Franchising

How Franchise Lawyers Can Help with Franchise Agreements

Opening a franchise can be a fulfilling and exciting opportunity if you play your cards right. Often times, new franchise owners come across a lot of legal jargon and uncertainty in franchise agreements, which can be intimidating or even a bit overwhelming. Your franchise agreement dictates the relationship between franchisee and franchisor, so it’s important to make sure both parties are treated fairly. It never hurts to get some outside help if you are considering a franchise agreement, here are a few reasons why:

They can offer advice on how to choose a business entity

Should your business be a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)? Maybe it should be a Subchapter S? Or perhaps you should file for a C-Corporation? If you don’t know the difference, you can set yourself up for future complications. It is paramount to choose the right business entity for your new franchise. It determines your legal rights and liabilities as a business owner, and also influences how your business is taxed. A franchise lawyer can offer useful suggestions on how to set up your your new franchise business.

They can help with legal compliance

Franchise lawyers possess relevant knowledge to ensure your franchise agreement complies with local, national, and international law. Whether it’s a small municipal law or a major legal principal, franchise lawyers can help you navigate your franchise agreement to ensure its fair for both parties.

Franchise lawyers keep things simple

Franchising, especially franchise agreements, can be complicated. Experienced franchise lawyers can help you cut through complications by explaining how certain terms or documentation work together, clarify legal boundaries, and negotiate a desirable agreement between franchisee and franchisor. Contact Law Works, Canada’s leading business law firm for professional franchising help. 

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franchise business lawyer Ontario.

What To Look For When hiring a Franchise Lawyer

Franchise lawyers can make or break a franchise, since they can influence your franchise agreement and how your business operates. From clarifying legal jargon to helping you navigate legal boundaries or disputes, franchise lawyers are essential for both franchisee and franchisor. With so many lawyers around, it can be tough to find one that works for your situation. To give you a head start, here are three important factors to consider when hiring a franchise lawyer:

Franchisor vs. Franchisee Experience

Most good franchise lawyers have experience on the franchisor side of the equation, so it’s ideal to find someone who meets this criteria even if you are a franchisee. If your franchise lawyer does the majority of their work for franchisees, their approach might be skewed towards the franchisee. Either way, you should ask whether or not they draft franchise disclosure documents (FDDs), because if not, they’re likely unqualified.

Flat Fee vs. Hourly

Many franchise lawyers will work on a flat-fee basis, since they have enough experience to know how long the process takes. Flat rate franchise lawyers can be beneficial since the overall cost is predictable, often allowing for financing over a few months. However, they do have a downside; in some rare cases, it might be more expensive than if you were to pay an hourly rate.

Industry & Business Knowledge

While industry specific knowledge is not always necessary, in some cases the knowledge of relevant regulations can be very helpful. There are some cases/industries where industry specific knowledge is vital; medical franchising, health-care franchising, and dental franchising are a few of many. Try to ensure your franchise lawyer has experience in the industry you are getting into. If you’re looking for professional expertise in the franchise business, contact Law Works for a free consultation. 

Franchise agreement lawyer in Guelph.

Is a Franchise Business The Right Fit For You?

At one point or another, many of us have flirted with the idea of starting our own business. The complicated process can stop many dead in their tracks while they wrestle with such tough decisions; what type of business should I create? How am I going to run it? Do I need a partner? Most default to starting a brand new idea, but there is a strong argument to be made about entering a franchise agreement.

Opening a franchise is a unique way of starting a company as it allows individuals to build their own business while having the recognition of an established entity behind them. For some this is an ideal scenario, however it is essential to be well informed and patient when structuring the franchise agreement. The agreement is meant to be a mutually beneficial arrangement, therefore, you must ensure there aren’t any clauses that could lead to future conflict or disputes.

While franchises are often beneficial in most regards, the aspect of partnering with a well-known company can just as quickly deter potential franchisee suitors. That is because it can be very intimidating when it comes time to negotiate the franchise agreement. Being prepared by entrusting the negotiation process to a franchise lawyer can rid yourself of any anxiety and instill confidence that your best interests are their primary concern.

