Franchise Disclosure Documents
Drafting and preparing the key document that forms the basis of the franchise program in the format of a Franchise Disclosure Document, as mandated by the Federal Trade Commission and the North American Securities Administrators Association. This document, with minor modifications for certain franchise registration states, can be used in every state throughout the United States. Doing it the right way now can keep your company out of the courtroom and the quicksands of litigation later.
Drafting state-of-the-art franchise agreements that incorporate all decisions made during the franchise strategic planning process, and provide for maximum flexibility and fairness throughout the course of the franchise relationship.
Master Franchise Agreements; International Franchising Strategy
Structuring and drafting master franchise development agreements for use in international franchising grants. In the typical international franchising scenario, a foreign master franchise (investor) is trained in the business model and then assumes responsibilities for selling, training and supporting individual or area franchisees in the target foreign country. In most cases, certain aspects of the business model must be refined for the target country. Selecting the appropriate international master franchise and strategy for the target country is critical.
Franchise Registration & Franchise Registration Renewal Applications
Filing franchise registration applications (as well as franchise registration renewal and franchise amendment applications) in those 14 or so states that require a franchise registration process before franchises can be offered or sold. Our firm, with affiliations nationwide, has three decades of experience filing in all franchise registration states and responding to comment letters issued by state examiners. This allows us to provide valuable strategic advice in how to reduce annual auditing costs, avoiding franchise fee impound conditions and ensuring an expedited review of all applications.
License Agreements – Franchise vs. Licensing (Franchise vs. License) Analysis
For firms that elect to use a license vs. franchise agreement, drafting appropriate license agreements. A detailed analysis of the legal and business aspects of franchising vs. licensing decisions is also available.
Trade Secret Protection Programs
Identifying proprietary intellectual property business assets, documenting confidentiality status, establishing protective procedures and policies, drafting protective agreements and implementing an ongoing trade secret protection program. In many cases these intangible assets, such as methods of operation, customer information, business techniques, recipes, etc. are the most valuable assets a firm owns – but without protection they can be easily lost.
Trademark & Service Mark Registration Advice
Advice on protecting the mark used to sell the firms products (or services), including name, logo and tag lines. Registration protection is available at the state level, and if certain requirements are satisfied, stronger, nationwide protection is available at the federal level resulting in the privilege to use the ® symbol. It is absolutely critical to protect this intellectual property asset from use by others.
Franchise Operations Manuals
Based on a review of existing operations, recommending and reviewing the preparation of franchise operations manuals that document all aspects of establishing and operating the business. Included in this editing process is eliminating chapters or topics in manuals that, while appropriate to use in a company-owned chain, are inappropriate and create significant liability issues in a franchise relationship. This is yet another company owned vs. franchised critical distinction that can have long-term consequences. Most franchising consulting groups do not understand or appreciate the legal risks inherent in franchise operations manuals and proceed blindly ahead, assuming a company-owned operations manual will work as a franchise operations manual. Unfortunately, this places the franchise company in a franchise legal pitfall from the very beginning. Fortunately, with competent advice based on decades of experience in avoiding the bullets of franchise litigation, these risks can be avoided. The end product is a professional, easy to use and update franchise operations manual based on two-plus decades experience drafting, reviewing and editing hundreds of franchise operations manuals. Whether or not a company ultimately franchises, the process of documenting and implementing standardized operating procedures and systems, like franchise companies do, will make any firm operate more efficiently and competitively. A series of logical pathways, with “if-then” decision points, coupled with prescribed, detailed steps, eliminates most of the uncertainty of business operations. For further tips and information about how to write your own franchise operations manuals visit the Franchise Operations Manual page of our website. We can show you how to write franchise operations manuals for your business (or edit existing operations manuals to adapt them for franchising) at a fraction of the $20,000 cost other firms charge for this relatively easy task. Call or click the email link at the bottom of this page for details.
Franchise Policy Manuals
Drafting major policy statements and directives that pertain to business operations, reporting requirements, compliance with contractual obligations, and responsibilities for protecting proprietary business assets. This document becomes a very useful resource in defining franchise relationship responsibilities, so discussions remain at a business level where they belong, as opposed to a legal level requiring the introduction of franchise litigation attorneys, mediators, arbitrators, etc.
Franchise Training Program Curriculum
Developing a training curriculum that sets forth the subjects taught, training materials, teaching methodology and depth of training provided to each trainee during the franchise training program. This curriculum approach helps ensure business operating skills are retained and reinforced.
Training Program Testing
Designing a series of tests to be used in determining whether or not trainees have successfully completed the franchise training program.
Franchise Marketing Materials
Recommending and reviewing the preparation of media plans, press releases, advertising, brochures and application forms that are used in the franchise marketing effort.
Franchise Interview Questions For Franchise Applicants – Psychological Profile Questionnaires
Developing a set of franchise interview questions to ask franchise applicants. More than just background interview questions, these are sophisticated psychological questionnaires to use with franchise applicants (or even employees) that provide critical information about their profit motivation, attitude towards task delegation, ability to tolerate uncertainty and other key personality traits. Our psychological profile questionnaires have been successfully used for three decades.