Turning your successful business into a franchise requires significant investments of time and capital. Here are the core processes and legal documents you will need to get started, and how Gutwein Law can help.
Is franchising right for you and your business? Gutwein Law can help you consider the pros and cons of inviting new elements into your business and recommend alternative structures.
It’s critical to ensure any prospective franchisee is a good fit and competent enough to protect your brand. We’ll help you create standards that attract quality prospects, and help manage your relationships with third party sourcing providers to protect your brand.
FRANCHISE DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT (FDD)
The FDD contains a complete summary of your franchise system. The FTC requires franchisors to present one to a prospect 14 days prior to entering into a relationship, and most states require you to register one as well. Gutwein Law will ensure yours is legally sound.
The franchise agreement governs the relationship between your business and your franchisee. Gutwein Law can prepare a franchise agreement specifically for your franchise, and represent your interests during negotiations with prospects.
The operations manual is where you provide franchisees with a complete summary of your franchise operations. Gutwein Law can review yours to ensure it’s consistent with your obligations under the franchise agreement, and covers everything franchisees need to know.
The key to a successful franchise system is for every franchisee to implement the franchise system properly. Gutwein Law will help create a system for monitoring compliance, notifying franchisees when they are non-compliant, and issuing default letters as needed.
TERMINATION & LITIGATION
When a franchise fails to perform, it must be terminated. Gutwein Law can help you build a foundation for a sound termination, prosecute any claims you may have against a former franchisee, and defend your franchise system from any attacks made by a franchisee.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Whether you want to buy back franchisee owned units or merge with a competitor, we can help structure the deal. From due diligence and negotiations to closing, we are there to manage all the moving parts and close the deal.
Gutwein Law will walk you through what it means to be a franchisee and what obligations you face from your franchisor. After our initial consultation, we can help you decide if you want to negotiate key terms or continue investigating alternative opportunities.
FDD & FRANCHISE AGREEMENT SUMMARY
The FDD and Franchise Agreement are robust documents full of required, but not always pertinent, information. Let Gutwein Law cut through the noise and give you a summary of what matters. We can also help answer any additional questions you may have so that you can proceed with confidence.
Gutwein Law can help explain your rights and protect your interests before counseling you on how to respond to a non-compliance notice. Sometimes it’s a simple misunderstanding, other times it’s a disagreement on terms of the franchise agreement. Either way, we want to make sure you know where you stand and what to do next.
DEFAULT & TERMINATION
Receiving a default letter is a very serious situation. If not handled properly, it could lead to the termination of your business. If you get a default letter or you have been terminated by your franchisor, Gutwein Law can help defend your business and explore your remedies.
FRANCHISE PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
Gutwein Law can help you manage the acquisition and divestment of your franchise holdings. Contact us to discuss how we can assist in deal structuring and due diligence.