of the ex-TRG crew, but I'll just keep posting. People need to know the truth.

Working AmCorp Rep, Greg Fowler

Hi,

My name is Greg Fowler, Executive with AmCorp Management, Inc. As far as I'm concerned they have THE best tax and lease reviews service in the United States! If you have any questions feel free to give me a call at 859-653-3638 or email me a gfowler@amcorpmanagement.com. I will send you all the info that you need.

Greg Fowler
AmCorp Executive Consultant
Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Tri-State Area

I am a AmCorp Management Executive Strategist.

Hi,

My name is Greg Fowler a rep for AmCorp Management, Inc. I have worked with them for a long while and as far as I'm concerned they have THE best tax and lease review service in the United States. Although, we review other expenses, the tax and lease auditing service is superb! Feel free to give me a call at 859-653-3638 or shoot me an email at gfowler@amcorpmanagement.com

Thanks, and I commend your due diligence!

Greg Fowler,
AmCorp Executive Strategist
Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Tri-State area

Yes, I work for them, Its a great company!

Hello, You've come to the right place if your looking for a great job. I'd be happy to answer any of your questions and fill you in on more details.

You can log onto the website at http://www.amcorpsolutions.com and go to the "Career" page and enter in your info. Or give me a shout at 603-883-2113.

Thanks,

Craig Johnson
AmCorp Management
www.amcorpsolutions.com

iamco lawsuit

has this case been settled?

IAMCO LAWSUIT

Yes, the lawsuit was settled for $2,970,000 plus some other costs, and the franchisees kept their stores.

Fair Franchising

Is the franchise company liable if one the franchisee partners walks out on his contract? (The franchisee is made of 2 partners and one walks out on his/her responsibility.)

Paul Steinberg's picture

Zee partners: who is on the hook?

Guest writes: Is the franchise company liable if one the franchisee partners walks out on his contract? (The franchisee is made of 2 partners and one walks out on his/her responsibility.)

Ask a law professor if the earth is round and he will likely respond "it depends."

In this case though, it really is impossible to answer your question without more facts. As a general rule, if your zor has permitted you to buy in the name of the entity, there will be personal guarantees signed by all of the "natural persons" actually holding an ownership interest.

However, that guaranty only applies to the signatory parties.

So if the guaranty is in favor of the zor, it would not apply to a vendor. That is why landlords and vendors commonly require personal guarantors and landlords will often put "change of control" provisions if the lessee is a newly-formed entity.

Now in speaking of "partners" you need to understand that the word has a specific legal meaning. The responsibility of a "partner" in a "partnership" may be vastly different from a "shareholder" in an S-Corp or a "member" of an LLC.

CAUTION: In the case of a partnership or of an LLC, there may be certain "events of dissolution" and one of them may be one of the co-venturers deciding he doesn't want to be a part of the business anymore. On the facts you present, that may be a problem here.You should consult an attorney familiar with small business matters and the laws of your particular state. 

The responsibilities of the co-venturers may be specified by statute. In addition there are certain "common law" responsibilities which are not written down in the statutory law but are imposed by the courts.

Finally, remember that the ownership interest may be separate and distinct from any "employment"-type responsibility.

For example: if someone owns stock in an S-Corp which is closely held, that person may "walk out on his responsibility"-- i.e., not fulfill his obligations to participate in the day-to-day work of the company. So you can fire him, but that doesn't mean you can seize his stock.

One moral of this story is to have a written agreement between the co-venturers.

What this is called depends on the entity structure, but whether you call it a Shareholders Agreement, Members Agreement, Partnership Agreement... or whatever-- you need to have something which sets out the rights and obligations of the parties, and which provides a dispute resolution mechanism and an exit strategy.

Paul Steinberg
Franchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

Dunkin Donuts

I am interested in what typically/usually happens at the end of the franchise agreement if a franchise owner wishes to continue to operate. The Dunkin Donut franchise agreement I read seems to be silent on this point. Anyone have experience in this area?

Re: Dunkin Donuts

Did you read the renewal provisions and couldn't find the conditions for renewal?  

Now if you mean operate as an independent you need to read the post-term obligations of the franchisee.

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

michael webster's picture

TIF is Right

Buddy, the DD franchise agreement is explicit on on what happens on non-renewal.

Do yourself a favour and read the agreement. 

Michael Webster PhD LLB
Franchise News

Re: TIF is Right

I was right?

The Cowardly Guest Troll didn't think my commentary was useful!  

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

michael webster's picture

Guest Troll

TIF, not sure that those who bash also read. 

Michael Webster PhD LLB
Franchise News

Re: Guest Troll

Obviously not! Since my posting history speaks for itself.  However the CGT had called for the masses of BMM to rise up in support of his condemation of me.

The masses have spoken...

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

michael webster's picture

Masses

TIF writes: The masses have spoken..."

I am a mass?  Jeez, I knew I was putting on weight, but ...

Michael Webster PhD LLB
Franchise News

More or Less...

You are a "mass" of cells and how big a "mass" I don't know? However you are a "mass" nonetheless.

The Cowardly Guest Troll is likely disappointed in the underwhelming groundswell of support to his "I despise TIF" position. I think he expected more from the BMM community.

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Ok

will do

Paul Steinberg's picture

Caution: "renewal"

Just a cautionary note: "renew" does not really mean what many people think it does.

It does not mean that you continue under your agreement.

Rather, in franchising, "renew" means that you sign a new, different, agreement.

So if your old royalty rate was 3% and you could use a non-proprietary POS, your "renewal" might say the royalty rate is 8% and you use a proprietary POS costing a zillion dollars.

Buyer beware, and don't assume that you know what "renew" means. 

Paul Steinberg
Franchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

Re: Caution: "renewal"

Thanks for clarifying..

Stop the Franchisor Madness

Assumptions:
1. The franchisor thinks the franchisees are stupid and can’t walk and talk at the same time.
2.The franchisor has only one sole-source supplier.
3.The franchisor holds lease.

The scenario:
Most franchisees are failing and those that are making money are being disenfranchised for minor infractions. And, since the franchisor holds the lease, the franchisees are turning in the keys to the franchisor (and thus getting the store for free). The franchisor just started a second corporation just to accumulate these stores. I suspect he will then sell them as a franchise and thus the second corp. is making a small mint.

The problem:
How can this madman be stopped? Which agency should I contact?

Instant Tax Service

Hi,

I just came across this forum searching on Instant Tax Service. We listened last night to a web session on opening a franchise. We have no experience in owning a business and would need to put a lot on the line to get this up and running. Are the costs of running this business accurate? Putting down $14,000, financing the remaining 20,000 at 0% and also taking an additional $20,000 loan (financed by them) to get started?

They made it sound like we would make this money back in the first year. Is this reasonable to expect? Do they provide the support you need to run this business? What advice would you give?

Thank you.

Instant Tax Service - 0% Financing

It is true .... I bought a store in Dallas last year .... The Zero % financing is a great deal and the buy-back is a nice security blanket .. The year went well and I'm looking to pick up another store!

Instant Tax Franchise

I am looking into getting a territory in Florida...any other pitfalls with the Instant Tax service?

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About Franny

Franny's picture

Public Profile

Franny is a columnist for Blue MauMau who answers questions about running and owning a franchised business establishment. Those who have questions can post them under the Ask Franny forum. Readers may comment on the questions there. If the post is answered by Franny, it will be featured on the frontpage of Blue MauMau under the "Ask Franny" column. Franny sometimes invites Subject Matter Experts to answer. Please do not mention your franchisor, vendor or your own firm's name in your question.