Franchises

News & Analysis as of

FCC Clarifies That Competitive Cable Franchising Rules Do Not Preempt State Franchising Laws, And Affirms Application Of Its 621...

Nearly eight years after issuing its so-called “621 Order” limiting local governments’ actions and authority over competitive cable franchising, and its 2007 Second Report and Order which extended to incumbent cable operators...more

Oakland A’s May Not Move, Ninth Circuit Says

After the Ninth Circuit’s decision on January 15, 2015, Major League Baseball maintains its exemption from the antitrust laws. Since the Supreme Court established baseball’s antitrust exemption nearly a century ago in 1922,...more

Franchise and Distribution News - January 2015

TAKE ACTION NOW TO AVOID UNEXPECTED STATE TAX LIABILITIES - Traditionally, nexus for state income tax liability has required some type of physical presence or continuous contacts by the franchisor/distributor with a...more

Franchising and Liability Under the FCPA

I am often asked about franchisor liability under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Franchising has been a successful model in the US and now many corporations are looking at overseas expansion opportunities....more

FRANCHISEE 101: Complying with the FDA's New Menu Labeling Requirement

On November 25, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released final rules governing menu and vending machine labeling to implement some of the Affordable Care Act's nutrition labeling requirements. The final...more

Deciphering the Franchise Disclosure Document Part 2

If you are going to buy a franchise, federal law requires the franchisor to make certain information available to help you evaluate what you are getting into. This information is provided in a “franchise disclosure document”...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Accidental Franchises in Industries Not Typically Associated With Franchising

Almost everyone recognizes the nation's most prominent franchises: McDonald's, Domino's, Hilton or 7-Eleven, to name a few. And business people are becoming aware that arrangements that look like franchises, but are...more

Navigating the Cyber Liability Storm - Part II

Franchisors are facing a precarious three-way intersection of increased accountability and regulation over consumer privacy, the growing volume and sophistication of cyber-attacks on consumer data, and the expanding...more

Navigating the Cyber Liability Storm Part I

Franchisors are facing a precarious three-way intersection of increased accountability and regulation over consumer privacy, the growing volume and sophistication of cyber-attacks on consumer data, and the expanding...more

The National Labor Relations Board 2014 Year in Review - Overview of the Board's Significant Actions

Introduction - If the National Labor Relations Board seemed to be on the ropes in 2013, it certainly came out swinging in 2014. Last year, we reported that the Board faced a number of serious legal battles. Although...more

It’s All in the Family: Shifting Standards for Joint-Employer Liability

The concept of joint-employer liability is popping up in the news a lot again. This is because the NLRB is taking a more aggressive view on joint-employer standards under the National Labor Relations Act, particularly as to...more

Don’t Overlook The Need to Show Irreparable Harm When Seeking Injunctive Relief to Enforce a Non-Compete

When seeking preliminary injunctive relief to enforce a non-compete, the moving party is often focused on how obvious it is that the defendant breached the parties’ agreement. As 7-Eleven recently learned, however, even when...more

Some Multi-Unit Franchisees are Public Companies

While most of the private equity and public offering activity of franchise companies focuses on franchise brands and systems, every now and then a large, multi-unit franchisee will go public or seek private equity financing....more

The Right Fit - January 2015

Retailers, hoteliers and franchisors will welcome a recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) which confirmed that it is possible to register the design of the fit-out of a retail store as a trade...more

Bay Area Blues: San Francisco's Employers/Franchisees Face Retail Workers Bill of Rights

Doing business in San Francisco can be difficult, to say the least. At $10.74/hour, the city already had the highest minimum wage in the country at the end of 2014. On January 1, 2015, San Francisco employers began shelling...more

Deciphering the Franchise Disclosure Document Part 1

If you are going to buy a franchise, federal law requires the franchisor to make certain information available to help you evaluate what you are getting into. This information is provided in a “franchise disclosure document”...more

Fast Food Non-Compete Agreements?

Fast food is very secretive. Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken has eleven secret herbs and spices. Bakers have attempted to reverse engineer Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, but it remains a closely held...more

NLRB Complaints Claim McDonald’s USA is “Joint Employer” Liable for Labor Violations by Its Franchisees

The Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued 13 complaints, on December 19, 2014, against McDonald’s franchisees and their franchisor, McDonald’s USA, LLC (McDonald’s USA), involving...more

A Franchise Chain's Non-compete Agreement Comes Under Congressional Scrutiny

Tremors were felt throughout the franchise community when a recent article in The Huffington Post reported that the Jimmy Johns sandwich franchise is under Congressional scrutiny for its franchisees’ practice of requiring...more

For whom the bell tolls: the changing joint employer standard and what it means for your business

The joint employer standard is changing rapidly, and businesses – among them franchisors and investors – need to be aware of the emerging landscape to protect their brands and their bottom lines. The most important...more

NLRB Counsel Files Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against McDonald's Based on Joint Employment of Franchisees' Employees

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel gave notice of its intent to jointly pursue unfair labor practice charges against McDonald’s USA and its various franchisees. Like most franchisor/franchisee...more

Franchisors Beware: NLRB Seeking to Super-Size Joint Employer Liability

The National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) General Counsel’s Office has again signaled its commitment to expanding the scope of the current test for joint employment. In a move that could have implications for a broad...more

Franchisor IPOs Were Strong in 2014

While private equity activity continued in strength in 2014, franchisors also launched initial public offerings (IPOs) in the last year. Recent IPOs of franchise companies include the following: ?Habit Restaurants Inc....more

The shrinking terms of hotel management agreements - Better bargaining position for hotel owners on HMAs

The relationship between hotel owners and managers continues to evolve. Hotel management agreements historically were long-term. Fifty to sixty year terms were common. However, in the last few years, hotel owners have...more

An Undesirable Consequence

An effort by Richard Griffin, the General Counsel (GC) of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), to raise wages and otherwise benefit franchise employees may have an unexpected and undesirable consequence: a threat to...more

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