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Legal

Looking for answers to pressing legal questions about franchising? What’s keeping you up at night? Federal, state, and local laws affecting everything from minimum wage to employee scheduling are critical to managing your business successfully. Find what you need to know about today’s legal issues from top franchise attorneys.

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BrandWide
BrandWide offers a software platform and services to help franchise brands grow and make their franchisees successful. We also offer full-service digital marketing & lead generation services for the franchisor’s brand and the franchisees.
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Arby's
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Recognizing the challenges of today's retail markets, most franchisors are creating strategic solutions for their franchise systems.
  • Anthony J. Calamunci
  • 1,274 Reads 6 Shares
A State of Washington Appellate Court ruling (Marte v. Hernandez, May 16, 2011) demonstrates that deception can cause even blood relationships to disintegrate.
  • Richard S. Mulligan
  • 9,798 Reads 677 Shares
The most obvious area in franchising where the lines between consultants and lawyers frequently blur is within the professional services provided to emerging franchisors.
  • Michael Seid And Kay Marie Ainsley
  • 1,376 Reads 11 Shares
Recently, Groupon and LivingSocial, two leaders in daily deal website offerings, have been hit with multiple lawsuits.
  • Maureen E. Mulvihill
  • 36,995 Reads 11 Shares
Data breaches are common: more than 300 major breaches involving more than 100 million consumer records are reported each year.
  • David Zetoony & Louise Nutt
  • 3,844 Reads 1 Shares
Consumer survey results indicate that 97 percent of consumers investigate products and services over the Internet before buying.
  • Kerry Pipes
  • 3,407 Reads 57 Shares
Gone are the days when site selection in the QSR space meant securing a location nearest to McDonald's.
  • Anthony Calamunci
  • 1,684 Reads 25 Shares
Contracts with the suppliers that provide the "secret sauce," hats with logos, on-time delivery, and other key ingredients of a franchise system sometimes take the back burner compared with those agreements that drive system expansion, such as the negotiation and execution of franchise and development agreements.
  • Suzie Trigg and Emma Ricaurte Harker
  • 2,004 Reads 81 Shares
Through endless repetition soldiers commit to muscle memory every detail of each maneuver so they can perform without thinking in the mind-numbing chaos of battle.
  • Fredric A. Cohen
  • 6,334 Reads
A lawyer or doctor who acts negligently can be sued for malpractice. Many franchisees rely on the franchisor's purported expertise in running their business.
  • Glenn Plattner and Shelly Gopaul
  • 3,544 Reads
Online marketing, social media, and social commerce have created an environment that places an increased burden on franchise marketing departments.
  • Keith Klein
  • 9,864 Reads 931 Shares
Urban Air Adventure Park
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The current "credit crisis" should not have to be a major obstacle for franchisors and franchisees seeking to expand their businesses. To reach an effective solution, it is necessary to examine the relationship paradigm between the lender, franchisor, and franchisee with a goal toward creating greater awareness and understanding of the objectives of all involved.
  • Joyce Mazero And Emma Ricaurte Harker
  • 5,260 Reads 130 Shares
One of the most difficult things to impress upon start-up franchisors is the amount of time, resources, and manpower it takes to establish a uniform system and, equally important, to monitor compliance with that system.
  • Richard S. Mulligan
  • 12,013 Reads 2,394 Shares
Franchise systems must stay dynamic, not static. Reduced recessionary spending demands introduction of new product assortments and pricing programs. Decreases in franchisees' financial performance mandates a product line adjustment. Whether driven by external or internal forces, every franchise system must be prepared to adapt to remain relevant, viable, and competitive.
  • Amy Cheng
  • 5,344 Reads 1,023 Shares
Many retailers are interested in building up new business by offering a deeply discounted "Groupon-like" gift certificate program. These programs market to local residents that, for example, for $25 they can get $50 worth of food at Fred's Pub. To be effective, the discounted certificate almost always has a short expiration date, a few weeks or months.
  • Judith Rinearson
  • 1,217 Reads
What is Franchise Social Media? Basically, it's more than just social media. It's the application and utilization of social media within a franchise environment. Sure, many of the same principles apply. But, franchising is different than most small business models. It's unique in many ways beyond the typical B2B or B2C model. There are specific disclosure laws that are a major part of the franchise candidate recruitment process. Even from a consumer proposition standpoint, the integrity of the entire franchise organization must be considered. And, one cannot discuss social media in a franchise environment without touching upon guidelines, policies and procedures, and brand uniformity.
  • Paul R Segreto
  • 13,885 Reads 2 Shares
In the previous issue, I presented observations about defects I perceived in the U.S.'s system of franchise sales regulation. The essence of my position was that having duplicative regulation at the federal and state levels adds significant costs to the regulatory system--with little improvement in the regulatory environment.
