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Franchise Law

Franchising is one of the most rapidly growing methods of business expansion in Canada. For the franchisor or supplier, it offers a means to expand an already successful business without the investment required for conventional expansion. For the franchisee or operator, it is a way to enter business ownership using a proven business model. As with any other form of business partnership, its success is founded on sound, properly documented business relationships that clearly set out expectations, rights, and responsibilities for both sides. The unique demands of franchise arrangements, however, demand legal advice from practitioners experienced in Franchise Law.

Lawrences helps franchisors, franchisees and franchise associations at all stages of their evolution, from start-up to sell-off. Should a dispute arise, we have the backing of an experienced Litigation Group that can deal promptly with the issue, preventing escalation wherever possible, or vigorously representing our clients in court should that be necessary. Our Franchise Law services include:

  • Compliance with franchise laws and regulations
  • Drafting and updating disclosure documents
  • Negotiating, updating, and drafting franchise and master franchise agreements
  • Development agreements
  • Buying and selling franchises
  • Expansion of franchise systems
  • Licensing and distribution agreements
  • Renewal and termination of franchises
  • Exit strategies
  • Commercial leasing
  • Intellectual property
  • Supplier agreements
  • Franchise disputes and litigation
Mar 13, 2015 | Case Study

Review of a Franchise Disclosure Document

The Problem A prospective franchisee requested our assistance in reviewing the disclosure document of a new franchisor. Our Approach Applying our...

Mar 13, 2015 | Case Study

Settlement of a Franchise Dispute

The Problem We were retained by a regional franchisor to advise and represent it in connection with a lawsuit filed against it by one of its former...

Oct 01, 2014 | Article

Franchise Law Part 3: Fatal Flaws in Disclosure Documents

In our fictitious example, the Singhs believe that since they provided a disclosure document, and since Mr. Howard signed his franchise agreement 23 months ago, he cannot rescind the franchise agreement, as the 60-day period for rescission noted above has passed. However, Mr. Howard’s position is that the absence of a signed certificate was such a material deficiency that he did not actually receive a disclosure document. Therefore, Mr. Howard claims that the two-year rescission period applies, rather than the 60-day rescission period. The courts have tended to agree with Mr. Howard.

Apr 01, 2014 | Article

Franchise Law Part 2: What is a Franchise Disclosure Document?

In Part 1 of this series on franchise law, we described Mr. and Mrs. Singh’s diner that offers customizable, affordable, healthy food in a trendy setting. The Singhs have now successfully tested their concept at several locations, registered a trade-mark, and incorporated a company (“SHD Inc.”), of which they are both directors. They now want to franchise their business and have been told they need a disclosure document.

Dec 01, 2013 | Article

Franchise Law Part 1: So You Want to Franchise Your Business?

Mr. and Mrs. Singh have created a unique business: a diner that offers customizable, affordable, and healthy sandwiches, salads and soups in a trendy setting. They opened their first store in 2010 and their business concept worked. Customers often tell them they should franchise their business. The idea is very appealing to the Singhs, but they have no idea how to go about it.

Oct 01, 2011 | Article

Is Your Business Accessible to People with Disabilities? Part Two

If your organization has 20 or more employees or is in the public sector, you must also: Document in writing all your policies, practices and procedures for providing accessible customer service and meeting other requirements set out in the Customer Service Standards.

Oct 01, 2011 | Article

Is Your Business Accessible to People with Disabilities? Part One

Joan and Preeti are the franchisors of a small chain of fast-food restaurants. Each restaurant is owned and operated by a different franchisee. Each franchisee has up to ten employees. Three of the five franchised restaurants are in neighbourhoods where there are long-term care facilities and retirement homes, so each restaurant has a percentage of customers who suffer from a disability. One of their franchisees has just called to ask about a reminder they’ve received from the Ontario government about complying with new accessibility standards by January 1, 2012. She wants to know when the franchisor (Joan and Preeti) is going to take care of the new requirements.

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