News & Analysis as of

Franchisors

Workplace Relations Risks to Franchisors and Holding Companies Rise

by K&L Gates LLP on

The Federal Parliament this week passed the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 (the Act), with some last minute amendments agreed to by the Government. This new legislation marks a significant change...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Squeezed at the Pump

by Lewitt Hackman on

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

Drafting Matters: When Non-Competes And Renewal Provisions Collide

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

If a franchisor waives the non-compete provision in its current franchise agreement, can it enforce a non-compete when the franchise agreement is renewed? According to a recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Selective Enforcement of Franchise Agreement Provisions

by Lewitt Hackman on

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

Gas Station Dealers: A Review of the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act

by Lewitt Hackman on

So far in 2017 no federal or state court in California issued a published decision under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (“PMPA”) – despite the fact gasoline demand and consumption continue to rise. The reason for fewer...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Manual Overload

by Lewitt Hackman on

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

by Lewitt Hackman on

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

Is Everything “Settled” In Your Settlement Agreement? Not Quite!

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

A recent case involving the Whataburger franchise system reminds franchisors of the importance of the use of iron-clad language when granting future development rights. In Whataburger, Inc. et. al. (“Whataburger”) v....more

FRANCHISOR 101: Donut Franchise Relationship Dissected by Court

by Lewitt Hackman on

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

District Court Protects Franchisor Against Anti-Contractual Competition in Frye

by Baker Donelson on

On Valentine's Day of 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland gave franchisors the legal equivalent of two dozen roses when it decided Frye v. Wild Bird Centers of America, Inc., 2017 WL 605285 (D....more

Federal Court Rules Against Yum! Brands in Third-Party Franchise Sale Case – What Franchisors Need to Know

by Baker Donelson on

A federal court in Kentucky recently denied a franchisor's request to dismiss its franchisee's claim for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. Based on this ruling, franchisors should proceed with...more

Is Your Agreement To Arbitrate Valid?

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Many franchisors employ arbitration as its preferred method of dispute resolution. Generally, courts view arbitration agreements favorably. An agreement to arbitrate waives the fundamental right to have a court decide the...more

The U.S. Department of Labor Withdraws Obama-Era Guidance Regarding Independent Contractor versus Employee Classification

by Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP on

As we previously blogged here and here, the Obama Administration, through the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) as well as the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), made it clear early and often that it was going to take an...more

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

by Lewitt Hackman on

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

Franchisor Not Liable For Franchisee’s Tip Policy That Allegedly Violated Massachusetts Law

The Massachusetts Superior Court has recently issued a favorable opinion to franchisors under the Massachusetts Tips Act. In Yarpah v. Bowden Hospitality Newton, LLC d/b/a Crowne Plaza Hotel, Justice Kenneth W. Salinger held...more

Jan-Pro International Is Not The “Employer” Of Its Franchisees And Did Not Commit Wrongdoing, Court Finds

On May 24, a federal judge in California polished off a three-state win by master franchisor, Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., finding that under California law, unit franchisees (subfranchisees) who had franchise...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Contract Curveballs

by Lewitt Hackman on

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

by Lewitt Hackman on

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

When are Parent Company Financial Disclosures Required?

by LeClairRyan on

A franchisor selling franchises in the U.S. must disclose its audited financial statements in Item 21 of the franchise disclosure document (FDD). Sometimes, parent company financials are used instead of the franchisor’s...more

Franchising Update

by K&L Gates LLP on

Many franchisors and other participants in the franchising sector are anticipating with concern the outcome of The Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 (Bill) which was introduced into the Federal...more

Accidental Franchisor in Hot Water

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Safe Step Walk In Tub Co. (“Safe Step”) failed to take the requisite “safe steps” before potentially becoming an accidental franchisor. In Safe Step Walk In Tub Co. v. CKH Industries, Inc., Safe Step filed an action against a...more

NLRB Ruling on Joint Employers Should be Reversed, Congressional Republicans Urge

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

Two years after the National Labor Relations Board’s decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015), which overturned 30 years of precedent, 57 members of Congress, mostly Republicans,...more

A "reasonable basis" for FPRs: what to expect this renewal season from state franchise examiners in light of the proposed NASAA...

by DLA Piper on

Last fall, the North American Securities Administrators Association Inc. (NASAA) issued a notice of request seeking public comment on an updated proposed financial performance representations (or FPR) Commentary. The Federal...more

Will Florida Cease to be the “Sunshine State” for Franchising? (Part 2/2)

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Today, we continue our look at proposed changes to Florida’s franchise laws, including proposed changes in transferring franchised businesses, franchisor repurchase obligations and other miscellaneous changes...more

Will Florida Cease to be the “Sunshine State” For Franchising? 1/2

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Two state legislators from Florida recently introduced a bill entitled “Protect Florida Small Business Act” (the “Act”), which could actually have the exact opposite effect on franchise relationships in Florida. While many...more

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