Williams Mullen’s Franchising Group helps businesses to grow through franchising. If you have developed a successful business concept, we can help you to determine whether your business is ready for franchising and can help you to transition into franchising. If you are an existing franchisor or subfranchisor in need of franchising-related legal services, we can provide you with a wide range of those services.

Williams Mullen’s Franchising Group helps businesses to grow through franchising. If you have developed a successful business concept, we can help you to determine whether your business is ready for franchising and can help you to transition into franchising. If you are an existing franchisor or subfranchisor in need of franchising-related legal services, we can provide you with a wide range of those services.

We have the knowledge and experience to handle all counseling, regulatory, transactional and dispute resolution issues that a franchisor or subfranchisor may confront. Those issues include, for example, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Franchise Rule compliance, franchise disclosure document (FDD) preparation, state franchise registrations and notice filings, branding (trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets and trade dress), e-commerce, franchise sales compliance training, franchise relationship and compliance systems, contract drafting and review, franchise transfers and terminations, mergers and acquisitions, real estate acquisition and leasing, raising capital and financing, and international expansion (inbound and outbound). Even more importantly, we take the time to understand you and your business, so that we are able to provide you with the legal support you need for all facets of your business.

We provide a variety of franchising-related services involving:

  • Franchising a business
  • Comparing franchising and licensing
  • Franchisor representation
  • Subfranchisor representation
  • Franchise disclosure document (FDD) preparation
  • FTC Franchise Rule compliance
  • State franchise law compliance
  • State business opportunity law compliance
  • State franchise and business opportunity registrations and notice filings
  • Branding protection, including the protection of trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets and trade dress
  • E-commerce, Internet and advertising
  • Franchisee relationships
  • Enforcement of quality standards
  • Franchise advisory councils
  • Financial performance representations
  • Pricing
  • Raising capital and financing
  • Sale or acquisition of a franchise system
  • Franchisee reorganization and bankruptcy
  • Alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration
  • Royalty disputes
  • Real estate
  • Immigration
  • Antitrust 

 

We have years of experience in structuring franchise agreements, and in helping you to develop and enforce policies and procedures that will benefit your franchise system and put you in a strong legal position if disputes arise. We have a high success rate in negotiating favorable resolutions of franchisor-franchisee disputes. If needed, our experienced franchise litigation team members are available to handle any mediation, arbitration or litigation that may arise. In sum, either with our team or with the support of other teams within Williams Mullen, we can fully meet all of your legal needs in national or international franchising.

 

The following are samples of the types of matters we have handled and continue to handle for franchisors and subfranchisors:

  • Counsel start-up franchisors
     
  • Serve as full-service outside general counsel to established franchisors and subfranchisors located throughout the United States
     
  • Represent subfranchisors of national franchise systems
     
  • Prepare franchise disclosure documents (FDDs) in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Franchise Rule, for franchisors and subfranchisors located throughout the United States
     
  • Prepare and file state franchise registration applications and notice filings in all states with franchise laws on behalf of franchisors and subfranchisors located throughout the United States
     
  • Assist franchisors located throughout the United States in the development of quality-control compliance systems
     
  • Advise franchisors located throughout the United States on franchise transfer and resale issues
     
  • Advise franchisors located throughout the United States on franchise default and termination issues
     
  • Advise franchisors located throughout the United States regarding the organization of franchisee advisory councils
     
  • Develop financial performance representations for franchisors located throughout the United States, based on varying business metrics
     
  • Secure government contract schedule listings for franchisors and products distributed by their franchise systems
     
  • Negotiate supplier contracts for franchisors located throughout the United States
     
  • Advise franchisors located throughout the United States regarding international expansion in countries with and without franchise laws
     
  • Advise foreign franchisors about federal and state franchise law compliance in the United States
     
  • Serve as primary or Mid-Atlantic local litigation counsel for established franchisors located throughout the United States, including national fast food and hotel franchisors