Business Services

Franchise Law

Our Franchise Law attorneys at Roetzel are extensively experienced with and understand the complex franchising issues of both the franchisor and franchisee. We understand the need to combine detailed business knowledge of ever-changing marketing and distribution methods with thorough legal knowledge of franchise law, such as licensing, franchise sales, trademark infringements and franchise agreements.

We have the practical experience to guide our clients through complex matters in a cost effective manner.

Our clients are both franchisors and franchisees and include industries such as fast food, hotel, manufacturers, real estate, auto and beer and wine companies.

Roetzel attorneys help to explain the rights, responsibilities, duties and obligations of the parties to franchise agreements. If problems arise with the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee, our experienced team of litigators are prepared to prosecute or defend a party's rights under a franchise, distributorship or license agreement. Our goal for our franchising clients is to assist them in improving their bottom lines and avoid the potential pitfalls of noncompliance with state and federal regulations. We have the practical experience to guide our clients through complex matters in a cost effective manner.

Our Experience

  • Represented multi-unit franchisee operators of fast food concepts
  • Assisted franchisors in creating and updating of franchise disclosure documents, including compliance with state regulation laws, preparation of franchise agreements, area development agreements, non-competition agreements
  • Represented a commercial real estate brokerage in regulation and compliance matters
  • Represented a convenience store chain with regard to franchisees who had breached leases, filed bankruptcy and failed to turn over funds held in trust
  • Represented a lender who took over franchise for major hotel chain and negotiated successful resolution
  • Represented various national restaurant chains in litigation matters and employment-related matters in Ohio
  • Represented several national restaurant and fast food chains in contractual disputes
  • Defended trade dress infringement suit for an adhesive removal manufacturer
  • Represented a household products manufacturer in defeating preliminary injunction claim brought by a competitor alleging trade dress infringement
  • Represented manufacturer in antitrust litigation arising from termination of distributorships in Wisconsin and Illinois
  • Counseled manufacturer regarding termination of distributorships in various states
  • Successfully represented manufacturer in dealership litigation in Texas alleging breach of contract and statutory violations
  • Successfully represented a manufacturer who sought termination of distributor rights when its distributor failed to meet its sales quotas and adequately represent the manufacturer; distributorship was terminated and court allowed engagement of new distributor
  • Represented a Swedish distributor in drafting distributorship agreements and termination of national program including litigation over wrongful termination of distributor
  • Represented numerous car dealerships in organizational, operational matters, purchase and sale of dealership, and in Ohio Auto Dealers termination matters
  • Represented many beer and wine distributors in organizational, operational matters, and purchase and sale of distributorship
  • Represented a fast food franchisee in a claim regarding a foreign object in a food product
  • Represented a fast food franchisee on an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint
  • Represented a retail clothing and food mixed-use concept for rollout in the Southeast
  • Represented a national retail QSR to draft a private placement memorandum and secure funding for expansion
  • Provided outside general counsel services for multiple franchise brands
  • Served as general counsel for one of the nation's premier franchise public relations firms
  • Served as franchise counsel and strategic partner to one of the nation's largest real estate management companies
  • Provide counsel for telecommunications franchise agreements and tower zoning work
  • Represented the developer of franchised motel properties including the negotiation of the franchise agreement

What We Do

  • Counseling franchisee on entity business formation matters
  • Advise franchisee regarding franchise disclosure documents, franchise agreement, lease agreement and loan agreement
  • Compliance requirements, FTC and state registrations
  • Creating disclosure documents, franchise agreements, area development agreements, master franchise agreements, sub-franchise documentation and area representative agreements
  • Disclosure requirements, procedure for development of products on national, regional or state specific basis
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Litigating franchise relationship laws and franchise matters including:
    • Fair dealing
    • Market protection
    • Termination of existing franchise or license agreements
    • Trade dress

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