A healthy relationship is vital for success, and should benefit both parties to ensure that neither is treated unfairly. As such, a well-structured franchise agreement in the early stages will lead to future benefit by preserving this bond. If you’re interested in finding out if a franchised business is right for you, contact Law Works in Guelph to speak with a franchise lawyer today.

Waterloo franchise lawyers

Why You Need a Franchise Lawyer

In the unique business landscape of franchising, maintaining a healthy relationship between franchisee and franchisor can be difficult. It’s essential to have a franchise lawyer whose expertise can ensure you’re taken care of.  When first entering an agreement, a franchise lawyer will review it meticulously to certify the terms and remove any falsifications that can lead to future disputes. Once a relationship has been established, you can rest assured that your best interest will be at the forefront when any issue arises.

There are clear benefits to franchising a business, but the goal is to have both parties working together in a harmonious relationship. A franchise lawyer has the specialized understanding to enact the most productive and efficient process for conflict resolution, contract amendments or any other issue that comes about. The intricacies of labour laws like overtime and employer liability can be unclear at times, but a franchise lawyer will be well informed and prepared for any situation that you’re faced with.

Whether it’s your first or your fifth, entering a franchise agreement with a well established company can be overwhelming. A franchise lawyer knows what’s best for you and will be able to help you throughout the process to answer any questions you have, make recommendations for your benefit, and stand by your side, all to establish a fair agreement. If you’re looking for advice or assistance it never hurts to speak with a franchise lawyer. Contact Law Works in Waterloo, a premiere franchise law firm that can assist you with all your franchise needs.

Franchise Agreement: Arbitration Clauses

Every franchise is governed by a contract between the licensor; the franchisor; a licensee; and the franchisee. These contracts are called Franchise Agreements. With franchise businesses accounting for 40% of all retail sales in Canada through 78,000 franchise units, mediation and arbitration clauses are becoming increasingly prevalent. While these franchise agreements may offer significant advantages in some disputes, they may be inappropriate or even increase the complexity, time and cost in other scenarios. Here’s what you need to know about arbitration to determine if it is an appropriate franchise agreement for your business.

Franchise arbitration is one of many clauses that can provide advantages during in-court litigation proceedings. An arbitration clause is a stipulation in your franchise agreement that requires the parties to resolve their disputes through arbitration, outside of court. The outcome of a dispute is decided by one or more persons (“arbitrators”, “arbiters” or “arbitral tribunal”), which renders the “arbitral award”. An arbitral award is legally binding on both sides and enforceable in the courts. A significant advantage of arbitration is the choice of arbitrator and the opportunity to specify that the arbitrator must be experienced in arbitrating franchise disputes.

However, disputes over the arbitration clause or agreement, especially over the enforceability of certain provisions or the choice of arbitrator, can prove costly and time consuming. In these cases, the complications often negate the expected advantages of these franchise agreements, since they are designed to be a quick resolution of a dispute. Law Works Waterloo specializes in franchise law and offers a variety of solutions to franchise disputes.

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Franchise Agreements: Mediation Clauses

Franchise agreements are the ticket to a fair and healthy relationship between franchisee and franchisor. Without a proper franchise agreement, either party may be treated unfairly if a dispute arises. There are a variety of stipulations that can be included in franchise agreements to ensure disputes are resolved in an efficient and fair manner. Mediation and arbitration are two effective tactics that repeatedly provide amicable solutions. While these clauses often provide substantial benefits over litigation of disputes, there are situations where they may be inappropriate or counterproductive, increasing the complexity, time and cost of diffusing the situation. As a franchisee, it’s up to you to stay informed about the fine print of your contract, which includes understanding the different tactics involves in dispute resolution. To give you a head start, here is what you need to know about mediation.

