In all aspects of franchising, relationships are crucially important. That is especially true when choosing the right legal partner to protect your business.

Our clients count on us to help them navigate the overlapping state and federal laws that govern franchises, business opportunities, and deal protection. Even if a formal franchise relationship doesn’t exist, we can help you assess if one or more of these laws apply and begin to develop a proactive plan.

Our lawyers represent franchisors, franchisees, and franchisee associations in varied industries like hospitality, food and beverage, and retail. While most of our clients are in the franchisor role, we have significant experience representing companies in franchisee-related corporate, real estate, technology, employment, bankruptcy, and other matters. Our team is also prepared if you need guidance in franchise, antitrust, contract, or intellectual property litigation.

If you are not operating in the traditional franchise model, certain state and federal franchise and business opportunity laws may still apply. For example, if you decide to transfer goods to another business or license out a trademark for others to use. Womble Bond Dickinson also counsels companies in these confusing scenarios.

Franchise Transactions/Regulatory Compliance

Transactions between franchisors and franchisees are governed by a complex web of federal and state laws, but we can help. Our transactional and regulatory experience includes:

  • Preparing Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs) and related advertising materials 
  • Addressing compliance issues related to franchise disclosure laws
  • Negotiating franchise agreements and helping franchisors administer those agreements
  • Counseling parties on licensing, supply and distribution arrangements
  • Licensing and defending trademarks, trade secrets, and other intellectual property in franchising relationships
  • Protecting clients’ credit card and personal information
  • Advising on compliance with federal and state advertising and e-commerce laws
  • Terminating franchisor/franchisee relationships

Franchise and Dealer Protection Litigation

If a business relationship goes sour, you may find yourself in need of an experienced litigator. We represent clients in franchise and dealer protection litigation at both federal and state levels across the country, as well as in proceedings before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Our full range of services includes representing parties in:

  • Dealer protection statute litigation
  • Litigation involving confidential information, trademarks, trade secrets, and other intellectual property
  • Termination of franchisee relationships disputes
  • Cases involving FDD and other disclosure issues