Call or Text For Free Consultation 352-329-6336


It's more than an investment of money

Get the facts before you sign. Franchise Attorney John Usher has 30 years experience in the franchise industry.

There are 2 rules in becoming a Franchisee:

1. If you don't ask, the Franchisor will not volunteer.

2. The only time you will have to negotiate is before you sign.

John Usher Owned & Operated 18 Franchise Units over 30 years

As a licensed attorney since 1982 and an accomplished franchisee with 30 years experience, Attorney John N. Usher offers a unique brand of service in practicing franchise law.

Attorney John N. Usher is deeply committed to Franchise business success. Usher Law Firm, P.A. has a menu of services to help prospective franchisees with each step of the franchise process.

Franchise Attorney John Usher helps you understand the Franchise Process

FDD Negotiations

Once you have identified the franchise terms which are of the most concern to you, a game plan should be formulated to seek modifications from the franchisor.

The game plan involves accurately assessing the franchisor's strengths and weaknesses as well as your own strength and weaknesses. What are the bargaining power factors? Often franchise buyers underestimate what they have to offer the franchisor.

After determining bargaining leverage, an assessment needs to be done of the real-world likelihood of the franchisor making certain specific concessions. There are some terms which are almost certainly off the table, so no time needs to be wasted on those topics. An experienced franchise attorney will know which terms are most likely to be modified.

Usher Law Firm can help with franchise negotiations. Although not always possible, the goal is always for you to have (1) less exposure, and/or (2) more money in your hand.

Fixed, Flat-Fee Option

Usher Law Firm, P.A. has established a reasonable fixed, flat-fee for franchise selection legal service so you can discuss your franchise options with Attorney John Usher at length in person, by email and by phone.

Contact Usher Law Firm, P.A. for a

Franchise Consultation

Located in Ocala, Florida but serving the United States

Call Attorney John Usher today



Hire an Experienced Franchise Attorney

  • Franchise Disclosure Document
  • FDD Analysis & Negotiation
  • Franchise Due Diligence
  • What to Know Before You Sign
  • Franchise Building Lease
  • Analysis & Negotiation
  • E2/EB5 Visas – International Franchising & Investment
  • Franchise Resources


  • Finding The Right Franchise
  • Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)
  • Franchise Due Diligence
  • Franchise Resources
  • Franchise Document Analysis
  • Trademarks
  • Lease Review & Negotiation

Finding The Right Franchise

Fixed, Flat-Fee Option

Usher Law Firm, P.A. has established a reasonable fixed, flat-fee for franchise selection legal service so you can discuss your franchise options with Attorney John Usher at length in person, by email and by phone.

An Introduction to Franchising 

The selection of the “right” franchise, a critical first step in the investment process, begins with some self-analysis on the part of the potential franchisee.

What is a franchise?
What are the alternatives to franchising?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of owning a franchise?
What are the legal issues in franchising?

Beginning Your Search 

Usher Law Firm determines awareness of an individual investor's strengths and weaknesses. This is the starting point in selecting a franchise. Attorney John Usher will consider a person's life experience, talents, interests, needs, abilities and desires; all of these must be factored into the franchise equation.

What are your options when you begin your business?
How do you investigate your options?
How do you investigate a franchise?
What are your criteria for selecting a franchise?

Combining his experience as a franchisee with his extensive knowledge of the franchise industry, Attorney John N Usher can effectively assist entrepreneurs with the critically important franchise selection process.

Navigating the Paper Trail 

You need a credible person you can trust who is an independent professional looking out for your best interest. Trust Attorney John Usher to help you navigate the papers and evaluate the Franchise potential for success.

What information is found in the Disclosure Document (FDD)?
What do you have to know about financial statements?

Evaluating a Franchise-Interviewing Both Sides 

Sales people associated with a franchisor are obviously motivated to sell you his or her product.  While franchise brokers are available at “no cost to you” to match you with franchisors, the reality is they are paid by the franchisor with whom you sign.

What should I ask the franchisor?
What should I ask other franchisees?
What questions should I ask myself before buying a franchise?
What are the keys to franchise success?

Personally loving a product, service or brand does not mean it is a business venture you should commit your life to.

