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Terms of Use and Privacy





Terms of Use

All websites have (or should have) a terms of use that regulate the use and viewing of content. They are generally upheld by the courts. So this is my terms of use for this web site. By reading, linking to, quoting, printing out, or in any way making use of FranchisePundit’s content in any means, place, or forum, you agree to the following:

1. All original content of FranchisePundit is copyrighted by FranchisePundit’s owner, presently Ryan Knoll, and is not to be used without permission except as provided herein. FranchisePundit, Franchise Pundit, FranchisePundit.com, and “the inside scoop on franchises” are all trademarks belonging to Ryan Knoll. In using FranchisePundit you recognize that FranchisePundit is primarily a personal opinion journal, that all content is provided on an as-is basis, and that no factual statement on this site should be relied upon without further investigation on your part sufficient to satisfy you in your independent judgment that it is true. In other words, don’t rely on this webblog to make a decision to buy or sell a franchise! These terms of use are subject to change, and should be reviewed regularly.

2. Permission is granted to read, quote, cite, link to, print out or otherwise use FranchisePundit content, so long as you comply with the terms below.

A. All quotations from FranchisePundit will include credit to FranchisePundit or to Ryan Knoll and, wherever practicable, a hyperlink of the form http://franchisepundit.com … to the site.

B. In exchange for the access to FranchisePundit content described above, you agree not to sue FranchisePundit for its content, whether original or linked or quoted from another source, in any court, on any grounds whatsoever in law or equity. Should you violate this agreement by filing such a lawsuit, you agree to pay FranchisePundit’s owner or owners the sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000) as liquidated damages, in addition to all attorney’s fees, court costs, and other expenses associated with this litigation, and to indemnify and save harmless FranchisePundit and its owners from any damage award made against them in such an action. Should this agreement not to sue be held unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, you agree to binding arbitration, with all arbitration expenses to be paid by you. The arbitration panel shalll be composed of three (3) weblog operators selected by FranchisePundit’s owners or operators. The award in such arbitration shall be limited to (1) a monetary sum not to exceed $10; and (2) the publication of a retraction on the FranchisePundit site. Should this arbitration provision be held uneforceable in a court of competent jurisdiction, you agree to accept as liquidated damages in any lawsuit against FranchisePundit the sum of ten dollars ($10), and you agree that you will be entitled to no other relief of any kind in law or equity. You agree that all disputes concerning these terms of use or the content of FranchisePundit.com are to be resolved in the courts of Cook County, Illinois, under the laws of Illinois and the United States of America.

C. You agree that efforts to obtain FranchisePundit content in violation or circumvention of these terms of use constitute a violation of FracnhisePundit’s copyright and you understand and agree that (1) by virtue of this agreement you are estopped from arguing otherwise: and (2) such violations may lead to civil or criminal penalties.

D. If you are some form an incorporated entity (such as a corporation, L.P, L.L.C., or any other business form), you agree to provide, upon the filing of any lawsuit or the mailing of any letter threatening legal action, a bond in the amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000) as security against the liquidated damages provided for in paragraph 2.B. above. If you are an attorney or law firm representing a party filing such lawsuit or causing such a letter to be sent, you agree to provide a bond in the same amount as security against the liquidated damages provided for in paragraph 2.B. above unless you have never accessed, viewed, read, or otherwise made use of FranchisePundit content in any form.

3. This weblog is for educational purposes only and does not provide specific legal or financial advice. You agree not to hold this web site or its owners or content providers liable for any loss or damages. In addition, this web site nor its owners or content providers do not endorse, warrant or guarantee any information is accurate. For legal advice you need to consult with an attorney in your state. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

4. If you do not agree to these terms of use, exit the site immediately, destroy all copies of FranchisePundit content remaining in any form on your computer, any other computer or network device under your control, in print form, or on any information storage or retrieval device that you possess or control. Then execute the following affidavit and send it to the address you will receive by emailing ryan@franchisepundit.com.


I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that I possess no copies of the FranchisePundit website in any form whatsoever; that neither I nor any employee or associate will access that site in the future in any form whatsoever; that I will immediately destroy any copies of FranchisePundit content that happen to come into my possession. I understand that action contrary to these statements constitutes both perjury and a violation of the FranchisePundit Terms of Use, subjecting me to possible civil and criminal liability.

Signed (include date)

Witnessed (notary)

Notary Seal:

My commission expires: ______________


Your privacy is very important to FranchisePundit (“FranchisePundit”). We want to make your experience with our services and on the Internet as enjoyable and rewarding as possible, and we want you to use the Internet’s vast array of information, tools and opportunities with complete confidence.

