Franchise Agreements

News & Analysis as of

‘Twas the 2016 Franchise Renewal Season…and Labor and Regulatory matters are stirring throughout the franchise model

Last year, the franchising industry witnessed developments that significantly affected the core of its business model. These developments stem in large part from both federal and state governments taking a more active role in...more

FRANCHISEE 101: California Expands Protections for Franchisees

California Assembly Bill 525, passed into law in 2015 applies to franchise agreements entered into or renewed on or after January 1, 2016. It expands and provides new protections for franchisees. Franchisees subject to...more

Fast Facts for Franchisors: The Joint Employer Doctrine – How to Minimize Your Risk

Updating your Franchise Disclosure Document, Franchise Agreement and other system documents is more important than ever. In recent decisions, the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Labor have increasingly...more

California’s Latest Attack on Franchise Industry Goes Into Effect

A new California law (AB 525, effective January 1, 2016) makes it harder for franchisors to terminate defaulting franchisees, requires franchisors to buyout franchisees in some cases, and adds new burdens for evaluating...more

FRANCHISOR 101: 10 Ways Franchisors Can Reduce Vicarious Liability Risks

The U.S. Department of Labor says McDonald's is liable for actions of franchisees. In the last three months a California federal court said McDonald's could be liable for a franchisee's alleged failure to pay overtime and...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Pay Attention to Contractual Statutes of Limitation

Many franchise agreements include a contractual limitation period or time limit when parties can bring a claim for relief. Though the franchise agreement is often written by and for the franchisor, these limitations can help...more

Franchise POST: The Reformation of Financial Performance Representations; Has the Time Arrived?

Financial Performance Representations (“FPR’s), or earnings claims, have been an integral part of franchise sales process well before the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) began its supervision of the franchise model. The...more

2015 Trade Secrets Webinar Series Year in Review

Throughout 2015, Seyfarth Shaw’s dedicated Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group hosted a series of CLE webinars that addressed significant issues facing clients today in this important and ever-changing...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: - SC19165 - Dept. of Transportation v. White Oak Corp. - SC19165 Dissent - Dept. of Transportation v. White Oak Corp. Despite a very convoluted history, the essence of...more

The Marriott-Starwood merger – Is bigger really better? Impact of the merger on hotel owners, franchisees and developers

The proposed merger between Marriott and Starwood will, by all accounts, create a behemoth in the hotel industry. If the merger goes through as planned, the combined company will be the world’s largest hotel company, with...more

Electronic Disclosure: The Canadian Franchise Association Proposes Changes to the Arthur Wishart Act

The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) has proposed changes to modernize Ontario’s Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000 (Act) by allowing franchise disclosure documents (FDD) to be delivered electronically. Such...more

New Law Requires Franchisors to Revise Agreement Forms Used in Australia

Australia recently enacted legislation that will extend an existing regime restricting “unfair contract terms” in consumer contracts to standard form small business contracts, which will include most franchise agreements and...more

California Toughens Its Franchise Relationship Law

California franchisees will soon have additional statutory protections against a franchisor’s termination or non-renewal of the franchise without good cause, and new protections against the franchisor’s refusal to approve the...more

Franchisors Operating in California Face New Challenges: The New California Franchise Relations Act

On January 1, 2016, the California Franchise Relations Act (“CFRA”) will be amended resulting in the expansion of franchisee rights when it comes to termination, renewal, and transfer of franchise agreements. The key terms of...more

Franchises Act soon to become law in British Columbia: key provisions for franchisors

British Columbia’s legislature has completed the third reading of Bill 38-2015, the BC Franchises Act. Its quick movement – the bill was introduced to the legislature on October 5 - is the culmination of work that began...more

FRANCHISEE 101: "Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right"

At one time or another, many people have occasion to be renters who feel mistreated by a landlord. This may be due to delays in repairs, responses, or just turning on the heat. A typical reaction is the temptation to...more

The New California Franchise Relations Act: A Game Changer for Franchisors Operating in California

California will notch another franchise regulatory distinction come January 1, 2016: home to the toughest franchisee-protection law in the nation. On October 11, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill amending the...more

Federal Labor Officials Step Into the Lion’s Den

Two top federal labor officials engaged in a spirited dialog with two franchise lawyer moderators at the American Bar Association’s annual Forum on Franchising in New Orleans on October 16.  The topic: whether the National...more

Business Litigation Reporter October 2015

Goodwin Procter’s Business Litigation Reporter provides timely summaries of key cases and other developments within dedicated Business Litigation sessions and related courts throughout the country – courts within which...more

Sixth Circuit Holds Pizza Hut Franchisee Waived Arbitration Right

The world’s largest Pizza Hut franchisee, NPC International, Inc. (“NPC”), which operates more than 1200 Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States, was sued in federal district court by employees in five separate collective...more

Religious Institutions: October 2015

Timely Topics - A non-compete clause, covenant not to compete or restrictive covenant is a contract provision under which one party agrees not to enter into or start a similar profession, trade or business in competition...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Bankruptcy Discharges Franchise Law Claims

A recent Bankruptcy Appellate Panel decision is a reminder of both a benefit of bankruptcy, in appropriate circumstances, and the need to respect the bankruptcy discharge a party obtains in the process. Mr. Lee was...more

Following the Sixth Circuit’s Lead, Ohio Appellate Courts Find Whether an Agreement Allows Class Arbitration Is a “Gateway Issue”

As we stated previously, the potential impact of whether entitlement to class arbitration is a “gateway issue” will likely diminish with each passing year. (See our March 12, 2015, blog article on the denial of certiorari in...more

Impact of NLRB’s Joint Employer Decision in Connecticut Still To Be Determined

As you’ve no doubt read, the National Labor Relations Board, refined its test for determining whether two ostensibly separate entities can be viewed as joint-employers. In its Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc....more

Arkansas Loves Home Cookin'

A federal judge in the Western District of Arkansas recently rejected a franchisor's attempt to invoke a forum selection clause, in Rob & Bud's Pizza, LLC v. Papa Murphy's Int'l, Inc,, on public policy grounds rooted in a...more

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