Franchise Law

The attorneys at Price, Meese, Shulman & D’Arminio, PC, are experienced franchise attorneys who are called upon to represent franchisees on a regular basis. During the business formation phase, our clients often review all options available to them which includes joining a franchise or distributorship that has a nationally recognized brand. For the franchisee or distributee this brings an already established marketing, name recognition, and customer base. Obviously, it is enticing to start with an established name on day one simply by signing an agreement with a franchisor or distributor, but it just as important that our client is fully familiar with all of the potential issues, such as fees, brand standards, quality assurance controls, and other rights and obligations that come with such a relationship.

In any situation where our clients are considering joining a franchise or distributorship, we are prepared to run them through all of the issues to first help them determine whether it is a good business decision, and then to aid them in negotiating the terms of the franchise agreement. In such situations, clients can expect to be handed a standard franchise agreement that every potential franchisee receives and a Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC). It takes an experienced franchise law attorney to know which terms are set in stone, which terms are negotiable, what provisions and protections can be added, and most importantly, which sections seem innocent, but are often the largest problem for the franchisee once they are actually operating the business.

Even after reaching a negotiated and fair agreement, the role of our attorneys does not end. Operating under a franchise agreement can be both lucrative and frustrating. Businesses are not free to react as quickly as they would like and are often hindered in how they can advertise locally, or by paying a portion of their gross income as royalties. It is important to have an attorney who is familiar with the terms, rights, and obligations under the Franchise Agreement that franchisees can rely on to protect themselves and their businesses, as well as advise them on the typical legal issues of small businesses such as banking, commercial leasing, land use, and employment issues.

We have dealt with all facets of franchise law, and our diverse experience allows us to bring a unique perspective to every case. Led by Michael Orozco and Terence Steed, our attorneys are experienced handling franchise and distributorship issues involving:

  • Fast food chains
  • Convenience stores
  • Hotel chains
  • Real estate ventures
  • Recreation facilities
  • Retail enterprises
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Other services

Our attorneys are fully familiar with the relationship between the large franchisors and the small business franchisees and can provide you with professional services in all facets of this highly technical area of law, including:

  • Franchise planning, including thorough UFOC review and preparation, financing, franchise contract review and more;
  • Franchise contracts, including drafting, reviewing and negotiating master franchise agreements, marketing agreements, distribution agreements and other contracts involving the franchise;
  • Franchise transactions, including the formation, purchase, sale, acquisition or expansion of a franchise operation;
  • Franchise disputes and litigation, including representation of the franchisor or the franchisee in complex franchise litigation, business litigation, distributorship litigation, and alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration;
  • Other franchise law issues, including franchise regulatory compliance and franchise termination.

We strongly encourage any entrepreneur to contact us if they are considering a franchise or franchise business plan, negotiating a franchise agreement, operating under a franchise agreement, seeking to efficiently terminate an agreement early , or are facing litigation arising out of a Franchise Agreement termination or distributor termination. In all of these situations, and more, the attorneys of Price, Meese, Shulman & D’Arminio, P.C. can provide significant savings and protection for our clients.

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