Our team assists business owners in structuring franchise systems, which often includes an initial evaluation of whether a franchise model is the best approach for your situation.
If franchising is the chosen model, we work with business owners and their teams with the legal aspects of setting up a franchise system: corporate structuring questions, intellectual property protection and structuring the franchise system and agreements to fit business goals. We assist with franchise law compliance and provide training to business owners and the franchisor’s staff to help ensure legal compliance from the beginning.
Initial Franchise Registration and Agreements
As part of the initial planning and structuring of your franchise business, our attorneys can assist in navigating the complexities of registration and exemptions. A key initial step is to register your franchise with the appropriate state regulatory agencies, and we advise on how to comply with widely varying regulations. Attention to details at the beginning of the process can avoid later costs and delays.
For startup franchises, our attorneys can prepare and review franchise disclosure documents and related agreements, including franchise and area development agreements and myriad others that franchise systems often use. In addition, as your system takes shape, our team can assist in:
- The draft and review of employment agreements, incentive contracts and operations manuals
- Real estate and tax issues
- Non-compete and confidentiality agreements
- Business succession planning
- Litigation avoidance and dispute resolution
Trademark and Copyright Services
As with any new business venture, your intellectual property should be taken into consideration and protected accordingly. Trademarks – often referred to as the “heart of a franchise” – need to be registered and aggressively protected. We can assist you with registering your trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or with foreign intellectual property authorities, counsel you on how to protect your proprietary marks and draft any associated trademark license agreements. We also will help you protect your copyrightable materials.