Franchisors

Thinking about franchising your business?

At Kishbaugh Law Firm, LLC, we will work with you to determine if franchising or another business expansion model is right for both you and  your business. First we will evaluate your business and its franchisability. Once you determine to franchise your business, franchising will require strategic planning and preparation in advance of implementation.

Protect your brand

Your brand is one of the most important parts of your franchised business. It takes the United States Patent and Trademark Office an average of eighteen months to complete a trademark registration, so hiring an intellectual property attorney to trademark your brand – your name, service mark, and logo — is an important next step. Once an intellectual property attorney has researched your brand to make sure that it is strong enough and files a registration, you can use it to start franchising.

Preparation

You will need a detailed and legally sound Operations Manual. It must be detailed enough that your franchisees can successfully duplicate your business and have their own profitable business. You must be very careful, however, that the Operations Manual does not exercise such control that you create legal liability for yourself.

The Franchisor will need to create all necessary business forms for franchisees to use in the business. What these are will be determined by your specific business.

Marketing

You must determine how you will market the franchise, to which prospects you will sell the franchises, and whether you will use franchise brokers. It was you and your skills that made your business successful. Your decisions and coaching will be critical to create value and for the franchisees to duplicate your success. In order for the franchises to be successful, it is important to carefully determine the skills and financing that the franchisees will possess and the geographic locations where the franchisees will be located.

Make it legal

A franchise attorney will evaluate and/or create all of the documents that you will give to prospective franchisees. First, the attorney will need to fully understand your business by spending time with your staff and reviewing your Operations Manual. You will need a Franchise Disclosure Document, which is required by federal law. It is important that your Franchise Agreement, the contract between the franchisor and the franchisee, be drafted to be fair to you and the franchisees, and to protect the growing franchise system. Some franchisors will need an Area Representative Agreement or Master Franchise Agreement (for developing larger territories). In addition, several states require registration of the franchise before you can offer or sell. A number of other states require notice filings.

Follow-up, Compliance and Training

Franchising is a highly regulated industry, and Kishbaugh Law Firm, LLC can guide you through not only the disclosure and registration process, but also limits on advertising and marketing, training your sales staff, and record keeping.

We can also help with other types of agreements that you may need, including service contracts, sales contracts, consulting agreements, independent contractor agreements, confidentiality agreements, non-competition agreements, equipment leases, vendor agreements, and more.