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Looking for answers to pressing legal questions about franchising? What’s keeping you up at night? Federal, state, and local laws affecting everything from minimum wage to employee scheduling are critical to managing your business successfully. Find what you need to know about today’s legal issues from top franchise attorneys.

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For over a quarter of a century, I have been a critic of the United States' franchise sales regulation system.
  • Rupert Barkoff
  • 1,523 Reads 3 Shares
The past decade saw an acceptance by the Romanian market of the Western concepts of doing business, a new perception of the value of brands and the creation of an entirely new market - the one for franchisers. Seven years have passed since Romania enacted a franchise law. During this period, the market has evolved, and the pioneering period in franchising during which major companies entered the market only for market testing - first performing distribution operations (Coca Cola) or establishing a subsidiary (McDonald's) and only afterwards developing their franchise concepts - has come to an end. Indeed, 60 of the 107 franchises currently operating in Romania have been established during the last two years.
  • Roxana Negutu
  • 4,767 Reads 332 Shares
Earlier this year, a franchise magazine that shall remain nameless here focused upon the issue of "cleavage in the marketplace" - a subject no man in his right mind would ever touch. However, I found it interesting that this subject had garnered discussion in one of the leading publications on franchising, or for that matter, in any reputable publication.
  • Rupert M. Barkoff
  • 2,018 Reads 1 Shares
Financing is the lifeblood of expansion for franchisors and multiunit owners alike. Whether for advertising and marketing to sell additional franchises, or whether to remodel or build more company stores, without financing there is no growth and development. And, despite the rapid growth of new concepts and new units in the aftermath of the dot.com crash in 2000 and 2001, many forecasts of the economic climate and its effect on business growth in 2008 range from gloomy to dim--especially when it comes to credit and lending.
  • Eddy Goldberg
  • 1,847 Reads 3 Shares
To those readers who are interested in legal affairs in the franchising context and are not subscribers to the American Bar Association's Forum on Franchising's listserv, you are missing one of the greatest shows in town. Listservs, chat rooms, blogs, and whatever else, are means to dialogue on the Internet and can turn into today's electronic equivalent of a lynch mob, as demonstrated by two recent exchanges on the forum's listserv on the subject of arbitration.
  • Rupert M. Barkoff
  • 2,303 Reads 16 Shares
So Franchise UPDATE is now 20 years old! When Ripley Hotch asked me to reflect upon developments in franchise law over the last two decades, I was honored. After all, I was there - the whole time and much before! I have been fortunate enough during my career to have served as a member of, a contributor to, or observer for, many of the groups that have influenced the direction of franchise law, and I have read hundreds of precedents that have made franchise law what it is today.
  • Rupert M. Barkoff
  • 2,012 Reads 1 Shares
The franchise industry is having an increasingly large impact on the Canadian economy, with franchised businesses accounting for 40 percent of all retail sales. Provincial legislators are taking note of this growing industry and, in response, are introducing and passing legislation that addresses many of the perceived issues that arise between franchisors and franchisees. Most recently, the Province of New Brunswick passed franchise legislation (the “New Brunswick Act”), making it the fourth Canadian province to adopt such legislation, after Alberta, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island.
  • Jayne Westlake
  • 3,642 Reads 1 Shares
On January 31, 2007, the State Council of the People's Republic of China adopted the "Regulations on the Administration of Commercial Franchise," scheduled to take effect on May 1, 2007 ("2007 Franchise Regulations"). With promulgation of the 2007 Franchise Regulations, China entered the last phase of a long and difficult process that started in 1997 to create a legal structure for the franchise business model in China.
  • Richard Wageman
  • 9,790 Reads 628 Shares
An acquaintance (not a lawyer) who is working on a book on franchising, recently asked me to review her manuscript and make appropriate editorial suggestions. In her chapter on buying a franchise, she strongly recommends, as would I, that a prospective franchise purchaser hire a lawyer who is experienced in franchising to counsel him (or her) with respect to this investment.
  • Rupert M. Barkoff
  • 2,023 Reads 6 Shares
California has long been a key market for franchising. Its consumer-oriented culture has also made it one of the most active venues for regulatory and legal issues. Legal developments over the past year affecting the franchise community include 1)...
  • Mary Beth Trice and Dawn Newton
  • 5,881 Reads 157 Shares
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  • abanet.org
  • 2,822 Reads 22 Shares
I. Rule Overview Basic Requirement: Franchisors must furnish potential franchisees with written disclosures providing important information about the franchisor, the franchised business and the franchise relationship, and give them at least ten...
  • FTC.gov
  • 4,874 Reads 52 Shares
Mr. Rogers, of children's television fame, would have felt right at home at the Franchise UPDATE's 8th Annual Leadership & Development Conference--The Playbook: Winning Strategies for Franchise Success. No one would have raised an eyebrow at the close of the conference if they'd heard his reassuring voice in the hotel lobby singing those familiar words: "It's such a good feeling..."
  • Kerry Pipes
  • 2,270 Reads 1 Shares
Many owners and operators have long realized that employees are one of the major assets in their multi-unit or multi-brand franchise business. Franchise operations usually have quite a bit invested in hiring and training its workers. A smart owner or operator knows that improving a business asset can reap rewards far exceeding the cost of any improvements made. Similarly, the value of people to your organization improves with investments in additional training and education.
  • Mark E. Battersby
  • 5,662 Reads 787 Shares
During the last few years, franchising has experienced an impressive growth in Spain, from 634 franchise systems in 2002 to almost 900 in January 2006, with over 54,000 franchised outlets now open. Accordingly, having access to accurate and relevant information regarding franchisors is very important for a growing number of prospective franchisees, consumers and future franchisors.
