Expanding your business?
If you’re considering franchising your business, you need advice from an experienced franchising lawyer who understands the unique characteristics of franchise businesses and the challenges that franchisors face.
We know franchise documents which form the basis of your system need to be capable of providing the level of protection you need as a franchisor. They also need to be fair to all parties and guarantee franchisees an appropriate level of training, mentoring and support.
A key aspect of our work with you as a franchisor is protecting your intellectual property. This includes safeguarding confidential information, securing domain names and determining what trade marks are to be used. The classes in which trade marks are to be registered also need to take into account the possibilities for diversification of the business in the future.
We can review your franchise agreements and supporting documentation for a fixed fee agreed in advance. We have the experience to focus on those aspects which may be open to negotiation. We are also able to sign certificates of independent advice as recommended under the Franchising Code of Conduct.
We have valuable contacts within the industry who can advise you on financial modelling and on the different ways you can structure your franchise system. For franchisors, it is an effective way to expand an existing successful business and raise funds for future growth. For franchisees, it provides an excellent structure for running a business in a tried and tested way. Services include:
- Establishment of national franchise networks
- Drafting franchise agreements, disclosure documents and ancillary franchise documentation
- Supply agreements
- Establishment of national franchising advisory councils
- Business structures
- Protection of intellectual property
- Information technology agreements
- Compliance with the Franchising Code of Conduct
- Advising on obligations under the franchise agreement and collateral documents
- Lease of premises
- Loan documents
- Legal assistance with selling a business and assigning the franchise
- Franchising litigation
- Employment contracts
- Contractor arrangements
- Signed certificates of independent advice for franchisees
- Detailed notifications to the ACCC in relation to full line and third line forcing conduct
Distributor to franchisees experience
We were instrumental in rolling out one of the first national franchising systems for beauty salons in Australia. The challenge was to create a franchise network consisting of a large number of businesses which ranged widely in their size, operational style and level of profitability.
These businesses had the choice of remaining as distributors, becoming franchisees or leaving the network. From the franchisor’s point of view, it was desirable to retain as many of the existing distributors within the national franchise network as possible. Running contrary to this was the instinctive reluctance of individual business owners to forsake their autonomy and comply with full-line and third-line forcing requirements.
Our work involved creating a robust template for the franchise, defusing a range of potential disputes and making a number of representations to the ACCC to seek approval for the proposed system. Through careful and measured negotiation, the franchisor was able to persuade the majority of business owners to trust in the leadership of the company, remain loyal to the brand and join the new franchise network.