When a franchisor and franchisee conflict, they must hire a lawyer who understands franchising laws. Franchising is a complex legal relationship between two parties, and a franchisor litigation attorney is familiar with the nuances of the law.
They can represent either the franchisor or franchisee in court and their experience with franchise law will give them an advantage in litigation. If you enter a dispute with your franchisor or franchisee, you want to hire a franchise litigation attorney to help you resolve the issue.
State and Federal Franchising Laws
A franchisor is the owner of a franchised business. At the same time, a franchisee is an individual or company granted the right to use the franchisor’s business name, trademark, and processes to open and operate their own franchised location. The Federal Trade Commission Franchise Rule is applicable in all states in the US. Franchisors should deliver a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) to franchisees 14 days before:
- The franchisee accepts and signs an agreement on the proposed franchise sale.
- The franchisee pays the franchisor for the proposed franchise sale.
The components of the Franchise Rule are the FDD format and content and the language to be used for particular disclosures.
State Franchise Law
The law requires franchisors to comply with FTC Franchise Rule and state franchise laws since no law preempts the other. State franchise laws safeguard residents of a particular state from deceptive and unfair franchisors’ practices. The applicable law is the state law where the franchisee operates their franchised business. State franchise laws fall under categories including:
- Franchise registration laws. Those that require a franchisor to register the franchise before selling it.
- Franchise disclosure laws. These require franchisors to give particular information to prospective franchisees before a franchise purchase.
- Franchise relationship laws. Those that regulate the partnership between the franchisor and franchisee entering a sale.
- Business opportunity exemption registration laws. These laws require a franchisor to register and obtain an exemption under business opportunity laws that could affect franchising.
Finding the Ideal Franchise Litigation Attorney
When searching for a franchise litigation attorney, it is important to find someone who has experience handling cases similar to yours. You should also make sure that the attorney you hire is familiar with franchising laws in your state or country. Additionally, it is good to ask for referrals from other franchisees or business owners who have used a franchise litigation attorney in the past. Below are tips to use when seeking franchise litigation services:
In-Depth experience. Hire a franchise attorney based on their experience with helping franchisees. A reliable and experienced lawyer can weigh franchise business risks and determine whether it is ideal for you. Your lawyer could also offer you insider information regarding the franchising industry.
Have your questions answered at the initial consultation. Before working with a particular franchise lawyer, you want to ascertain that:
- The lawyer is not linked to the franchise you are evaluating.
- The attorney has experience reviewing franchise disclosure documents in your particular industry.
- The attorney deeply understands state and federal franchising rules.
- The attorney represents other franchisors and franchisees.
Specialized in disputes similar to yours. Franchising is a vast and unique practice area. Only a franchise lawyer could help litigate disputes emerging in franchising. So consider hiring a specialized lawyer to help you resolve the dispute faster and lower your costs.
Working With a Franchise Litigation Attorney
When working with a franchise litigation attorney, you should note a few things. First, communicate your goals and objectives clearly to the attorney. Second, you provide the attorney with all relevant documentation, including your franchise agreement and correspondence with your franchisor. Finally, be prepared to discuss your case in detail and answer any attorney’s questions.
Benefits of Hiring a Franchise Litigation Attorney
You may need to hire a franchise lawyer if you plan to open a franchise and need legal assistance negotiating and drafting the franchise agreement. Alternatively, you might need to hire a franchise lawyer if you are already a franchisee and are having disagreements with your franchisor over the terms of your contract.
Since franchising is a complex venture and involves many statutes, you need a lawyer. Other compelling reasons to retain a franchise attorney are:
- They are familiar with franchising laws.
- They have experience representing either franchises or franchisees in court.
- They can help you draft a franchise agreement or disclosure document.
- They can advise you on your rights and obligations under the franchise agreement.
- They can represent you in litigation if a dispute arises with your franchisor or franchise.
- They may be able to negotiate on your behalf with your franchisor.
- They can help resolve disputes between franchisors and franchisees.
- They can help franchisors avoid litigation.
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