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Franchising Overview

Jimerson Birr’s Franchising Industry Team knows franchise laws and how to utilize those laws to assist our clients in creating a method to best distribute their products or services and achieve their business goals. If you have a successful business and have decided to franchise it, there’s a lot of legal and business work that needs to be performed. That’s why our team can help with everything from strategic planning for growth to creating all the necessary legal paperwork. 

Another area where our franchising team shines is helping new franchisors understand exactly what their franchisees will need in order to succeed, and ensuring that the expectations of the franchisor and franchisee are fully accounted for in binding documentation. Inevitably, every franchised business evolves, alters its model or business structure, adjusts the process that it sells franchises, improves upon the terms of its franchise agreements or policies, or recasts franchise partnerships. Since legal rights amongst many parties in many jurisdictions have to be accounted for with nearly every tweak a franchisor makes, franchisors need to be thorough to ensure franchisee system compliance and fidelity to the franchise agreement. While there is opportunity in every change in agreements or policies, or every franchisee coming and going, those opportunities come with attendant regulatory, statutory, contractual and common law risk that need to be managed. Jimerson Birr can serve as your legal partner in pursuing those vulnerability-treated opportunities so that the franchisor can continue to its own internal business operations. With our help, franchisors will be able to circumvent many of the hindrances that cause new franchising operations to fail.

For franchisees, who are often first-time business owners, buying a franchise is a major financial investment and a serious personal commitment that you should not take on without counsel. While understanding your abilities and goals is the first step toward deciding whether a franchise is right for you, understanding what your legal and financial responsibilities will be should be the second step. Because a problem that comes up after you have signed the franchise contracts may be very expensive to fix, if it can be fixed at all, Jimerson Birr attorneys help franchisees understand and comply with their obligations under these long and complex agreements.  

Our Franchise attorneys know franchise laws and how to utilize those laws to assist our clients in creating a method to best distribute their products or services and achieve their business goals. Jimerson Birr provides franchisors and franchisees with legal counsel to address the full spectrum of franchise-related issues, including:

Purchase and Sell/Operational issues

  • Full service franchise contracting – unit agreements, area development agreements, master license agreements, special stipulations, ancillary support forms, lender estoppel and attornment agreements
  • Franchise disclosure and registration documentation
  • Franchise offering circulars and recruitment advertising
  • Corporate structuring and entity formation
  • Corporate Formation, Transactions and Dissolution
  • Land acquisition and dispositions
  • Real Estate Transactions & Disputes
  • Landlord/Tenant Leasing (Commercial)
  • Acquiring and terminating franchise systems
  • Developing, operating and expanding franchise systems
  • International franchise operation, acquisition and governance
  • Franchise licensure, regulatory compliance and field specific legal obligations

Labor and Employment Law

  • Drafting employment policies and employee handbooks, assisting in labor negotiations and defending employment claims and disputes
  • Franchise training consultation
  • All levels of labor and employment issues in the franchise system

Franchise Litigation

  • Franchise agreement consultation and interpretation
  • Regulatory defense
  • Franchisee quality control, intellectual property misuse, compelling reporting, non-competition
  • Royalty fee payment collection
  • Full agreement enforcement and franchise termination
  • Premises liability, tort claims, vicarious liability defense
  • Franchisee claims – encroachment, misleading costs, failure to train or support, non-renewal, agreement breach, assignment/transfer

Intellectual Property Preservation

  • Obtaining federal and state registration for trademarks, service marks, trade secrets and copyrights
  • Cease and desist demands
  • Misappropriation of Intellectual Property Rights

At Jimerson Birr, we represent franchisors and franchisees in a wide range of franchise law matters. Whether you are a franchisor seeking to do business in Florida or nationwide, or an individual seeking a franchise business opportunity, our business lawyers will handle your legal matter in accordance with the firm’s standards of service and commitment to excellence.

Who We Serve

  • Franchisors
  • Franchisees

WHAT WE DO FOR THE FRANCHISING INDUSTRY

Jimerson Birr recognizes that companies in the risky, complex, and ever-evolving franchising sector depend on sound counsel for mission-critical operational, legal and regulatory issues. We are committed to the goal of helping franchisors and franchisees mitigate risk and prevent problems before they arise or escalate. 

  • We stay fully apprised of changes to franchising laws and industry trends in order to proactively keep our clients informed through our educational efforts and industry wide training initiatives.
  • We draft and prepare business documents in a manner that will make the language more understandable, address the primary risks of your particular business, and bring the documents into compliance with changes in law or trends in the industry.
  • Our dedication to efficient and cost-conscious practice of law, in conjunction with innovative and flexible compensation terms, enable us to help franchisors and franchisees effectively plan and maintain their budgets without surprise.
  • We have the resources and bandwidth to address legal issues which may occur in the everyday management and operation of the business.

