DWT partner Rochelle Spandorf was invited by Strafford Publications to co-present a nationwide Webinar on "The Inadvertent Franchise" on April 16, 2014. Based on the webinar's popularity and excellent feedback, Strafford invited Ms. Spandorf to present the program again on July 7, 2015.
This CLE webinar guided counsel in determining when business arrangements intended as licenses or distribution agreements could inadvertently result in the creation of a franchise. The panel discussed strategies for structuring these arrangements to avoid an accidental franchise.
- Determining whether a business constitutes a franchise
- Three prong analysis
- Variance among federal and state law definitions
- Strategies for drafting licenses and distribution agreements to avoid accidental franchises
- Trademark use
- "Marketing plan," "community of interest," or substantial assistance/significant control
- Franchise fee
- Complying with federal and state franchise and business opportunity laws once a franchise is established
- Franchise sales laws
- Franchise "relationship" laws
The panel reviewed these and other key questions:
- How do franchise arrangements differ from non-franchise licensing and distribution agreements? What are the pros and cons of each?
- What risks do businesses face if they inadvertently misclassify their franchise as a non-franchise license or distribution agreement?
- What federal, state and foreign franchise laws apply when a business is determined to be a franchise, and what are the key legal requirements of each?