Virtually all franchise agreements include a venue provision wherein any litigation and/or arbitration will be heard in the home state of the franchisor. For San Diegans, this means somewhere other than California. This is of course problematic especially for the small businesses with limited resources. Litigating or arbitrating a case in a distant jurisdiction is more costly and time consuming than it would otherwise be here in San Diego. In many cases, franchisees are simply priced out of the process and have little recourse but to try and negotiate some sort of reasonable solution with the franchisor in lieu of facing a default judgment and/or bankruptcy.
Unfortunately for franchisees, it is almost always impossible to negotiate away venue provisions in franchise agreements. This is particularly true with national chains. Venue provisions provide the national chains legal consistency, and it's the rare circumstance that they would be willing to give up this important benefit. Nonetheless, it's important for franchisees to discuss the matter with their business attorney and/or try to negotiate the provision's removal. Understanding the consequences of the provision better prepares the franchisee should a dispute later arise with the franchisor. It also provides the franchisee the opportunity to explore other options. Selecting a franchise located in one's home state is a better option all other factors being equal. If you are considering the purchase of a franchise, consult a San Diego franchise attorney for assistance.