Franchise Services

Dykema’s Franchise Services team consists of attorneys from the Firm's Antitrust and Trade Regulation, Business Services, Intellectual Property and Litigation practice areas, providing a comprehensive array of services for franchisors and franchisees. Our interdisciplinary approach—which combines the experience of transactional, regulatory and litigation attorneys—allows us to, on behalf of our clients, identify and avoid potential disputes before they arise through careful drafting and risk management.

Our attorneys have represented franchising clients in many different fields, including: automobile sales, parts and service establishments, mobile home sales, education services, pizza restaurants, ice cream shops, insurance and financial services, convenience stores, cleaning services, coffee shops, service stations, and tool stores.

The team provides virtual turnkey services for franchisors and aspiring franchisors, including: trademark registration, corporate entity structuring, tax planning, drafting of key documents (franchise agreements, franchise disclosure documents, area development agreements, master franchise agreements, guarantees, key-person employment agreements, confidentiality agreements and noncompete agreements), negotiating with vendors, registration with state regulators and review and (where required) filing of advertising. Attorneys on the team have excellent relationships with franchise regulators in virtually all of the 15 states which require franchise registration or notification, and with the Federal Trade Commission.

Our litigators have successfully handled many precedent-setting cases for franchisors, including:

  • Enforcing provisions requiring litigation or arbitration in the franchisor’s home state and under that state’s law
  • Defeating attempts to arbitrate or litigate on a “class action” basis
  • Defeating attempts to portray dealerships as franchises
  • Terminating franchises for non-payment of royalties and failure to comply with reporting, quality and design standards
  • Summary eviction of franchisees
  • Defeating allegations of failure to register, failure to provide required disclosures, fraud and misrepresentation
  • Enforcing noncompete agreements against terminated franchisees
  • Defeating allegations of franchisor liability for actions of franchisees’ employees
  • Preventing misappropriation of trade secrets by former employees

The team uses its decades of litigation experience to recognize and identify potential problems (real and perceived) that may generate, or complicate litigation. We constantly update our clients’ documentation and procedures to reflect the latest developments in the law and technology to avoid potential disputes, prevent fraud and abuse and facilitate growth.

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