New Franchisors

Congratulations! You've created a business concept which you can teach others to recreate and operate. Franchising is an excellent model for expanding your business and profiting from your success.

But be aware. Franchising is governed by very particular federal and state laws. Some of these laws impose stiff civil penalties for non-compliance.

Additionally, successful franchising will require that you (the franchisor) clearly establish the obligations between you and your franchisee(s).

Federal Disclosures / The FDD

Federal disclosure laws exist to ensure that prospective franchisees are provided essential information about the franchisor, its business, and the contract that will be entered between the franchisor and the franchisee.

These disclosures must be provided in a lengthy and detailed document, known as a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).

Additional State Law Compliance

Some -- but not all -- states impose additional requirements upon franchisors. Most of these states' statutes are patterned after California's franchise sales laws. However, each states statutes are sufficiently different from the next. These differences leave franchisors that offer franchises on a multi-state basis to contend with an uneven patchwork of rules.

The Franchise Agreement

Your franchise agreement is the actual written contract between you and your franchisee. It will set out all of the parties rights and obligations. If written properly, it will significantly reduce disputes, and it will protect both you and your good franchisees from damage that can be caused by bad franchisees.

Trademarks

One of the fundamental aspects of a franchised business is the common brand name. If you haven't already done so, you will want to obtain trademark rights in your franchises name and logos.

The Role of Your Franchise Lawyer

The attorneys at Dickinson & Wheelock have experience in both the legal and business aspects of franchising.

We will help you structure your franchise and comply with all the legal disclosure requirements. We provide the following types of services to new franchisors:

  • Draft and regularly update your FDD, in compliance with the FTC-Rule
  • Ensure compliance with the law of each particular registration state
  • Guidance in the type of franchise structure (e.g. single units, area development, sub-franchising, etc.)
  • Guidance in the terms of your franchise agreement (e.g. royalties, fees, confidentiality, non-competition, reporting, audit, default, transfer, renewal, etc.)
  • Draft franchise agreements and related agreements
  • Obtain and ensure trademarks and licenses to vital intellectual property
  • Negotiate and document deals with prospective franchisees
  • Provide ongoing legal support in all business areas (i.e. serving as general counsel in business transactions, employment issues, litigation (and litigation avoidance), etc.)

Contact

Jeff Wheelock

1.800.727.3458

Houston: 713.722.8118

Read what others have to say about our franchise expertise

Jeff has the right amount of guidance to tailor any of your franchise needs. Dealing with his company was a pleasure. I appreciate his knowledge and diligence in handling my franchise disclosure and agreement. Jeff is detailed, personable, charismatic,and professional. Step by step directions were given in every phase leading up to my closing. His expertise made me feel comfortable in making my decisions. He is definitely one of the best. I’m extremely satisfied!
Becky M.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Jeff Wheelock is very knowledgeable about franchise, and explains those FDD terms really well. He gave clear outline of his service, and I knew right away what I would be getting after the first phone conversion with him. He is efficient and his work is phenomenal. At the end, I feel I have a much clear picture about I am getting into, and thanks to Jeff!
Hao G.
Jeff took me through my franchise agreement line by line making sure i understood every detail i was signing. He focused on two main categories - am i protected if things go really well and am i protected is if things do not go well. I had no idea how exposed i was in the downside scenario until he walked me through a few example situations. I also did not understand the exposure i was taking on the upside scenario. When i read the agreement i read the part about territory completely wrong and because of his accurate assessment of territory i chose to not pursue this franchise. He created a simple to read addendum that i was able to send on to the franchise owners and gave me great tips on negotiating terms. When i find another franchise i intend to pursue i will definitely contact Jeff again to review any agreements before i sign.
Diane H.

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