Our Franchise attorneys represent franchisors and franchisees in the development and execution of successful franchise operations.  We provide counsel to companies across industries, including restaurants, retailers, country clubs, entertainment centers, salons, childcare centers, health and fitness clubs, spas, and more.  Our attorneys are renowned for providing best-in-class legal services to regional and national franchise operators.

At the core of each client relationship is our determination: to prepare your franchise business for long-term success, to guide your company with proven expertise, to focus on your best interests during disputes, and to support your vision through every phase of your business.

Our team provides counsel on franchising and licensing structuring, multi-unit franchises, master franchise arrangements, trademarks and IP, litigation and dispute resolution, and hospitality representation.

For franchisors, we focus on protecting and retaining brand integrity of your major intellectual property assets, including your business name, logo, and other intellectual property.

Franchising and Licensing Structuring

Operating your franchise, or converting your current business into a franchise system, takes careful consideration, skill, and expertise.  Our attorneys in the Franchising group at A.Y. Strauss have deep experience helping businesses build franchise systems that succeed.

Our team can help lay the proper foundation necessary to create a strong franchise, whether it’s a two-location restaurant or a fitness concept with locations nationwide.

The Franchising practice at A.Y. Strauss can assist with legal services related to franchising and licensing structuring, including:

  • Preparing franchise and licensing-related documents
    • Preparing Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs)
    • Preparing franchise & license agreements
    • Preparing Area Development Agreements and Master Franchise Agreements
    • Registering franchisors’ FDDs in all necessary states
  • Creating proper structure for a sustainable franchise system
    • Incorporating entities
    • Setting corporate structure
    • Handling all intellectual property-related matters for new franchisors

Franchisees and Franchisee Associations

If you’re interested in becoming a franchisee, in a dispute with your franchisor, or your franchise agreement is up for renewal, you will need an experienced legal team in your corner.  The attorneys in the Franchising practice at A.Y. Strauss assist clients in navigating the ins and outs of franchising, licensing, non-competes, and other agreements essential to the franchising structure.  Our experienced team can help review all documentation to identify and flag potential conflicts and help you determine what’s in your best interest as a franchisee.

The Franchising practice at A.Y. Strauss can assist franchisees and franchisee associations with all relevant contracts and documentation, including:

  • Reviewing franchise-related documents, including FDDs and franchise agreements, for prospective franchisees
  • Assisting in negotiating franchise agreements for prospective franchisees
  • Assisting in negotiating with franchisors on termination agreements, non-compete agreements, and buy back/sell back agreements
  • Reviewing leases and other ancillary documents for prospective franchisees
  • Creating corporate structure to best protect the franchisee

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

When addressing disputes between franchisors and franchisees, you need a legal team experienced in the issues faced by both parties.  Our team takes a proactive approach to addressing potential issues head-on, deploys effective negotiation tactics, and keeps the best interests of a client’s business at the forefront of all strategies.

The Franchise practice at A.Y. Strauss has experience representing both franchisees and franchisors in disputes throughout the United States in areas relating to:

  • Termination of franchise agreements
  • Infringement of intellectual property rights
  • Enforcement of non-compete agreements
  • Breach of contract, including:
    • Failure to abide by system standards
    • Non-payment of royalties
  • Employment matters
  • Fraud claims

Hospitality Representation

The hospitality industry is one largely built on a franchise model, with many hotels, restaurants, gyms, spas, and country clubs opening new locations under a common brand.  Opening and operating an establishment as a franchise involves several moving parts, and trusted legal guidance is essential to successfully navigating each stage. From securing real estate to crafting an exit from the franchise agreement, the seasoned attorneys of the Franchise practice at A.Y. Strauss have represented hospitality business partners in all aspects of representation, including:

  • Purchasing and financing new properties
  • Contract and deal negotiation
  • Litigation and dispute resolution
  • Leasing contracts
  • Assisting in refinancing loans