The Building Blocks of Starting a Franchise
A franchise’s potential depends upon building and maintaining the right foundation. At Duell | Law that is where we come in with a thorough, working knowledge of every part of the franchise equation.
The Result – A franchise that lives up to its promise for generating income and delivering satisfaction.
Duell | Law has extensive experience in representing both new start-up and established franchisors. Our firm provides a full range of services, representing single-concept and multi-brand franchisors operating nationally and internationally. Our clients operate in a variety of industries, including restaurant services, home maintenance and improvement, business services, technology, pet care, healthcare and professional services.
For Existing Franchisors,
Our firm conducts a comprehensive review of the franchisor’s current disclosure document and related agreements to:
- make certain the agreements are current and state of the art both legally and technically;
- ensure that the franchisor has complied with all state and federal regulations; and
- create agreements that help insulate the franchisor from problems that often arise during the franchisor-franchisee relationship.
For New, Start-ups Franchisors,
Our firm assists in:
- determining whether franchising is the proper method to further develop your business;
- creating a franchise program;
- preparing your franchise disclosure document (FDD) and other franchise-related agreements;
- filing disclosure documents for state registration where necessary.
- Franchisor – franchisee relationships.
Our Full Range of Legal Services for Franchisors
- Preparation of Franchise Disclosure Document, Franchise Agreement, all associated Exhibits and where appropriate, preparation of the Area Development Agreement and Ancillary Agreements such an Employee Confidentiality and Non-Compete Agreements.
- Registration and Renewal filing of FDDs in the 14 Registration States and 5 Pre-Sale Registration / Exemption States.
- All matters relating to franchise law compliance and the development of an in-house compliance program.
- Negotiating and closing franchise sales.
- Dissemination and tracking of FDDs, Franchise Agreements and associated Addenda to prospective Franchisees, ensuring documents are understood and properly executed.
- All matters relating to the franchisor-franchisee relationship, including dispute avoidance and resolution.
- Drafting any and all agreements such as Cure Agreements, Notice of Default, and Termination Agreements.
- The best methods to protect and license trademarks, trade secrets and other intellectual property.
- Methods to minimize legal and business risk exposure in connection with the franchise system.
- The development of the optimal corporate structure for enabling the franchisor and its affiliates to separate their various streams of revenue from one another, thereby shielding valuable assets from possible litigation.
- Dispute resolution, representing franchisors in mediations and arbitrations throughout the U.S.
- Mergers and acquisitions.
- Selling your Franchise Company.
- Day-to-day business counseling.
At Duell | Law, our experienced approach in matters of international franchising has been developed through years of practice serving franchisors through collaboration with attorneys and clients from around the globe. This, in turn, has given our firm a depth of knowledge and perspective on international franchising not found at most franchise law firms — one that has enabled Duell | Law to help you take the next steps for successfully broadening your franchise system.
Some of the many different aspects of international franchising that we offer assistance with include:
- Assisting clients in complying with international laws relating to franchising outside of the U.S.;
- Negotiating, drafting and reviewing third-party agreements, including contracts with independent contractors, supply agreements, and employment confidentiality and non-compete agreements;
- Development of the optimal corporate structure to enable the franchisor and its affiliates to separate their various streams of revenue from one another, thereby shielding valuable assets from possible litigation;
- Day-to-day business counseling.
Get In Touch:
We take great pride in the skill, energy and level of personal service we can bring to your franchise legal matters. And we are very interested in learning more about you and helping you determine if we can be of assistance. At Duell |Law we are dedicated to carefully and thoroughly addressing the individual concerns of every client. Please take a minute to talk with us about your concerns. We’re here to listen.
Just call 205-408-3025 or fill out the contact form below, and see for yourself just how closely we engage ourselves in addressing the individual concerns of every client:
Duell | Law Puts All The Pieces Together
Can your business be franchised?
To help you determine whether you can franchise your business, we help you analyze your business by looking at the following:
Your business concept: Prospective franchisees want to know that your franchise business concept has proven itself. Success can be measured in many different ways, including profitability, the number of years in operation, the number of units you have opened, the size of your operation, and the strength of your brand.
Do you have a strong brand? Franchising is a method of expanding your business by granting franchisee’s a license to operate a franchise using your trade name, trademark and trade dress. Much of the value associated with purchasing a franchise is attributed to the strength of your brand.
Do you have a business concept that can differentiate itself from other competitors? You can differentiate your business in many ways, including offering unique products and/or services, offering products and services at reduced prices, offering higher quality products or services, targeting different markets, or implementing a distinctive marketing strategy.
Do you have a system to teach others how to operate your business? One of the keys to franchising is teaching franchisees how to replicate the way you operate your business. The easier it is to teach your proven business methods to a franchisee, the quicker it is for that franchisee to be up and running, and the more likely that franchisee will be able to duplicate the success of your business.
Do you have regional, national and/or international appeal? The more marketable your franchise system is across various geographic areas, the greater the chance of success for your franchise system.
Do you have a strong management team in place? Running a franchise system involves a different skill set than operating your current business. Can you transition from operating your unit(s) to developing a staff who are knowledgeable in training new franchisees, marketing and building brand awareness, and creating a sales team to generate leads for potential franchisees as well as potential customers for the franchise system?
Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD) and Registration
The law governing franchise disclosure is complex and evolving, requiring the attention of a firm with proven experience. At Duell | Law, we assist start-up and established franchisors nationwide in complying with federal and state franchise disclosure and registration requirements. The franchise rules of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as amended in 2007, requires franchisors to prepare and provide to prospective franchisees a franchise disclosure document (FDD) within a specified period of time before completing the sale of a franchise to that prospective franchisee.
Our firm prepares FDDs as mandated by the FTC including related agreements to ensure that our franchisor clients have complied with all applicable state and federal regulations, including various disclosure timing requirements. We also help franchisors to comply with registration laws in the 14 states (California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin) where such registrations are required before the FDD can be disseminated to potential franchisees and used to sell a franchise within that state. Additionally we help ensure that our clients comply with other state laws which require franchisors to properly apply for exemptions from registration, such as Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, Texas and Utah.
At Duell | Law we take the burden of legal requirements off our clients so that you may focus on successfully growing your business and not worrying about violating federal or state laws.