Fairview Law is a Charlotte, North Carolina law firm that handles franchise law. Our North Carolina attorneys focus on assisting franchises and franchisees, the people who purchase franchises. Fairview Law is a member of the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising and has the resources to help your franchise succeed.
There are almost three-quarters of a million franchisees in the United States. Many potential franchisees see the growth potential for the Charlotte area and are ready to take the first step. Besides running your new business, there are various legal protections you should take before starting one. Fairview Law can advise you on how to purchase and manage your franchise.
Perhaps the most important document involved in a franchise is the Franchise Disclosure Document (called an FDD). Under federal law, franchisors must provide this to you before you purchase a franchise.
The FDD is a complex document with 23 required franchise-related sections, including: (1) The Franchisor and Any Parents, Predecessors, and Affiliates; (2) Business Experience; (3) Litigation; (4) Bankruptcy; (5) Initial Fees; (6) Other Fees; (7) Estimated Initial Investment; (8) Restrictions on Sources of Products and Services; (9) Franchisee’s Obligations; (10) Financing; (11) Franchisor’s Assistance, Advertising, Computer Systems, and Training; (12) Territory; (13) Trademarks; (14) Patents, Copyrights, and Proprietary Information; (15) Obligation to Participate in the Actual Operation of the Franchise Business; (16) Restrictions on What the Franchisee May Sell; (17) Renewal, Termination, Transfer, and Dispute Resolution; (18) Public Figures; (19) Financial Performance Representations; (20) Outlets and Franchisee Information; (21) Financial Statements; (22) Contracts; and (23) Receipts.
If there is a dispute with the company who sold the franchise, called the franchisor, Fairview Law can work to resolve the matter in your favor.
Fairview Law can advise you on:
- Reviewing a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). As explained above, the FDD requires careful analysis to ensure that you are advised ahead of time as to the risks and benefits of purchasing a franchise.
- Choosing the type of business entity for your franchise. Whether a LLC, corporation, or other form, this decision is vital to protect your personal assets and keep them separate from your company.
- Licensing agreements. Like franchise agreements, a licensing agreement gives you the right to produce and sell goods, apply a brand name or trademark, or use patents owned by the licensor.
- Disputes with franchisors. If there is a dispute with your franchisor, we can represent you in court and in negotiations.
- Contract negotiations. If the franchisor attempts to impose onerous contract terms, we can help you negotiate for something better.
- Fraud and breach of other duties by a franchisor. Unfortunately, not all franchisors are completely honest when they try to sell you their franchise. We can help bring claims for legal violations.
- Franchise termination and non-renewal. If your franchise is terminated or fails to be renewed, there are often options to get back your rights. Let us advise you on these.
Working for yourself is a great freedom, and Fairview Law can help you do so with the assurance of an advocate on your side.