Southern California Franchise Law Attorney
Franchise law is a complex web of state statutes, federal laws, state and federal agencies, and is highly regulated. Those with franchise needs — prospective and existing franchisees and franchisors— need an experienced lawyer to guide them through this complicated system and efficiently address their legal matters.
Do You Want To Franchise Your Business Or Buy A Franchised Business In Orange County California? I Can Help.
I am Southern California franchise law attorney Janet Martin. For more than three decades I have provided honest advice and cost-efficient representation to clients in Orange County and throughout the state.
What Is A Franchise?
In general, most states define a “Franchise” as someone with a business concept, (the Franchisor) who wants to allow someone else (the Franchisee) to open a similar business concept by allowing the Franchisee to (1) use the Franchisor’s business name, (2) implement the Franchisor’s operations system or marketing plan, and (3) the Franchisee must pay the Franchisor a fee, either upfront or ongoing. This is called “offering” or “selling” a franchise.
Both State and Federal laws dictate that one cannot offer or sell a franchise without providing the prospective Franchisee a very detailed document containing extensive information about the Franchisor and the franchise business being offered. This document is called the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). The contents of the FDD are mandated, and contain relevant information about the obligations of both the Franchisor and the Franchisee, and copies of all required contracts, such as the franchise agreement.
In addition there are 14 states that require some form of government registration of the Franchisor’s FDD prior to offering or selling a franchise in that state. Those States are: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.
Then there is the Franchise Agreement, (part of the FDD), which is the actual contract to be signed between the Franchisor and the Franchisee which contains all terms of the relationship, including fees, operations requirements, training requirements, location requirements, marketing requirements, trademark requirements, sales and territorial requirements, conditions to transfer, events of termination, and dispute resolution. This is the document that will govern the franchise relationship.
Whether you want to explore becoming a Franchisor, want to become a Franchisee, OR you are an existing Franchisor or existing Franchisee with questions or need solutions to a legal issue, I offer full-service representation, and have the experience and resources to meet a Franchisor’s or Franchisee’s needs at any stage of its life cycle.