KANSAS CITY FRANCHISE ATTORNEY

KANSAS CITY FRANCHISE ATTORNEY

BUSINESS LAWYERS HOW TO INFORMATION

FRANCHISING KANSAS CITY LAW FIRM

LAW OFFICES KC MO

- INFO ABOUT FRANCHISING -

Franchising is the practice of using another firm's successful business model. The word 'franchise' is of Anglo-French derivation - from franc - meaning free, and is used both as a noun and as a (transitive) verb. For the franchisor, the franchise is an alternative to building 'chain stores' to distribute goods that avoids the investments and liability of a chain. The franchisor's success depends on the success of the franchisees. The franchisee is said to have a greater incentive than a direct employee because he or she has a direct stake in the business.

Essentially, and in terms of distribution, the franchisor is a supplier who allows an operator, or a franchisee, to use the supplier's trademark and distribute the supplier's goods. In return, the operator pays the supplier a fee.

Thirty three countries, including the United States, China, and Australia, have laws that explicitly regulate franchising, with the majority of all other countries having laws which have a direct or indirect impact on franchising.

- United States Info -

Isaac Singer, who made improvements to an existing model of a sewing machine in the 1850s, began one of the first franchising efforts in the United States, followed later by Coca-Cola, Western Union, etc. and by agreements between automobile manufacturers and dealers.

Modern franchising came to prominence with the rise of franchise-based food service establishments. In 1932, Howard Deering Johnson established the first modern restaurant franchise based on his successful Quincy, Massachusetts Howard Johnson's restaurant founded in the late 1920s. The idea was to let independent operators use the same name, food, supplies, logo and even building design in exchange for a fee. The growth in franchising accelerated in the 1930s when such chains as Howard Johnson's started to franchise motels. The 1950s saw a boom in franchise chains in conjunction with the development of the U.S. Interstate Highway System.

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has oversight of franchising, rather than the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The FTC administrates oversight via the FTC Franchise Rule.

The FTC requires that the franchisee be furnished with a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) by the franchisor at least fourteen days before money changes hands or a franchise agreement is signed. The final agreement is always a negotiated document setting forth fees and other terms. Whereas elements of the disclosure may be available from third parties, only that provided by the franchisor can be depended upon. The U.S. Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is lengthy (300-700 pp +) and detailed (see Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC) for elements of disclosure), and generally requires audited financial statements from the franchisor in a particular format, except in some circumstances, such as where a franchisor is new. It must include such data as the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the franchisees in the licensed territory (who may be contacted and consulted before negotiations), estimate of total franchise revenues and franchisor profitability.

Individual states may require the FDD to contain their own specific requirements, but the requirements in state disclosure documents must be in compliance with the federal rule that governs federal regulatory policy. There is no private right of action of action under the FTC rule for franchisor violation of the rule, but fifteen or more of the states have passed statutes that provide this right of action to franchisees when fraud can be proven under these special statutes. The majority of franchisors have inserted mandatory arbitration clauses into their agreements with their franchisees, some of which the U.S. Supreme Court has dealt with.

There is no federal registry of franchises or any federal filing requirements for information. States are the primary collectors of data on franchising companies and enforce laws and regulations regarding their presence and their spread in their jurisdictions.

Where the franchisor has many partners, the agreement may take the shape of a business format franchise - an agreement that is identical for all franchisees.

KANSAS CITY FRANCHISE ATTORNEY