Let the Scott Phillip Weber, PA guide you to success with your new franchise concept
For the Start-Up Franchisor
Franchising can be a profitable and low cost way to expand your existing business concept. But, it requires you to create an interrelated system of legal relationships to make it work. That is where having the right legal counsel is critically important. The law firm of Scott Phillip Weber, PA can guide you around the obstacles to success and help put your company in a position for strong franchise growth.
Scott Phillip Weber, PA assists companies looking to franchise their current business model in the following ways:
- We evaluate if you have already begun franchising and don’t know it. Many new franchisors come to us and tell us, “I’ve been ‘licensing’ or granting ‘distributorships’ but have not begun ‘franchising’ due to the cost or regulatory burden.” Others tell us they have been granting “joint ventures” but not franchises. For some of them, those relationships meet the legal definition of a “franchise” or “business opportunity.” The firm can help advise you about the risks of these kinds of relationships, and how to convert them to a franchise system. In fact, Scott Weber has assisted many clients who came to him not knowing they were failing to follow the law.
- Scott will evaluate if franchising or another model is the right legal structure for your enterprise. Not all multi-unit business models are right for franchising. Scott can work with you to implement a franchise model, or where appropriate, apply sound legal strategies to allow you to grant licenses, dealerships, joint ventures and fractional relationships that do not require the same level of regulatory oversight. It’s important your attorney knows the ins and outs of franchise and business opportunity laws, and their exemptions and exclusions. Scott has been representing franchisors with these ins and outs since 1997. If you are seeking to franchise your business or want advice on alternative growth strategies, he can help you devise the appropriate course of action, advise you of your options, and help you with necessary documentation.
- If you are going to franchise, our firm can draft state of the art Franchise Agreements, Franchise Disclosure Documents and ancillary agreements. Do not be misled by some of the bargain basement consultants or advisors. Non-lawyers should not be drafting your legal documents. Scott Weber stays current on the latest case law and regulatory announcements, and incorporates that knowledge into your legal documents. This firm does not draft “boiler plate” documents. Scott will work with you to craft customized Franchise Agreements, Area Development Agreements, Area Representative Agreements, Collateral Assignments of Leases, Principal Owners’ Guarantees, Collateral Assignments of Telephone Numbers and Listings, Leases, Confidentiality Agreements, supplier agreements and the like, to fit the needs of your franchise system and protect your interests. But, he also takes the extra steps of making sure they are easy to read, and easy for your sales staff to explain. He drafts with the goal of reducing misconceptions and miscommunications between you and your franchisees. It’s our goal for franchisees to clearly and easily understand what you and they can and cannot do, and the extent of each party’s obligations to the other.
- Clear and easily communicable documents form the basis of strong relationships for years to come. In drafting the documents, Scott will discuss with you, and tailor many issues to your needs. These include, among many others:
- Initial Franchise Fees
- National, Regional, Local and cooperative advertising requirements
- Use of intellectual property, like trademarks, service marks, copyrights, confidential information and trade secrets
- Application of patent based franchise rights, if applicable
- Franchisor’s pre-opening and post-opening obligations
- Franchisee’s pre-opening and post-opening obligations
- Training programs and training fees
- Renewal, transfer and changes among owners
- Scope of guarantees by franchise owners
- Site selection, site acquisition or lease, and build out
- Sales of products, services inventory and supplies to franchisees
- Transfers of franchise rights and business ownership upon death, or disability of the franchise owners
- Issues relating to sophisticated and multi-unit franchisees
- Capital improvements, remodeling
- Franchise terminations, defaults and cure periods and
- Alternative dispute resolution, litigation.
Scott, not some junior associate who hardly knows you, will work closely with you to prepare disclosures in your Franchise Disclosure Document. The reason why we say “we help you prepare” disclosures in your FDD rather than “we prepare your FDD” is important. Scott and his staff listen to your concerns and make sure you are satisfied with the work product.
Your Franchise Disclosure Document is only as good as the information you provide to us to draft into it. Having some consultant simply download a “form” and input some of your information in it won’t produce you an FDD. It has got to be right, or it doesn’t protect you.
If the person preparing your FDD does not have the legal training, knowledge of current trends in disclosure, regulatory pronouncements and case law, it is likely they will not know to ask the “right” questions.
Scott’s experience educates him on what questions to ask, and when to push for more information. Your FDD will reflect our time working with you, asking the right questions and getting to know your business.
In doing so, Scott makes sure all of the required information is disclosed in the FDD, and can advise you of the risks of disclosing and not disclosing information that may, or may not be required to be included.
And, like our Franchise Agreements and other agreements, the FDDs we draft are easy to read. Your sales staff won’t have to struggle to explain them to potential franchisees.
The law firm of Scott Phillip Weber, PA can handle your State Franchise Registration Filings and Renewals. If you are going to franchise in the 14 states with some form of franchise registration review or filing process, or in the 5 other states with business opportunity law exemption filings, you will want us to handle them for you. Scott and his staff has experience dealing with the various state franchise regulators. We know how to respond to, and avoid state “comment letters” and move your registrations quickly and smoothly through this process. During your initial process, we work with you to deal with issues such as:
- “What kinds of Financial Statements will I need.”
- “Will the regulators ask for fee deferrals, a bond or a guarantee by a parent company?”
- “Can I offer before I’m registered?”
- “Do I need to prepare filings of my franchise advertising?”
- “Who are the salespersons for whom we have to file salesperson registration forms?”
- “How does the new FTC Rule deal with franchise brokers, and is this different under any state laws?”
- How do I track and coordinate franchise registration renewals, will you do this for me?”We take care of your trademark and copyright filings and advise you how to protect your intellectual property. Many franchisors need their trademarks and copyrights filed. We advise you how to protect and improve upon your intellectual property, and take the steps necessary to protect your rights in them. In the rare cases that we determine that you can’t continue to use an existing trademark or service mark, we work with you to develop new ones, and convert your existing system over to the new brand.
We lay the foundation for your other legal relationships. We work with you to advise you on how to protect your franchise system in its dealings with suppliers, consultants, accountants and the like.
We always remain your legal advocate. As your legal counsel, our firm’s loyalties are always to you. While we, applying our Francshie Legal Team approach, coordinate with outside franchise consultants and your other strategic partners, it is our job and mission to always look out for you.