See why good ice cream can be bad business.

Free Initial Consultation for Franchise or Immigration matters.

Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)

What is a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)?

 An FDD is a legal document which is presented to prospective buyers of franchises in the pre-sale disclosure process in the United States. These documents are complex and the drafting of an FDD requires skill and precision. John Usher can assist you in the preparation of your unique FDD.

An estimated one out of every three dollars spent in retail in the U.S. is being spent with franchised brands. The lure of franchising is undeniably powerful. Each year approximately 400-500 new franchise offerings occur.

Usher Law Firm can help determine if your product or service is properly subject to being developed as a franchise. At a minimum, a business must have a unique product or service or business format that can be systematically reproduced.

Should the concept be viable as a franchise, Usher Law Firm can then inform you of the responsibilities and obligations associated with being a franchisor. Just like becoming a franchisee should be entered into with caution, committing to the development of a franchise requires caution as well.

If the development of a franchise system is viable, Usher Law Firm can prepare franchise disclosure documents and file state registrations where required.

Free Consultations and Spanish Language Services Available

If you live in Marion County, Florida, or the surrounding area, and need the assistance of a FDD preparation attorney, contact attorney John Usher. Call us at 352-509-5678 to schedule a free consultation.

Franchise Due Diligence

Franchise Due Diligence … Why You Can't Even Trust Yourself

If you are starting a franchise, opening a franchise or are engaging in any other type of franchise matter, due diligence is essential. Talking to franchise salespeople (and even franchisees) will not necessarily yield the facts you need to make a fully informed decision. Brokers are available to you “at no cost” and they will find you a franchisor but realize they are compensated by the franchisor (perhaps by a cut of your upfront franchise fee); so who's best interest do they have and is there any such thing as “a free lunch”?

Due diligence encompasses much more than searching the Internet and talking to a couple of people.

You simply should not invest your money, time and future without having done the most comprehensive due diligence possible. A review of litigation history, government filings and detailed profiles of the principals may be warranted.

It's important to appreciate that sometimes the best decision, the most rewarding, is to not move forward with a particular franchisor.

The key to effective Franchise Due Diligence is asking the right questions:

  • Do you know why good ice cream can be bad business?
  • What difference does it make if the franchisor is a publicly traded entity or a private equity enterprise?
  • Can you be compelled by the franchisor to sell a product at a loss?
  • What does the SBA know that you should know?
  • Why does it matter how “revenue” is defined?
  • How do franchisors “hide” failing units?
  • What is “a lack of reciprocity”?
  • Why would an existing franchisee not tell you the truth about his or her profitability?

Contact Usher Law Firm, P.A., to discuss your franchise law matter with our experienced Florida due diligence lawyer.

Franchise Resources



Legal Resources:

The State of Florida regulates “Business Opportunities” and filing is required

Dept. Agri. & Consumer Services

407 S. Calhoun St.

Finance & Accounting Section

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-2221

(800) 342-2176 (800 Number is good within Florida only)

Franchise Document Analysis

Comprehensive Legal Analysis of Your Franchise Documents

When it comes time to execute franchise documents, it's important a client can sign with confidence.

As part of your franchise undertaking, you will be asked to sign Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD).

 An FDD is a long, complex and extremely subtle legal document carefully crafted by law firms retained by franchisors to act in the franchisor's best interests.

 These documents are designed to benefit only one party and that party is not the franchisee. That's why every Usher Law Firm client receives a free “Franchise Miranda Warning.”

Unfortunately, FDDs often go unread by prospective franchisees. Many people simply believe that franchising is somehow “safe,” and they enter into one of the most significant financial events in their life without the benefit of an objective professional in their corner.

It's important to know that even though FDDs are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to have a mandatory structure, the FTC does not review or approve a franchise offering.

Contact Usher Law Firm to discuss your franchise law matter with an experienced Florida franchise attorney.


Experienced Franchise and Trademark Law Services Nationwide

An essential component of a franchise is a trademark. A business identifies its goods and services and distinguishes those from others' goods and services by the use of a trademark.

Usher Law Firm assists individuals and businesses with regulatory matters involving trademarks even if a franchise is not involved. Because there are significant benefits to owning a federal trademark registration, the establishment and protection of such a mark is important.

