Top 8 questions you need to ask your restaurant lawyer

Experienced Real Estate Attorney Will Save You Thousands

A good real estate attorney that’s been in the game for a long time will also be able to broker your deal. Make sure when interviewing your restaurant real estate attorney you ask them the following questions:

  1. How long have you been working as a restaurant real estate attorney?
  2. Can you also help negotiate and broker my deal?
  3. What clients have you represented in the restaurant industry?
  4. Do you have any connections with strip malls and indoor malls?
  5. What are your fees?
  6. How much do I have to have in escrow?
  7. Will you review and negotiate my LOI (Letter of Intent)?
  8. Does your fee also include legally reviewing and assisting me in executing my lease?

A very good real estate attorney should be able to answer all these questions with confidence and will probably charge you $1,500 for negotiations, and $500 for the legal work. Remember your attorney is representing you as your broker, it’s likely they will also get paid a nice broker fee from the landlord. Your attorney should disclose this to you. Just make sure your real estate attorney has experience with strip malls, indoor malls, and the restaurant industry. I’ve seen some very good restaurant owners get burned because their real estate attorney did not broker a good deal for them and they wound up paying rent prior to opening. When I first started it happened to me and I don’t want it to happen to you.

Below is an example of 1 of 50 pages marked up by my attorney/broker. All I can tell you is that there is a lot of blah, blah, blah, and I’m glad I have an attorney. I’m always amazed how many things are changed after my attorney reviews the lease and his thoroughness has saved me many times! Just make sure you got a very good attorney on your side.

attorney-broker-restaurant

I like to use a different attorney for my business needs. They are specialized in creating corporations, advising on partnerships, and all aspects of business. When it comes to creating a corporation, the prices are very competitive. Do a Google search and you will find many attorneys online.

With less than $200 dollars you can create a corporation, get a Federal ID, sub “S” election, and the first minutes written up in your first shareholders meeting. Take the time to price them out and look around. Many business attorney websites offer many other services. Make sure to seek advice from your accountant and attorney to make sure you set up the corporate structure that is best for you.

  • Corporate or Company Seal and Book
  • Certificate or Articles of Incorporation or Organization
  • Company or Corporate Minutes
  • Corporate By Laws or LLC Regulations
  • Membership or Stock Certificate
  • Preliminary Name Search
  • Includes attorney’s fee

You can do this on your own as well and save the $200 – $300 dollars. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself or don’t have the time, get a professional business attorney to knock it out for you and insure it’s done right. The attorney may have questions that are important to your business and they’ll insure all your bases are covered. If you ever have an issue, just fax or email it to them.

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