Franchises and distributorships are contractual arrangements by which the right to engage in a business under a prescribed marketing plan or system is granted by the owner of the plan or system (the "franchisor") to a proposed operator (the "franchisee"). For a franchise, the plan or system is substantially related to the franchisor's trade name, trademark or service mark. These arrangements are frequently documented in complex agreements, accompanied with detailed statutory disclosures. Prospective franchisors and franchisees are well advised to engage experienced legal counsel to guide them through the initial documentation process and the commencement of business operations.
Issues to be negotiated in these arrangements, and in enforcing the terms of the agreement thereafter, include: the territory in which the operator is permitted to do business; the performance standards and quotas to be met and maintained; the initial and on-going fees to be paid; quality assurance; the circumstances under which the agreement may be terminated; and the representations and on-going obligations (if any) of the grantor to the business operator. Further issues arise under federal and state laws regulating these contractual arraignments and the governmental agencies (including the Federal Trade Commission and the California Department of Business Oversight) implementing those regulations.
Areas of frequent litigation are the enforceability of provisions fixing the venue or forum for the resolution of disputes and/or specifying mandatory arbitration processes and procedures. At Poole & Shaffery, LLP, the Santa Clarita business lawyers have gained a reputation for exceptional legal work in all of these matters. Whether the issue involves the initiation of a franchise or distributorship or a dispute or litigation in connection with its operation or termination, the firm has the skill and experience to meet your company's specific needs.
Contact the firm to arrange an initial meeting with a Santa Clarita business attorney.