Our Franchising Industry Attorneys cover all aspects of a company’s legal needs, with specialty service offerings centered around:

  • Full Service Franchise Contracting – Unit Agreements, Area Development Agreements, Master License Agreements, Special Stipulations, Ancillary Support Forms, Lender Estoppel and Attornment Agreements
  • Franchise Disclosure and Registration Documentation
  • Franchise Offering Circulars and Recruitment Advertising
  • Acquiring and Terminating Franchise Systems
  • Developing, Operating and Expanding Franchise Systems
  • Franchise Agreement Litigation
  • Franchisee Claims – Encroachment, Misleading Costs, Failure to Train or Support, Non-Renewal, Agreement Breach, Assignment/Transfer
  • Royalty Fee Payment Collection

More than just Franchising Industry Law specialists, Jimerson Birr has a team of attorneys with experience and expertise in every legal issue you may encounter, including:

Jimerson Customer Service

We live by our 7 Superior Service Commitments

  • Conferring Client-Defined Value
  • Efficient and Cost-Effective
  • Accessibility
  • Delivering an Experience While Delivering Results
  • Meaningful and Enduring Partnership
  • Exceptional Communication Based Upon Listening
  • Accountability to Goals
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Attorneys

Charles B. Jimerson
Charles B. Jimerson
Charles B. Jimerson view bio
Austin B. Calhoun
Austin B. Calhoun
Austin B. Calhoun view bio

News

Powerhouse Panel With Leading Technology, Law Enforcement, Cyber Insurance and Legal Experts to Help Protect Businesses from Crippling Ransomware Attacks
  1. Press Room
Powerhouse Panel With Leading Technology, Law Enforcement, Cyber Insurance and Legal Experts to Help Protect Businesses from Crippling Ransomware Attacks

Jacksonville, Fla. – September 15, 2021 – Jimerson Birr, a business law firm with an overarching mission of adding value with

Resources

Protecting Your Business From a Ransomware Attack, a Panel Presentation on Trends, Tips & Best Practices
  1. Presentations
Protecting Your Business From a Ransomware Attack, a Panel Presentation on Trends, Tips & Best Practices

A successful ransomware attack can cost a business hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in cash, plus weeks of lost

Client Success

Represented Majority Stock Purchaser in Purchasing Brokerage Franchisor

Represented majority stock purchaser in purchasing real estate valuation and brokerage franchisor, including all legal issues pertaining to franchisor purchase and franchisee relations.

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Successfully Executed Automotive Franchise Termination

Terminated automotive franchise and dealer agreements, advised client on all legal issues pertinent to impending corporate merger and litigated disputed issues pertinent to franchise termination.

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Drafted Shareholder Agreement for Prospective Franchisee for Development with a Franchisor with Over 150 U.S. Locations

Drafted shareholder agreement on behalf of prospective franchisee for commercial development with established restaurant franchisor with over 150 locations throughout the United States.

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Chief Executive Officer of Restoration Services Franchisor

As a franchisor who has had substantial work to do in franchisor-franchisee relations when we bought the business, Jimerson Birr was incredibly helpful in getting us focused on the bigger issues that we had to prioritize in order to save all the franchises. We worked to terminate underperforming franchise owners and develop better support systems for performing franchise owners. At this point, I have developed a time-tested, close relationship with many of the attorneys at Jimerson Birr. There are a few we use because of their different specialties. My team is constantly impressed with their level of service, commitment to quality work, and profound recollection of matters that affected each franchisor through the years. The firm has been a good source of continuity when we have had turnover. They are teachers who help us understand what laws are important to us and how certain decisions impact the business. I have referred many friends and peers to Jimerson Birr because, honestly, they are a truly superior business law firm and their service and legal judgment is one I cannot speak more highly of.

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Owner of Regional Fitness Facilities Testimonial

As a new franchisee, the decision to purchase a franchise was one that involved much deliberation. During this time and as my family approached a decision, we enlisted Jimerson Birr to guide us through the extensive process. Both the level of service and detail that went into this were outstanding, and the firm’s assistance and direction made what can be a tiresome process a much more palatable experience. Without Jimerson Birr, certain contractual nuances may have been missed and become costly aftermath issues. However, nothing was overlooked, a thorough examination of all materials was conducted, and, in the end, we walked away with much more industry knowledge and a clean, successful acquisition. We are set up to succeed with help from this firm.

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