Usher Law Firm understands the importance of properly protecting your intellectual property and can help with trademark matters.

Contact Usher Law Firm, P.A., for a free consultation regarding all types of trademark law representation with our Florida trademark law attorney.

Located in Florida, Usher Law Firm can assist your business nationwide. If you are looking for quality franchise and trademark law services with exceptional results, consider Usher Law Firm, P.A. We will never hand your trademark case off to a paralegal or other legal assistant. Attorney, John N. Usher, will personally handle your case.

Trademark Law Services

As an experienced franchisee having operated over 20 units, attorney John N. Usher truly understands the questions, concerns and goals you have regarding your business. If this requires trademark law services, he can assist you in getting your trademark searched and properly registered.

Trademark services offered by Usher Law Firm:

  • Trademark Search and Registration: Usher Law Firm can instigate a search of federal, state and common law trademarks to determine no pre-existing trademark seems likely to prevent registration of your mark. Once confirmed, the trademark registration process can be commenced.

  • Trademark Monitoring: To not lose your trademark rights, you must defend your rights by notifying other parties if an infringement occurs. Ignoring an infringement can lead to a loss of your rights. Usher Law Firm can assist with monitoring needs.

  • Trademark Renewal: A trademark owner is required to make specific filings at various times of ownership. Usher Law Firm can calendar the events and assist with renewal compliance.

  • Trademark Office Action(s): If the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office makes an adverse determination or requests something from the applicant seeking registration, it is important the matter is properly addressed in a timely manner or, without further notice, the application will be considered abandoned and the fees forfeited. Usher Law Firm can effectively respond on your behalf should you or your business be faced with an Office Action.

Intellectual Property Overview

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies the source of goods and distinguishes those goods from the goods of others. A service mark does the same for services. The term “trademark” is used often to refer to both trademarks and service marks. Related marks include certification marks, collective membership marks and collective marks.

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship, including literary, artistic, software, musical and architectural creations.

Patents protect inventions and discoveries by the granting of a limited duration property right in exchange for public disclosure.

Trademark Basics

Although a federal trademark registration is not required by law, owning a federal trademark registration offers the following benefits:

(1) It provides public notice of your claim of ownership of the mark.

(2) It creates a legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide.

(3) It entitles you to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court.

(4) It helps you obtain trademark registration in foreign countries.

(5) It allows you to use the r in a circle federal registration symbol.

Usher Law Firm understands the importance of properly protecting your intellectual property and can help with copyright and trademark issues.

Free Consultations: United States Franchise Law Lawyer

For quality assistance from a Marion County trademark and franchise law attorney who services individuals and businesses nationwide, contact Usher Law Firm, P.A., in Ocala, Florida, to schedule a free consultation at 352-509-5678.

Lease Review & Negotiation

Although it may seem, on the surface, that a property lease is distinct from the franchise documents, that's not really the case.

For instance, franchise terms may dictate certain terms such as hours of operation, or other standards, that might conflict with some of the landlord's lease provisions. The different documents can create inconsistent obligations. A franchisee/tenant needs to verify the lease will work in conjunction with the franchise.

Besides just needing consistent terms, the tenant needs to have assurances the landlord will meet certain obligations important to the franchisee. For instance, the franchise agreement may require a franchisee open by a certain date. In such an event, the landlord needs to be legally obligated to fulfill certain conditions so the unit can be opened on time.

It's also typical for franchisors to require a lease rider so they have the opportunity to step into the space if the franchisee vacates. It's important to understand the interplay between the franchisor and a landlord.

The important point is the Franchise Agreement and the lease are not 2 independent, distinct things. They are both important documents that create significant obligations.

Usher Law Firm can review your proposed lease and, if needed, negotiate terms.

Helping clients worldwide with Franchise and Immigration matters in all 50 states Free Initial Consultation**

Franchise and Immigration Matters
(352) 329-6336
Linea En Espanol

Although based in Florida, Usher Law Firm, P.A. serves clients worldwide and helps with franchise and immigration matters in all 50 states.

At Usher Law Firm, you can count on caring, personal service.
**A minimal scheduling fee may apply to some cases