  • Rupert M. Barkoff
  • 5,675 Reads
Contract negotiations are usually about the relative value of "things." Each party seeks the highest value for their "thing" while downplaying the value of the other's "thing." Negotiations around those "things" are particularly difficult in international franchise transactions where relationships can span generations, territories can include entire countries, and the franchisor's system is at the core of the franchisee's business. In other words, the franchisee will set out to build an empire on a foundation it only borrows from the franchisor. That fact critically shapes the parties' negotiations.
  • Michael Daigle
  • 4,740 Reads 36 Shares
The onset of social media may have taken some by surprise, and others may have written off its arrival anticipating an equally quick departure. Whichever it may be, social media is not a passing fad and should be recognized as an integral part of marketing.
  • Keith D. Klein
  • 2,674 Reads 7 Shares
Are you someone who would you like to know the calorie count of that scrumptious three-layer cake at your favorite restaurant? Even if you're not, menu labeling is now a fact for U.S. restaurant-goers and many restaurant operators alike under the new national health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Section 4205 of the Act, signed into law March 23, 2010, sets new federal requirements for nutritional labeling of foods sold at "chain retail food establishments."
  • Regina Amolsch
  • 2,001 Reads 15 Shares
For many franchisors with a December 31st fiscal year, now is the time to start preparing to renew their franchise documentation. The FTC rules require that the franchise disclosure document (FDD) must be updated within 120 days of the expiration of a franchisor's fiscal year. Registration states, such as New York, have an identical requirement. As a franchisor prepares to do so, that process presents an opportunity to review and improve franchise documentation, particularly the franchise agreement.
  • Terrence M. Dunn
  • 3,907 Reads 1,021 Shares
Blaze Pizza
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Franchisors and franchisees who accept credit or debit cards as payment from consumers are familiar with--and likely disdainful of--the fees that card issuers and banks charge for those transactions. The largest component of these fees are called "interchange fees," which are fees that card-issuing banks charge to a merchant or retailer's bank in exchange for processing the transaction. Interchange fees (along with other small fees) are then passed along to the retailer or merchant. In this way, interchange fees affect the prices that many businesses charge to consumers for goods and services.
  • Michael Laidhold
  • 2,194 Reads 48 Shares
U.S. franchisor interest in Asia seems to be at an all-time high, yet from a legal compliance standpoint it has never been more difficult to enter into many of the various Asian markets.
  • Robert A. Lauer
  • 7,363 Reads 966 Shares
Like it or not, litigation comes to virtually all franchise systems. Take a moment to see how savvy you are on franchise litigation issues based on real-world cases.
  • Jonathan Solish
  • 5,688 Reads 1,014 Shares
As savvy franchise companies continue to flourish in this challenging economy, FUSR will continue to bring you good news each month, highlighting brands that are adding units, increasing comp store sales, striking deals with investors, and continuing to grow despite the economy - maybe even because of it. And, as the U.S. struggles through its "jobless recovery," growth-oriented franchisors continue to look overseas for expansion opportunities.
  • Franchise Update
  • 4,888 Reads 93 Shares
There is an open debate among attorneys over the value of using social media (blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter predominantly) and even websites to generate business for themselves.
  • Terrence M. Dunn
  • 2,866 Reads 17 Shares
I begin this column by stating where I am going with this piece. I am going to put franchise sales legislation and regulation under the microscope, and ask the penetrating question of whether it is, or is not, necessary. (Similar questions should be asked about franchise relationship legislation, but I will leave that for a future column.)
  • Rupert M. Barkoff
  • 2,949 Reads 17 Shares
Over the last several years, a number of jurisdictions have enacted legislation requiring chain restaurants to disclose caloric content and other information regarding their foods. Most commonly, caloric content must be placed on the menu board or menu near the corresponding food item
  • Anthony Marks
  • 1,125 Reads 3 Shares
Gift cards can be an important component of customer loyalty programs. They can help attract customers, driving sales and brand awareness. New federal rules governing the use of gift cards have recently gone into effect. You certainly should be aware of and comply with the new laws.
  • Jan Gilbert and Suzie Loonam Trigg
  • 7,071 Reads 198 Shares
In the race to boost sales in a tight economy, franchisors are offering many different kinds of financial incentives to attract potential franchisees and to help their existing franchisees survive and expand. Last month, the authors provided an overview of today's economic environment, along with details on what Chick-fil-A, Saladworks, and Friendly's are doing to help franchisees obtain the funding they need. This month, they describe the programs under way at five more franchisors.
  • Lane Fisher and F. Joseph Dunn
  • 4,310 Reads

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