We have created this Privacy Policy to demonstrate our firm commitment to privacy and security. This Privacy Policy describes how FranchisePundit collects information from all end users of FranchisePundit’s internet services (the “Services”) – those who access some of our Services but do not have accounts (“Visitors”) as well as those who pay a service fee to subscribe to the Service (“Users”) – what we do with the information we collect, and the choices Visitors and Users have concerning the collection and use of such information. FranchisePundit requests that you read this Privacy Policy carefully.

  1. Introduction. FranchisePundit collects information in different ways from Visitors and Users who access the various parts of our Services and the network of Web sites accessible through our Services. We use this information primarily to provide a customized experience as You use our Services and, generally, do not share this information with third parties. However, we may disclose personal information collected if we have received your permission beforehand or in very special circumstances, such as when we believe that such disclosure is required or permitted by law or other special cases described below.
  2. Registration and Account Information. Users are asked to provide certain personal information when they sign up for our Services including name, address, and telephone number. In addition, Users are asked to complete an online form that collects information about demographics and other information that will help us improve our services. The personal information collected from Users through these forms is used to manage each User’s account (such as for billing purposes) and provide Users with information about services that may be of interest to them. This information is not shared with third parties, unless specifically stated otherwise or in special circumstances. However, in instances where FranchisePundit and a partner jointly promote the Services, FranchisePundit may provide the partner certain personal information, such as the name, address, and username of persons who subscribed to the Services as a result of the joint promotion for the sole purpose of allowing us and the partner to assess the results of the promotion. In this instance, personal information may not be used by the partner for any other purpose. FranchisePundit may also generate non-identifying and aggregate profiles from personal information Users provide during registration (such as the total number, but not the names, of Users). As explained in more detail below, we may in certain instances use this aggregated and non-identifying information to sell advertisements that appear on the Services.
  3. Online Advertisements. FranchisePundit does not share personal information about its Visitors or Users with advertisers. FranchisePundit may display online advertisements and may share aggregated and non-identifying information about our Visitors and Users collected through the registration process, as well as through online surveys and promotions with these advertisers. Additionally, in some instances, we use this aggregated and non-identifying information to deliver tailored advertisements. For instance, an advertiser tells us the audience they want to reach (for example, potential franchisees) and provides us an advertisement tailored to the audience. Based upon the aggregated and non-identifying information we have collected, we may then display the advertisement to the intended audience.
  4. Responses to E-mail Inquiries. When Visitors or Users send e-mail inquiries to FranchisePundit, the return e-mail address is used to answer the e-mail inquiry we receive. FranchisePundit does not use the return e-mail address for any other purpose and does not share the return e-mail address with any third party.
  5. Voluntary Customer Surveys. We may periodically conduct both business and individual customer surveys. We encourage our Users to participate in these surveys because they provide us with important information that helps us to improve the types of services we offer and how we provide them to you. Your personal information and responses will remain strictly confidential, even if the survey is conducted by a third party. Participation in our customer surveys is voluntary. We take the information we receive from individuals responding to our Customer Surveys and combine (or aggregate) it with the responses of other FranchisePundit Users to create broader, generic responses to the survey questions (such as gender, age, residence, hobbies, education, employment, industry sector, or other demographic information). We then use the aggregated information to improve the quality of our services to you, and to develop new services and products. This aggregated, non-personally identifying information may be shared with third parties. Unless otherwise noted in the survey invitation or the survey itself, Users have the option of completing surveys anonymously or providing us with contact information. We may use the contact information to follow up with Users based on the answers they provide. We may also contact you to highlight the changes we have made in response to feedback.
  6. Special Cases. It is FranchisePundit’s policy not to use or share the personal information about Visitors of Users in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing you an opportunity to opt out or otherwise prohibit such unrelated uses. However, FranchisePundit may disclose personal information about Visitors or Users, or information regarding your use of the Services or Web sites accessible through our Services, for any reason if, in our sole discretion, we believe that it is reasonable to do so, including: to satisfy laws, such as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, regulations, or governmental or legal requests for such information; to disclose information that is necessary to identify, contact, or bring legal action against someone who may be violating our Acceptable Use Policy or other user policies; to operate the Services properly; or to protect FranchisePundit and our Users.
  7. “Cookies” and How FranchisePundit Uses Them. A “cookie” is a small data file that can be placed on your hard drive when you visit certain Web sites. FranchisePundit may use cookies to collect, store, and sometimes track information for statistical purposes to improve the products and services we provide and to manage our telecommunications networks.. These cookies do not enable third parties to access any of your User information. Additionally, be aware that if you visit non-FranchisePundit Web sites where you are prompted to log in or that are customizable, you may be required to accept cookies. Advertisers and partners may also use their own cookies. We do not control use of these cookies and expressly disclaim responsibility for information collected through them. In addition, FranchisePundit utilizes cookies to track referrals from internal and external affiliates, as well as advertising campaigns.
  8. FranchisePundit.com Statistics. We use information gathered from our site statistics (for example, User IP addresses) to help diagnose problems with our servers, and to administer our Web site. We also gather broad demographic information from this data to help us improve our site and make your browsing and purchasing experience more enjoyable. This is not linked to any personally identifiable information, except as necessary to prevent fraud or abuse on our system.
  9. FranchisePundit’s Commitment to Children’s Privacy. Protecting children’s privacy is especially important to us. It is our policy to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 and all other applicable laws. While we make every effort to ensure that our web sites are fun and age-appropriate for our younger audience, we believe that there is no substitute for proper parental supervision. FranchisePundit recommends that children ask a parent for permission before sending personal information to FranchisePundit, or to anyone online.
  10. Public Forums. Please remember that any information you may disclose in our blog comments or discussion forms, or other public areas of our Web sites or the Internet, becomes public information. You should exercise caution when deciding to disclose personal information in these public areas. If anonymous posting is important, you may want to seek methods to mask your IP address from our logs, such as using an offshore VPN or proxy service in a privacy friendly jurisdiction.
  11. FranchisePundit’s Commitment to Data Security. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet or any wireless network can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personally identifiable information, you acknowledge that: (a) there are security and privacy limitations of the Internet which are beyond our control; (b) the security, integrity and privacy of any and all information and data exchanged between you and us through this site cannot be guaranteed; and (c) any such information and data may be viewed or tampered with in transit by a third party, despite our best efforts.
  12. How to Access or Modify Your Information. To ensure you receive the information you need to manage your account and protect your privacy, please be sure to keep your contact and billing information up to date. You can update all account-related information directly through your Control Panel. Alternatively, you can contact FranchisePundit Support by phone or through our online support form.
  13. Where to Direct Questions About FranchisePundit’s Privacy Policy. If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or the practices described herein, you may contact us at ryan@FranchisePundit.comt.
  14. Exceptions. Except as stated in this policy, we will typically never give out your information without your permission. We reserve the right to give out such information without explicit permission in the following circumstances:
    1. As and to the extent required or permitted by law, or where we believe in good-faith that it is reasonably necessary to comply with subpoenas, court orders, other legal process, or requests of governmental authorities;
    2. When intended to report, prevent or assist in the investigation of suspected fraud or other illegal activities, or otherwise to take actions in connection with such activities;
    3. To enforce our Terms of Service or otherwise establish or exercise our legal rights or defense against legal claims; or
    4. Otherwise as provided for in the this Privacy Policy.
  15. Revisions to This Policy. FranchisePundit reserves the right to revise, amend, or modify this policy, and our other policies and agreements at any time and in any manner. Notice of any revision, amendment, or modification will be posted in accordance with the Terms of Service.


