Franchise Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Franchise issues written by leading professionals.
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When a State Franchise Law Imposes an Obligation That Federal Law Preempts: What Dickey's Means for Franchisors

Have you ever been required by a state franchise regulator to include in your franchise agreement or disclosure document a provision that you believe he or she does not have the legal right to require? This issue often...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Understanding Merger/Integration Clauses

Before a final agreement is signed there are often oral discussions, negotiations, and representations. There may be written memorandums of understanding or letters of intent. But, when the final agreement has a "merger" or...more

“Indirect Control” — New NLRB Joint Employer Rule Headed for Appeal

Hoteliers still reeling from the National Labor Relation Boards’ (NLRB’s) dramatic change to the legal test for joint employer liability may find some solace in the fact that this issue is destined for appellate review. In...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Wins, Losses & Lessons in Joint Employer Liability

As joint employer liability continues to develop, plaintiffs seeking deep pockets continue to claim, with some success, that franchisors are joint employers, responsible for actions of their franchisees' employees. In April,...more

Kuwait introduces new Agency Law: franchisors take note

The State of Kuwait recently enacted Law No. 13 of 2016 (the Agency Law) on the regulation of commercial agencies in Kuwait, explicitly overturning the former agency law. The Agency Law introduces material changes to the...more

An Intellectual Property Primer for Franchisors

Intellectual property is a core asset of any franchisor. In fact, intellectual property is important to virtually all businesses. For some companies, it’s their most valuable asset. A basic knowledge of intellectual property...more

Sign O’ The Times: SCOTUS Denies Cert In Franchise Arbitration Dispute

On Monday of this week, after stringing the parties along for five months, SCOTUS denied cert in a case involving the intersection between arbitration and franchise regulation. The petition was filed in November of 2015,...more

Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue's Upcoming April 26 Rulemaking Hearing

On April 26, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. CST, a hearing will be conducted regarding proposed regulations filed by the Tennessee Department of Revenue (Department) with the Secretary of State on February 25, 2016. This rulemaking...more

Having The “Are You Operating an (Illegal) Franchise System Without Knowing It?” Conversation

Franchising laws are very broad in scope and may inadvertently encroach upon standard licensing or distribution agreements. The repercussions for operating an illegal (or more likely inadvertent) franchise system can be very...more

Franchise & Distribution News, Number 2

Ontario Passes New Legislation Governing Tips and Gratuities - Ontario restaurants, bars and other businesses with employees who receive some of their pay through tips and gratuities will face new laws governing how...more

Court Rules Dissolution of Cooperative Corporation Is A Process, Not A Flash

I don’t see that many cases involving California’s Cooperative Corporation Law and so I was interested in a recent ruling by Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in English & Sons, Inc. v. Straw Hat Rests., Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist....more

Ninth Circuit: Arbitration Provision Contained In Sham Agreement Is Not Enforceable

The Ninth Circuit reversed a district court ruling that had compelled arbitration, holding that a party may not enforce an arbitration agreement where the clause is contained in a nonbinding contract. The parties had entered...more

What’s on the Horizon for U.S. Employers in 2016?

While the upcoming U.S. Presidential election and on-going Congressional gridlock make it unlikely any new federal employment laws will be enacted in the U.S. in 2016, employers can expect federal agencies to continue their...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 245-Michael Bassett from Conference Executive Board Canada [Video]

In this episode I visit with Michael Bassett from Conference Executive Board Canada about the work by CEB to promote better risk management and governance with Board of Directors....more

Employment Practices Newsletter - April 2016

Is Labor Law Putting the Franchise Business Model at Risk? - Over the course of the last year, we have kept you abreast of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case law and Department of Labor (DOL) interpretive/...more

Spotlight on Tennessee: Forced Franchise/Excise Tax Variance Upheld by Supreme Court

On March 23, 2016, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued its much-awaited decision in the case of Vodafone Americas Holdings, Inc. et al. vs. Tennessee Commissioner of Revenue....more

Franchisee Can’t Work Its Way Out of Trademark Infringement and Breach of Contract Litigation on Jurisdictional Grounds

An out-of-state franchisee sought to escape the reach of the Massachusetts District Court in a breach of contract and trademark infringement litigation filed by its Massachusetts-based franchisor. But, the parties quickly...more

Improving Franchise Laws

Will California’s recent overhaul of its franchise relationship law lead to a proliferation of state franchise relationship laws? I doubt it. As I’ve written elsewhere, my guess is that the California law represents a...more

Top franchise decisions: two standouts from 2015

Perhaps the most significant decision last year affecting franchising was not issued by a court and did not involve a franchise system. In an August 27, 2015 decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Purposes and Limits of Non-Compete Clauses

Many franchise agreements have "non-compete clauses", which state that after termination or expiration of the franchise agreement, the ex-franchisee may not operate a business that is similar to or that would compete with the...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Protecting Interests in Preliminary Injunctions

A franchisor in a termination dispute with a franchisee may request a preliminary injunction to force the franchisee to immediately stop operating the franchised business and using the franchisor's trademarks and intellectual...more

Arbitration Provision Rejected in Franchise Dispute

In Case Del Caffe Vergnano SPA v. ItalFlavors, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that the court, not an arbitration tribunal, could review a franchise contract and determine it was a sham, based upon a second contract signed...more

The Luxembourg Indirect Tax Administration Confirms That Director Fees Are Subject To VAT

The Luxembourg indirect tax administration is reported to have confirmed that director fees are subject to VAT. This is in line with the Luxembourg VAT law and the position of the European Commission on this matter....more

Michigan Franchisors Not Joint Employers of Employees of Franchisees Absent Agreement

On March 22, 2016, Michigan joined Wisconsin, Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee by amending its Franchise Investment Law to make it clear that unless otherwise specifically provided for in the franchise agreement, a franchisee...more

CMA encourages increased competition in Britain’s rail sector

On 8 March 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published a policy document recommending that the government overhaul the currently franchised rail system. 99% of Britain’s trains presently run under...more

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