General Business Franchise

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.
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Getting to know British Columbia’s new franchise legislation

After years in development, the British Columbia Franchises Act and its regulations came into force on February 1, 2017. British Columbia is now one of six Canadian provinces to enact franchise legislation, following...more

THE LATEST: Employee “No-Poaching” Agreements Remain in the Antitrust Crosshairs

There have been a series of investigations, class action suits and high value settlements involving agreements not to solicit employees. In addition, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division made a splash a few...more

BC Franchise Laws Come Into Effect

On February 1, 2017, the British Columbia Franchises Act and Regulations came into effect making British Columbia the sixth province in Canada with franchise legislation. The introduction of franchise legislation in British...more

Attention to Detail is Critical for Franchise Startups

Starting a new franchised business can be an exhilarating experience, combining the thrill of engaging in a new business with the confidence that comes from having the backing of a successful brand. New franchisees, however,...more

The Franchise Disclosure Document – A Brief Primer

The scenario: You operate a prosperous business and believe that the concept can be successful in other markets. But given financial constraints or otherwise, you determine that franchising the business will likely result in...more

Franchise Issues in Commercial Leases

Commercial landlords and tenants are already faced with many issues during the course of negotiating a commercial lease agreement. When the tenant is a franchisee, the franchisor’s requirements (as outlined in the franchise...more

Be Aware of Possible Joint Employer Status with Franchisor

The franchise model is built upon the idea that a franchisee pays for the right to use a franchisor’s brand, marketing and goodwill in launching and operating the franchisee’s business. The franchisee is generally responsible...more

First Steps Toward a Successful Franchise Acquisition

Owning a franchised business can present a lucrative opportunity, and this is especially true when acquiring a franchise with a history of success and/or an opportunity for growth. While each franchise system is different and...more

SBA Changes the Game

On November 22, 2016, the Small Business Administration released SOP 50 10 5(I) (the "SOP"), which is administrative speak for new standard operating procedures affecting loans to businesses involved in franchising. The...more

SBA's New Rule Offers Some Welcome Changes for the Franchise Community

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been a key player in franchise development, providing loan guarantees for franchisee start-ups. As a condition for providing these guarantees, the SBA historically required a...more

Drafting Franchise Agreements After Patterson v. Domino’s : Avoiding the Minefield of Vicarious Liability and Joint Employment

Lauded as one of the most important franchise cases in the recent past, Patterson v. Domino’s established a new standard for addressing vicarious liability issues in California. In reaching its decision that Domino’s was not...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Locked In to One Approved Vendor

Franchisors often require franchisees to purchase supplies, materials, or inventory only from suppliers the franchisor approved. But where franchisors see benefits of consolidating by requiring franchisees to participate in...more

Food and Beverage Law Update: December 2016

Overtime Rules Enjoined Nationwide - In State of Nev. v. U.S. Dep't of Labor Case No. 4:16-cv-00731-ALM, 2016 WL 6879615 (E.D. Tex. Nov. 22, 2016), a Texas district court enjoined nationwide the Department of Labor's...more

Court Grants Default Judgment Confirming Arbitration Award, With A Lesson On Jurisdiction

Choice Hotels filed an application to confirm an arbitration award of over $247,000 for the alleged breach of a franchise agreement by two defendants, which failed to timely commence construction of a hotel. The defendants...more

Your Own Agreements Can Be Your Worst Enemy in IC Misclassification Cases

Companies that use independent contractors (ICs) typically require ICs to sign a contractor agreement prepared by the company. But, if it is drafted like the one reviewed in late September by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the...more

THANKSGIVING EDITION [FROM THE ARCHIVES]: Court Protects Quizno’s Franchise Turkey Trade Secrets

This Thanksgiving, Trade Secrets Watch is serving a delicious tale about protecting trade secrets in a franchising relationship. In 1994, Quizno’s entered into a franchise agreement with Robert Kampendahl, an...more

Franchisors Should Consider Signing a Conditional Lease Assignment Rather Than a Franchisee’s Lease

In Franchise & High Properties, LLC v. Happy’s Franchise, LLC, a 2015 decision issued by the Court of Appeals in Michigan, the franchisor, Happy’s Pizza Franchise, LLC, signed a five-year lease for the commercial space to be...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Is It a Franchise? Yes and No

A federal court in Indiana made an interesting decision on whether a business relationship was a franchise. Wabash National Corp. is a famous maker of semitrailers. Wabash notified a dealer in Texas that its dealership was...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Original Content Needed to Protect Ops Manuals

An important part of the franchise system is the confidential operating manual. Many franchisors claim protection of operating manuals under the law of trade secrets and copyright. Keeping the contents confidential is...more

Correcting an Accidental Franchisor Violation

What’s a franchise? Franchise registration and disclosure laws define a “franchise” more broadly than people generally realize. A company may be franchising without knowing it. The “license” agreement may have been...more

Hotel News Update: Amicable Resolution Reached in High-Profile Litigation Over Management Agreement

Marriott International, Inc. ("Marriott") and Eden Roc, LLLP ("Eden Roc"), the owner of the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, have jointly announced an amicable resolution of their ongoing litigation concerning the...more

Alphabet Soup?

Several years have now passed since the financial crisis and the onslaught of regulations intended to prevent a future crisis. Regulatory reform has assuredly resulted in significant changes to our financial services sector....more

Major FCPA Enforcement Action Against Nation’s Largest Publicly Traded Hedge Fund

In one of the largest FCPA settlements in history, hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (“Och-Ziff”) recently resolved a long-running government inquiry by agreeing to $413 million in financial penalties and a...more

September 2016 Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News Update

The past month’s judicial and administrative activity in the area of IC misclassification reflects the wide range of industries facing these types of claims: communications; cleaning services; transportation and delivery...more

Franchise Opportunities: One Size Does Not Fit All

Purchasing a franchise opportunity has become a popular means of pursuing a new business venture. The idea of joining an established group and utilizing a recognized brand can offer an added level of comfort when going into...more

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