Business

What Are Mediation & Arbitration Clauses for Franchises?

 

A franchise agreement is a legally bound agreement outlining the franchisor’s terms and conditions for the franchise. Additionally outlined are the obligations of the franchisor and the obligations of the franchisee.

Mediation Clause

Mediators are facilitators, who work with both parties to create a solution to the problems between the parties.  However, the mediator does not make the decisions for the parties, the parties do. When a dispute arises, it is beneficial to have a mediator at your disposal. They will work to achieve with the parties, a mutually acceptable resolution to the dispute.

Arbitration Clause

Any dispute or controversy to arise in connection with the agreement, between the parties, are to be decided by an arbitrator (agreed upon by the parties). It is a binding legal process where parties have submitted, by written agreement, that a dispute between them be resolved by a neutral, third party (the arbitrator).

Mediation and Arbitration Clause Combined

In default of resolution at the mediation, the dispute is to be determined by an arbitrator agreed on by the parties. If you’re interested in purchasing a franchise, get the help you deserve. Contact Law Works in Guelph, they can help you solve disputes easily with a team of professional franchise lawyers. 

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How to Find a Franchise Lawyer

As a franchisor, one of the most critical decisions you will make is choosing the right franchise attorney. Franchise lawyers are essential for any franchise owner: documents crafted by your attorney, advice and legal guidelines provided, all having a huge impact on your business. They can determine the most effective ways to run your business while ensuring that your operation isn’t violating any laws. How can you ensure you’ve found the right franchise lawyer?

A critical factor is to receive multiple referrals from franchise professionals. If you choose to search for the perfect franchise lawyer yourself, a crucial determining factor is the amount of experience the attorney has. You want them to have franchise law as their area of practice and many years of it.

Once you have selected the attorneys for consideration, it is important to ask questions that are essential to you as someone who will be franchising a business:

Transactional vs. Litigation Focus

You need a lawyer who is focused on the transactional side, to focus their practice on the preparation of your legal documents. However, a benefit with a lawyer having a litigation practice is them being able to represent you if needed.

Flat Fee vs. Hourly

The benefits of working with a flat fee franchise lawyer are that their fees are predictable and often maybe financed over a few months, also if the case takes more time you benefit, however, this can also be negative in the reversed scenario.

Industry-specific Knowledge

You need someone who is knowledgeable specifically in your industry and who knows additional regulations that impact a business.

Firm Size

A larger firm might be able to do more for you and bring in resources, such as a specialist to help with other transactions or work. They also could have more connections however, a smaller firm will provide you with more access to a partner level attorney and may be cheaper.

If you’re interested in purchasing a franchise, get the help you deserve. Contact Law Works in Waterloo, they can help you solve disputes easily with a team of professional franchise lawyers.

3 Things To Consider Before Signing Your Franchise Agreement

Franchises offer a balance between the freedom of starting your own business and the stability of an established brand. Unlike starting a business from scratch, purchasing a franchise offers access to resources, capital, brand identity, and other extremely helpful assets that can help your business thrive. However, there are a few things you should consider before signing your franchise agreement and opening your new franchise:

How much will it cost?

Starting a business can be extremely expensive, which is why franchising can be such an attractive opportunity. While the costs are still substantial, you may be able to get funding from the franchisor or use the brand’s reputation to help obtain a loan from a bank. Before signing your franchise agreement, make sure to consider exactly how much it’s going to cost and how you’re going to finance this new venture.

Is it right for you?

Franchising exists in a number of industries, not just fast food. As a potential business owner, determine whether your skill set and passion align with the needs and goals of the franchise. While it’s possible to run a successful franchise with no prior experience, being passionate or knowledgeable about the industry before signing your franchise agreement can be extremely helpful.

How much time can you invest?

Opening a franchise is just like opening your own business. It requires a lot of time and commitment to ensure everything runs smoothly. If you are already employed or have other commitments, consider if you’ll have enough time to dedicate to opening your new franchise.

3 Red Flags to Watch Out For When Buying a Franchise

Franchising is a great way to run your own business with a fraction of the risk of starting from scratch. You’ll have access to an existing brand and consumer base, an established supply chain, and more. However, there are times where opening a new franchise is not a good idea. However, if the franchise is consistently losing sales, taking advantage of franchisees, or there are any other noticeable issues, you may want to proceed with caution and consult a franchise lawyer before jumping in. Here are a few red flags to watch out for:

Supplier and Vendors

Some franchises require franchisees to purchase supplies from a single source. While this may be the most efficient and convenient option in some cases, it may also be a red flag. Mandatory suppliers may drive prices up and quality down, which could prevent your new business from reaching its full potential. Consult a franchise lawyer to get an expert opinion on the matter before making a final decision.

How Many Years in Business

Consider how long the franchise has been in business. While it’s possible for newer franchises to succeed, the possibility is much higher for brands that have already been around for decades. Speak with a franchise lawyer to find out what they think about your potential purchase.

