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A Place at Home Co-Founder Jerod Evanich on Franchising with The Internicola Law Firm

After franchising their senior care-focused business, Evanich and his partner found the legal support they needed to scale successfully.

Founded in 2012 by childhood friends Jerod Evanich and Dustin Distefano, A Place at Home began with a mission of meeting a critical need in the community.

After several unsuccessful attempts at finding satisfactory care for loved ones in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, Evanich and Distefano noticed a problem: there was a lack of high-quality in-home care options for seniors in their local area. Taking matters into their own hands, the pair co-founded A Place at Home to provide Omaha’s elderly population with better options for comprehensive, consistent and continuous care at every stage of the aging journey.

With Distefano at the helm as CEO and Evanich as president, the fledgling company experienced rapid growth during its early years in business – proving the value of its innovative in-home care model for seniors and their families.

That unexpected level of success confirmed to Evanich and Distefano that they were on the right path. With nearly half a decade of growth behind them and a desire to help more families in need of care for their loved ones, the partners turned their attention to franchising as they sought ways to bring their unique senior-focused model to communities across the country.

Laying the right foundation

As experienced business owners turned aspiring franchisors, Evanich and Distefano knew they needed to find a law firm that specialized in franchising to get the level of support necessary to scale their brand at the national level.

“We understood the importance of having a valued partner in franchising, in our Franchise Disclosure Document, our franchise agreement, and everything else that comes along with franchise law,” Evanich recalls.

After joining the International Franchise Association, the pair started looking for attorneys in the organization’s list of preferred vendors – a list Evanich describes as “lengthy.” Determined to find the right fit, Evanich says he and Distefano took their search seriously, going as far as to meet with lawyers in cities across the U.S.

"We did our due diligence – we talked to numerous attorneys, we visited attorneys in person across the country,” Evanich says.

It wasn’t until the partners found The Internicola Law Firm, though, that they knew they’d found the right match for their franchise’s legal needs.

“We really pinpointed Internicola. They absolutely stood out far and above any other firm that we had previously looked at,” Evanich says.

Succeeding on purpose

In 2017, just five years after opening A Place at Home, The Internicola Law Firm assisted Evanich and Distefano in developing their Franchise Disclosure Document – a complex, legally-mandated document necessary for franchisors to sell franchises in all fifty states.

“They helped us, in a very streamlined fashion, create our FDD – that was back in 2017 when that was accomplished. We've been working with them ever since,” Evanich says.

Since its FDD was issued that year, A Place at Home has grown to include 17 locations in 12 states. Offering franchisees pre- and post-opening support including software training, payroll and financial reporting training, onboarding, recruiting and hiring support, human resources assistance, branding and marketing support, ongoing business development coaching and more, it’s easy to see what franchisees find alluring about the company.

As the U.S. population continues to age and the need for senior care options increases, A Place at Home isn’t planning on slowing down any time soon. With its organized, success-driven mindset, the company has positioned itself for ongoing success.

A key part of that positioning is the brand’s strong underlying legal foundation, formed under the guidance of The Internicola Law Firm.

“Whether it's working on franchise disclosure information, current contract issues or questions, vendor agreements, even employee contracts, [Internicola does] it all. And they're extremely responsive, which I can't say enough about. It's nice to be able to talk to an attorney and not feel like you're on the clock. Not once have I ever felt rushed [or that they] have not paid extra attention to everything that we need,” Evanich says.

As A Place at Home continues to scale, Evanich has also come to rely on The Internicola Law Firm’s expertise for other legal needs – like growing new businesses.

“We're currently actually using Internicola for multiple franchise businesses. So, not only did we take that leap of faith once. We've doubled down and tripled down, and we continue to utilize them to help bolster our growth in franchising,” Evanich says.

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