  • Laura Montoya Teran
  • 5,204 Reads 290 Shares
I have written often on the subject of the complexity of franchise agreements, and the clear trend over the past four decades to make them even longer and more complex. Why has this trend developed?
  • Rupert M. Barkoff
  • 3,053 Reads 24 Shares
Last year, while many Canadians and Americans alike were considering a summer vacation to experience all that Canada's Atlantic Coast has to offer, legislators in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, two of Canada's maritime provinces, were setting their minds to franchising.
  • Lawrence Weinberg and Jayne Westlake
  • 4,114 Reads 5 Shares
On January 25, 2006, an amendment ("Amendment") to the Mexican Industrial Property Law ("IPL") was published in the Federal Official Gazette. The Amendment was published after a long discussion initiated by Congress in early 2005, and became effective on January 26, 2006. The Amendment's final provisions were the result of a very effective lobbying campaign by major players in the franchising sector and, fortunately for the industry, Congress eliminated many of the overly restrictive aspects of the initial bill that could have unnecessarily hampered the industry. In the end, Congress' objective of providing more protection to franchisees was well balanced with the legitimate rights of franchisors. For example, certain ultra-protectionist provisions for franchisees originally contained in the bill, such as certain rights of first refusal in franchisees' favor and the right to request cancellation of registration of franchisor's trademarks in certain cases, were not incorporated into the Amendment.
  • Alberto de la Peña
  • 2,412 Reads
Belgium's new franchise law (the "Law"), which was the subject of several legislative delays during 2005, has now been formally adopted. Originally, the Law was set to go into effect as of September 1, 2005; however, on January 23, 2006, a Decree published in the Belgian Official Gazette notified the public that the Law had been amended to establish an initial effective date of February 1, 2006.
  • Ryan Whitfill
  • 3,719 Reads 127 Shares
State regulators across the country are out to blur the distinction between franchisors and employers. If they succeed, they could crimp the growth of one of the franchise industry's hottest segments: franchise providers of janitorial, security guard, industrial gardening, delivery, and other services to commercial clients.
  • Barry Kurtz and Richard Rosenberg
  • 3,617 Reads 438 Shares
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Belgium's new franchise law, which was the subject of several legislative delays during 2005, has now been formally adopted. Originally, the law was set to go into effect as of September 1, 2005; however, on January 23, 2006, a decree published in the Belgian Official Gazette notified the public that the law had been amended to establish an initial effective date of February 1, 2006.
  • Ryan Whitfill
  • 3,333 Reads 82 Shares
State regulators across the country are out to blur the distinction between franchisors and employers. If they succeed, they could crimp the growth of one of the franchise industry's hottest segments: franchise providers of janitorial, security guard, industrial gardening, delivery, and other services to commercial clients.
  • Barry Kurtz and Richard Rosenberg
  • 2,024 Reads
State regulators across the country are out to blur the distinction between franchisors and employers. If they succeed, they could crimp the growth of one of the franchise industry's hottest segments: franchise providers of janitorial, security...
  • Franchise Update
  • 5,653 Reads 507 Shares
I must be becoming a curmudgeon. In recent Viewpoint columns, I have taken potshots at the FTC and my fellow franchise lawyers. So far, the state franchise regulators have for some reason been below my radar screen. Why? Over the course of my...
  • Franchise Update
  • 3,504 Reads 7 Shares
I must be becoming a curmudgeon. In recent Viewpoint columns, I have taken potshots at the FTC and my fellow franchise lawyers. So far, the state franchise regulators have for some reason been below my radar screen. Why?
  • Rupert M. Barkoff
  • 2,189 Reads 9 Shares
Belgium's proposed franchise law (the "Proposed Law") seemed to be headed for final adoption on October 18, 2005; however, the Belgian Senate had other ideas. The Senate took up the bill for reconsideration prior to the October 18th deadline, so the bill is now back in a state of limbo while the Senate debates whether to make changes to the draft that was approved by the Belgian Chamber of Representatives on July 7, 2005. The Belgian Senate has 60 days to decide whether revisions need to be made to the Proposed Law. If the Senate revises the Proposed Law then the bill will be sent back to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives for further consideration.
  • Ryan Whitfill
  • 2,261 Reads 47 Shares
The franchising industry in Vietnam has been gradually developing over the past few years with the products and services of a number of well-known local and foreign brand names achieving higher market profile. However, this development has taken place in the absence of any regulations directly governing franchising activities. The current franchising industry in Vietnam has relied on regulations on related issues, such as those to do with licensing of intellectual property rights and technology transfer coupled with general contractual obligations.
  • Andrew Terry
  • 2,622 Reads 14 Shares
The Mexican Congress is reviewing a bill ("Bill") intended to amend the Mexican Industrial Property Law ("IPL") to regulate franchise agreements and to add new disclosure procedures. It is still uncertain whether the Congress will approve the Bill. Currently, the IPL franchise regulations are very limited, and do not regulate the content of franchise agreements. The Bill adopts a very different approach in order to protect franchisees from perceived franchisor abuses.
  • Alberto de la Peña
  • 2,163 Reads 6 Shares
If adopted, the recently published Unfair Contract Terms Bill ("UCTB") will significantly change the way franchise agreements are viewed by English courts and could create headaches for franchisors with franchises in the United Kingdom ("UK"). The UCTB was published by the Law Commission in draft form earlier this year. The bill will not become effective unless it is formally adopted, but the draft reflects the views of the current government so it is likely that the bill will be adopted sometime in 2006.
  • Ryan Whitfill
  • 2,627 Reads 99 Shares
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