Geographic Area

Does the franchise currently have experience in the area you are planning on opening your franchise? For example, the brand may be popular on the west coast, but may not work out on the east coast due to increased competition or other established options that could limit your growth.

Franchise lawyer with franchisee business contract

When Should You Hire a Franchise Lawyer?

Franchises can be an extremely effective way to grow an existing operation. Regardless of the industry, franchising offers a number of benefits to both franchisee and franchisor. Whether it’s an efficient supply chain, established brand identity, or a network of meaningful connections, franchises provide the opportunity to start a new business with a fraction of the risk.

While franchise agreements generally cover important terms and provisions that dictate the relationship between franchisee and franchisor, there are still a handful of issues that may arise. Whether you’re the franchisee or franchisor, franchise lawyers can help make your business relationship both effective and fair, even in the face of controversy. Here’s when you should consider hiring a franchise lawyer:

Before signing your franchise agreement

Franchise agreements provide a framework for how a new franchise will operate, complete with payment details, confidentiality agreements, and more. They are an essential part of any successful franchise, making it important that you understand the terms before you sign. A franchise lawyer can help you decipher the legal jargon to ensure that you understand what you’re getting yourself into.

When there’s a business dispute

If there’s ever an issue between franchisee and franchisor, it’s not advised to try to handle it on your own. Franchise lawyers can help mediate and smooth out any disputes so that all parties are satisfied with the resolution. Regardless of the nature of your dispute, you should consider calling a franchise lawyer before jumping to any conclusions.

Franchise lawyer on retainer

As a franchisee or franchisor, it never hurts to have a franchise lawyer on retainer. Doing so can help you run your business within all legal boundaries to ensure you don’t get yourself into any trouble. Experienced franchise lawyers can also help you streamline your operation, providing a greater potential for growth.

If you’re looking for an expert team of professional lawyers, contact Law Works. They’re one of Canada’s select few boutique law firms with expertise in franchise and business disputes. Law Works represents international and Canadian franchisors, master franchisees, multi-unit franchisees and local single-unit franchisees.

Canadian franchise agreements

Franchise Agreements: Everything You Need To Know

Opening a new franchise is an exciting event for all parties involved. Whether you’re a business owner looking to open a new franchise location or a prospective franchisee, you may be wondering about the legal aspect of this opportunity. Franchise agreements are an essential part of any effective franchise relationship, so here’s everything you need to know.

What is a franchise agreement?

A franchise agreement is a legal contract between franchisee and franchisor that dictates the terms of the relationship. They include things like trademarks, know-how, the structure of franchise, and other important operational details. They also might include various provisions like payment terms, disclosures, confidentiality, obligations of each party, and more.

Why do I need a franchise agreement?

Franchise agreements are an essential part of any successful and healthy relationship between franchisee and franchisor. Without them, either party may be treated unfairly, taking away from potential profits or negatively impacting the franchise as a whole. Having a legal contract that dictates rights, terms, and other provisions ensures that the new franchise will be able to operate smoothly without harming the brand or franchise as a whole.

Who uses franchise agreements?

Anyone and anyone considering opening a new franchise. Regardless if you are a new franchisee or the franchisor opening a new location, it’s important that all parties are protected to ensure that all parties are treated fairly for the duration of the relationship. Even if you have a pre-existing relationship or have discussed the terms in detail, franchise agreements can help prevent issues and solve disputes if one arises.

Franchise agreement opening new business in Guelph.

Key Elements of Franchise Agreements

Whether you’re opening your first franchise or selling your tenth, franchise agreements are an essential part of any successful business relationship. They can influence the structure of your operations, suppliers, finances, and a handful of other important considerations.

With so much at stake, it’s extremely important to understand the details of your contract before hiring a franchise lawyer to finalize the contract. To help you get started, here are a few of the key elements of a franchise agreement.

Rights and Obligations

These clauses in franchise agreements lay the groundwork for the relationship between franchisor and franchisee. They establish the necessary rights the franchisees will need to develop and operate the business effectively while outlining the support that will be given by the franchisor. It’s in the best interest of both parties to succeed, so it’s important that the rights and obligations are clear.

Marketing and IPRs

Regardless of the size of the business franchise, franchisors invest considerable time and money into building their brand, reputation, and operation. The franchisee owner will use the existing framework to further develop and grow the business, but it’s important to protect the franchisor’s hard work. Marketing and IPR provisions in franchise agreements facilitate a balance between old and new to ensure uniformity as the brand continues to grow.

Termination Provisions

Failures are an important reality of opening a business. Unfortunately, business relationships are not always successful, so it’s essential to outline how to terminate a franchise agreement and what happens next. Whether the relationship comes to an end due to poor training, inadequate financing, a weak business model, or any other factor, termination provisions are absolutely necessary.

Franchise lawyers discussing business in Waterloo.

3 Benefits to Hiring a Franchise Lawyer

Opening a new franchise can be an exciting opportunity for all parties involved. Whether you’re a first-time franchisee owner or a seasoned franchisor opening your 50th location, there’s a lot to know about franchise law.

