Franchising is a growth area of business with many businesses now taking advantage of marketing opportunities that social media and the advancing internet provides. More and more business are reaching out to not only the UK but the global market and it opens up opportunities.
Many businesses are now looking to offer franchises for their brands and businesses, in order to grow their own brand and potentials. That allows them to seek a fee, in relation to those franchise opportunities, along with royalties, advertising levies and a number of other matters.
The NatWest BFA survey 2013 shows that there are about 930 business format franchises operating in the UK, with a total of 39,000 franchise units; that there are in excess of half a million people working in the franchise industry; and that business format franchising contributes about £13.7 billion towards the UK economy.
Our solicitors specialise in franchising advice and provide a deep understanding of the processes involved. All our franchising law specialists are aware of and keen to promote ethical franchising in accordance with the standards and rules promulgated by British Franchising Association.
The concept of franchising is founded on the idea that a good business model can be replicated again and again. A business which has an established brand and is looking to expand its markets, or simply exploit its valuable intellectual property, can sell licences. These enable others to use the business’ brand, trademarks, patents and to trade the same products and services in much the same way. That creates a franchise, over which the original company – the head office – retains a significant level of control.
Our franchising and intellectual property lawyers are experienced in and advising on the pros and cons of franchising in respect of any type of UK or internationally-based enterprise. They work with potential franchisees, too, to help them understand the obligations, risks and opportunities offered up by a franchise. They negotiate and draw up comprehensive franchise agreements and franchise renewal agreements and advise on franchise management strategies. They also advise on the intellectual property aspects of the sale of franchise businesses or shares in franchises.
Advice to franchisors
- Auditing franchise recruitment material – to reduce the risk of mis-selling and/or breach
- Franchise disputes
- Compliance issues and obtaining payment
- Intellectual property and brand protection
- Territorial rights and internet selling
- Advising on renewal
- Sale of franchises and associated documentation
- Termination of franchises
- Injunctions to seek compliance of restrictive covenants
- Drafting and advising on franchise agreements and related contractual documentation
Advice to franchisees:
- Due diligence and the role of the BFA
- Pre-contractual recruitment material and financials
- What does the contract mean
- Disputes, payment and franchisor’s obligations
- Termination, negotiating and drafting termination documentation
- What happens after termination – am I personally liable?
- Advice in relation to advertising levies
- Advice in relation to royalties
- Advice in relation to software arrangements
- Advice in relation to purchasing