FranchisePundit’s Privacy Policy generally prohibits the release of User or account information except in limited circumstances, including with express permission from the User, as and when required or permitted by law, to conform to the edicts of the law, or to comply with legal process properly served on FranchisePundit or one of its affiliates.

If you seek the identity or account information of a FranchisePundit User in connection with a civil legal matter, you must fax, mail, or serve FranchisePundit with a valid subpoena.

Submission of Subpoenas

All civil subpoenas should be served by e-mail to:  ryanknoll@gmail.com


Upon the receipt of a validly issued civil subpoena, FranchisePundit will promptly notify the User whose information is sought via e-mail or U.S. mail. If the circumstances do not amount to an emergency, FranchisePundit will not immediately produce the User’s information sought by the subpoena and will provide the User an opportunity to move to quash the subpoena in court.

Fees for Subpoena Compliance

FranchisePundit will charge the person or entity submitting the civil subpoena for costs associated with subpoena compliance. Payment must be made within thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of the FranchisePundit invoice. Checks should be made out to FranchisePundit.

FranchisePundit’s subpoena compliance costs are as follows:

Research – $75.00/hour
Federal Express – Cost as Billed
Copies – $.50/page
Compact Discs – $10.00/per CD

Policies Regarding E-mail

FranchisePundit will not produce the content of e-mail, as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq., prohibits an electronic communications service provider from producing the contents of electronic communications, even pursuant to subpoena or court order, except in limited circumstances. FranchisePundit’s servers do not, except in exceptional circumstances, retain deleted content for any length of time

FranchisePundit reserves the right to request a copy of the complaint and any supporting documentation that demonstrates how the FranchisePundit’s conntent is related to the pending litigation and the underlying subpoena.

Revised:July 2014