Franchise law requires familiarity with both federal and state laws that regulate the offer and sale of franchises. Our franchise lawyers have a national franchise practice representing both franchisors and franchisees, including the representation of franchisors in industries as diverse as advertising, fitness and weight loss, home health care, ground transportation, home improvements, restaurants and sailing and boating.
Representation of franchisors and potential franchisors often involves, as an initial step, analyzing a proposed business structure to determine whether (i) the structure creates a franchise under federal law or, if applicable, state law, or (ii) the structure can be modified to avoid the application of franchise laws.
When a business structure constitutes a franchise for federal or state purposes, our franchise lawyers can help you through the process of preparing the franchise disclosure documents required by federal and some state laws, as well as unit-level franchise agreements, multi-unit development agreements and master (or sub-franchising) relationships. In addition, our franchise lawyers ensure that you are properly registered as required in certain “registration states”, including Maryland, before you offer or grant franchises in such states. Our franchise lawyers can also generally advise you on other issues that will arise as your franchise network expands, both domestically and internationally.
If the business relationship contemplated is not a franchise as a matter of law, or can be restructured to avoid the franchise classification, our franchise lawyers will prepare the contracts and related documents necessary for you to form business relationships without inadvertently granting a franchise.
In addition to our active franchisor practice, our franchise law team also represents prospective franchisees and active multi-unit franchisees in the evaluation of the franchise opportunity, the negotiation of contracts and leases, business entity formation, mergers and acquisitions and dispute resolution.