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Before Franchising Your Business, First Consider These Factors

Franchising is so much more than casual burger chains with drive through windows and dollar menus. It’s an industry that incorporates a wealth of blue and white collar services; distributes both high- and low-end products...more

Pass the Beer: Craft Brew Distribution Law in the U.S.

How do Americans get their stouts, ales, pilsners and porters? Beer distribution, no matter the variety, is funneled through a highly regulated three-tier system: brewers at the top, distributors take their cut in the middle,...more

Franchise Litigation Rising Over Dietary Considerations

Rising concerns over food sourcing and preparation is leading to more and more litigation for restaurants and franchises. Most of the lawsuits claim discrimination, which makes sense as many dietary strictures are rooted...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Squeezed at the Pump

Most dealership and franchise agreements require the franchisor's prior written consent to the transfer of a business from one franchisee to another. The new franchisee is often required to sign the franchisor's then-current...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Selective Enforcement of Franchise Agreement Provisions

A franchisor's ability to set renewal terms can bind franchisees to terms in a later franchise agreement before the renewal agreement even exists. In a recent case, a franchisor could enforce a hypothetical non-compete...more

Six Ways Franchisors Can Reduce Joint Employer Liability Risk

In January 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that indirect control or the reserved right to control, even if unexercised, could be sufficient grounds to find a joint employer relationship between a...more

Disabling Code: Franchisors Should Ensure Digital Properties Are Accessible

Are we still in the dawn of the digital age, or have we moved on to mid-morning yet? Only time, and your company's web site and applications, will tell. Unfortunately, when it comes to website accessibility, it is still...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Manual Overload

A franchisor's investment in brand standards, protection and control often comes at a cost when a consumer believing or claiming to believe the franchisor and franchisee are the same, seeks to hold a franchisor liable for a...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Cold Brew Remedy

Beer distributors can be on common footing with their franchisee counterparts in bargaining with brewers or suppliers. Depending on the jurisdiction, distributors may have protection through beer distribution statutes...more

So You Say You Want a Revolution? Franchises Evolve as Retail Declines

You’ve seen the news: retailers are struggling. Traditional anchor stores like Macy’s and Sears are closing up shop, creating a domino effect of fiscal death for shopping malls across the country. The Los Angeles Times...more

Trimming the Fat: Restaurant Menu Labeling Rule Under Further Review

In 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a/k/a “Obamacare”, the federal government set provisions mandating restaurant chains provide nutrition information for menu items. The U.S. Food and Drug...more

FRANCHISEE 101: McDonald's Shaking Damages for OT Policy

In Los Angeles Superior Court, McDonald's claimed victory when 6,600 workers seeking $41 million in back pay and penalties came away with less than 2% of the amount sought in a claim that the fast-food giant cheated them out...more

Will Minimum Wage Hikes Kill Restaurant Jobs?

In 1981 “Video Killed the Radio Star” was the first music video MTV broadcast in the United States. The song was actually written a couple of years earlier, appeared on an album entitled The Age of Plastic by the Buggles, and...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Donut Franchise Relationship Dissected by Court

The parent of Dunkin' Donuts was named along with Starbucks and about 80 other coffee sellers, distributors and retailers in a 2010 lawsuit alleging violations of California's Proposition 65 and Safe Drinking Water and Toxic...more

Old Grounds: A Lack of Prop 65 Warnings Brew Trouble for Coffee Franchisors

California Prop 65 warnings – many residents barely notice these anymore, as we’ve lived with Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act notices for over 30 years now. They appear at gas pumps; in apartment and office...more

Franchise Law: Burden of Joint Employer Just Got a Little Lighter

Direct control, indirect control…these are the employment litigation phrases that had franchisors cowering in duck-and-cover positions over the last few years. But the Department of Labor just issued a statement to breathe...more

There's an App for That: Franchisors Fight Slumping Sales, Millenials

How has the gourmet burger gone awry? According to Fox, the better burger business dropped five percent in foot traffic at quick-serve restaurants last year, primarily because consumers are opting to “DIY” their food at home....more

Franchisors, Got Claims? Don't Let Them Spoil Like Bad Cheese

This is the tale of two restaurants, each facing trademark infringement claims under the Lanham Act brought by two, separate franchisors. The franchisees’ restaurants had three things in common: First, cheese is a key...more

Franchisors: New Accounting Rules Will Significantly Impact Revenue Recognition

An updated rule issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) will change when most franchisors may recognize revenue on their balance sheets from the collection of initial franchise fees....more

FRANCHISEE 101: Contract Curveballs

In every Franchise Agreement, the franchisor and franchisee promise to fulfill obligations to the other. For some promises, whether or not they were performed can be a clear "yes" or "no." For example: either a franchisee...more

FRANCHISOR 101: State Taxes on Franchise Fees

Franchisors collect weekly or monthly "franchise fees." In many cases, fees are for particular services, such as marketing assistance or IT support. In franchising, the parties may be in any number of different states: for...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Special Delivery

For a relationship to meet the legal definition of a "franchise" in some jurisdictions, the franchisor must give significant assistance to, or have significant control over, the franchisee's business. A franchisor's...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Not Your Neighborhood Tesla Dealer

Among the many differences between Tesla and traditional automakers, Tesla does not sell or service its electric cars through franchised dealers; it sells direct to consumers. Recent legal challenges to Tesla's...more

Negative Reviews: Seeing Stars or Trolls? Here's What You Can and Can't Do

Trolls aren’t just fictional creatures living under bridges in fairy tales – today they are anonymous but highly visible creatures plaguing individuals and businesses on social media. They’re angry, vindictive and financially...more

Negative Reviews: Franchises Pursuing Truth, Justice, & Defamation Claims

Franchised businesses, particularly restaurants, hotels, automotive servicers and others have been falling victim to the digital age. Many consumers now choose the places they do business based on what they read on Yelp,...more

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