All too often start-up franchisors rely on a consultant or attorney to prepare their franchise agreements for them. If they work with an attorney who has extensive experience in preparing these agreements, their reliance may be appropriate, but recent legal actions against some big named franchisors demonstrate the importance of knowing what is in your agreements, and having them reviewed at least annually by someone who keeps up with trends, pronouncements, and changes in the law.

Continue Reading

In many new franchise systems, the most important element of the brand is the common name under which each franchised outlet operates.  If you are considering expanding your business by opening additional locations or franchising, before you get too far into the process, consult with trademark counsel to be certain you have a name that can be registered as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Continue Reading

Our last post, New Franchise Offerings Continue to Expand, talked about the explosive growth of franchising over the last several decades. Larkin Hoffman has been helping entrepreneurs franchise their businesses for more than 40 years, and we thought a look back at some of our original franchise clients would be instructive to people seeking to franchise their businesses today. In 1977 and 1978, we helped 3 companies franchise their businesses.

Continue Reading

In 1980, Entrepreneur Magazine published its first “Franchise 500,” which purported to rank the top 500 franchises in the United States, out of a total of just over 1,000 franchise systems. Today, the International Franchise Association, the trade association for franchising, best known as the “IFA,” estimates there are more than 3,500 franchise brands in the United States.
Continue Reading

A few weeks ago, my colleague Chuck Modell discussed the necessity of developing a “fair but firm” franchise agreement that is designed to work with your particular franchise system. His suggestion that new franchisors avoid using “form franchise agreements” (I would also recommend avoiding consultants who do not meet with you to discuss your system) and instead tailor their agreements specific to their system struck a chord with me.
Continue Reading