From disclosure documents to conflicts of interest, navigating your franchise agreement can be a tricky task without the right expertise. Fortunately, franchise lawyers can help lay the groundwork for a prosperous relationship. Here are a few ways that lawyers can streamline the process to make it easier for everyone involved:

How to structure a franchise system

The way a franchise is structured plays a huge role in the way it operates. If you’re unfamiliar with business agreements, corporate lawyers can help you determine the best structure for your needs. They can help you decide whether a single unit, multiple units, or master franchise is best, along with the ideal type of corporation.

The laws that govern franchising

Franchise contracts are a tricky subject with lots of legal jargon that can be difficult to interpret without the right knowledge. Franchise lawyers can clarify and detail the laws that govern franchising so that you can better understand the relationship you are entering into. They can inform you about any legal boundaries and guidelines to help you streamline your operation.

How to help franchisees secure financing

Opening a franchise can be an expensive investment. While there are all sorts of banks and other lenders that can help you finance your new endeavour, the difficulty is in choosing the right one. Franchise lawyers can help you get the best rates and terms to finance your business as efficiently as possible.

How to Plan Your Direct Mail Campaign

Small businesses have a variety of options to promote their products and services, and many are re-discovering the affordability and effectiveness of reaching markets through direct mail marketing.

According to a study, 85% of consumers will open a piece of mail if it looks interesting. Compared to industry benchmarks for e-mail engagement of 27.1%, it’s easy to see why marketers are returning to the mailbox. While it’s proven that direct mail engages customers, you’ll want to ensure your message is targeted to achieve the best use of your marketing budget. To do this, you must first define your target audience and location.

Here are some simple steps on how to plan an effective and well-targeted campaign:

Take into consideration the 40/40/20 rule

Follow this rule which is spending  40% of your time finding the right customers — the ones who are most likely to respond to an offer; 40% on developing a strong offer; and 20% on making a connection through creative design and messaging.

Stay on target

Identify the right audience for direct marketing efforts, including the demographics, geographics, psychographics, and behaviourists and buying patterns of customers.Statistics Canada, for example, offers a database of high-quality information online for all marketers.

Develop a strong offer

Don’t just say you’re the best. You need to offer your customers something that’ll give them a reason retain your message. Are you offering: something new; a limited time offer; a coupon; a sale; a sample; or a free trial? Deliver a successful and relevant call to action that sets an offer apart from those of competitors.

Create an impactful design

Design. Design. Design. Create a look that grabs attention but isn’t overwhelming. A great design considers brand messaging and colours that truly portray the brand in an impactful way. Graphic designers can use templates and assist with creative direction to produce a direct mail piece that will stand out from the competition.

Measure your success with DRMG

The success of a direct mail marketing effort can be calculated in terms of costs against increased sales. But there are more underlying factors and goals to consider in your direct mail campaign: are marketing efforts helping to push brand awareness, nudge a customer along the sales funnel, or convert casual customers into lifelong clients? Decide which results are most valuable to you and set a target.

At Direct Response Media Group, they can design, mail and analyse your direct mail campaign success and how close you came to your goals. Furthermore, they can also use unique coupon codes and URL’s so you can attribute leads and sales to the direct mail piece that you mailed. Contact them today for your small to medium business marketing needs!

4 Most Effective Marketing Tactics for Small Businesses

There’s so much written about marketing that it’s hard to know where to start. It’s especially true if you are a small business owner without a marketing department or a lot of digital experience. It can be intimidating to try to learn new trends and tactics in such a fast-paced environment.

However, there is no need to worry. Digital has made it easier for customers to find the information they need online, making purchase decisions before they make a single phone call or fill out a contact form. To make it even easier, we’ve put together a short list of the most effective digital marketing tactics for small businesses. Use them to generate new marketing ideas for your small business:

Company Website

A website gives you a place to send customers for more information, grab free traffic via search engines, drive people from social media, write helpful content that paints you as a professional. Also use your website to upload ebooks and digital brochures, capture and collect email addresses.

SEO & Local Search

Local search optimization is an added layer for those targeting smaller geographic areas (e.g., Toronto plumbers). It’s recommended to do all the SEO activities that national companies do, but with added steps of claiming and optimizing your listings (e.g., Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.). Local optimization also means paying attention to online reviews.

Build Reputation & Keywords

Once you have your brand identity and website in place, it’s time to generate content that portrays you as an expert, problem solver for your target customers – this builds trust with your audience. Great content means credibility for you and added value for potential customers. It can also be leveraged on social networks and in advertising.

Complement with Paid Advertising

Once you have an established website and social account, it’s time to take it up a notch and add a paid advertising layer. Paid media is exactly what it sounds like. You pay for someone else to serve your information/ad up to their audience for you, usually effective in search and display advertising. You’ll often discover that certain sources of traffic already work better than others, and then you can invest your additional budget in those specific channels.

If you’re looking to improve your marketing to gain more new customers and brand awareness, contact Direct Response Media Group. At DRMG, they sync your digital marketing with your complete advertising campaign. Contact them for a FREE quote for your business’ direct and digital solutions.