Including mediation clauses in franchise agreements can provide a wide range of benefits to both parties, and can be very effective during the early stages of disputes to encourage a timely and cost-effective resolution. Particularly, mediation offers the greatest advantages for disputes between franchisors and existing franchisees when there is a mutual interest in preserving the franchise relationship.

With that being said, mediation is most effective when it is voluntary, and agreed to by both parties. In the absence of a mediation clause in franchise agreements, parties may agree to mediate without having to comply with a specific aspect of the franchise agreement. Additionally, a mediation clause can act as an obstacle to a franchisor who would rather proceed immediately to court instead of considering mediation. If you have any other questions, Law Works Guelph specializes in franchise law and can help guide you through the intricacies of your franchise agreements to help achieve a resolution.

Franchise agreement for Tim Horton's top franchises in Canada

Franchise Agreements: The Top 5 Franchises in Canada

If you are thinking about purchasing a franchise, it’s important to ensure you thoroughly understand the franchise agreement prior to making a decision. A franchise agreement is a legally binding contract which details the franchisors terms and conditions for the franchisee. Canada is home to many top franchises, so it’s important to evaluate your options.

To help with your decision-making process, here are 5 of the top franchises in Canada:

Tim Hortons

A Canadian coffeehouse favourite, Tim Hortons was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario and has grown into the largest quick service restaurant chain in Canada with over 3,600 stores nationwide. The franchise is headquartered in Oakville but restaurants can now be found in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Sub

This popular sandwich shop was actually founded in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood in 1968 and has grown to include 317 units.

Second Cup

Though Second Cup has not grown as large as Tim Hortons, the niche coffee chain has certainly established a following. Headquartered in Mississauga, Second Cup was founded in 1975 and now has over 360 store locations.

Pizza Pizza

For many Canadians, Pizza Pizza has grown into somewhat of a Friday night tradition. The chain was founded in 1967 in Toronto and now has over 700 units spread throughout Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Western Canada.

Canadian Tire

Founded in 1922, Canadian Tire is the only retail franchise to make the list. With over 350 locations, the brand has certainly become a “go-to” for various automotive items, home goods, and sport and leisure products.

If you have questions about your franchise agreement or have become involved in a franchise dispute, contact Law Works in Mississauga.

 

Franchise business agreement opens business to customers.

How Franchises Will Be Affected By Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review

There are new changes happening to Ontario’s employment and labour laws. On May 23rd 2017, the Ontario government released its report to the Changing Workplaces Review. This is one of the most comprehensive and largest changes to the labour laws in the last 30 years. The Review covered broader employment issues to protect workers. They consolidated three acts: the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act into the “Workplace Rights Act.”

Key takeaways to consider for the Changing Workplaces Review:

  • Minimum Wage Increase
  • Overtime and Hours of Work
  • Leaves; personal emergency, bereavement, sick days.
  • Equal Pay
  • Enforcement
  • Specific sector changes to labour relations

The Review has peaked interest among franchisors, as changes to the prevailing legislation could have imposed joint employer status on franchisors for employees of their franchisees. To the relief of the franchisors, the Report does not recommend a franchisor be deemed to be a joint employer with its franchisees. However, it does make recommendations to allow employees of multiple franchises (of the same brand) to bargain centrally with representatives in one geographical area.

Are you a franchise owner? Unsure d how these recommendations may affect your business? Stay informed. Contact Law Works, one of Canada’s leading experts in business disputes, including debtor-creditor rights, class actions, lease agreements, professional negligence, trademark infringement, shareholder disputes, joint ventures, misrepresentations, injunctions, insolvencies and receiverships.

Law Works franchise lawyers are happy to discuss how Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review may affect your franchise operations.

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3 Tips to Selecting the Right Lawyer for You

There are many steps and processes involved in legal cases and trying to navigate them, on top of daily responsibilities can be overwhelming. Making sure you have the best representative for you and your needs is of key importance. When it comes to selecting a lawyer consider these 3 steps to help make your decision:

Select a Lawyer with Particular Expertise

Selecting a representative who has expertise in the area your case involves will be the best support system because they understand your needs and can best represent you and your case.

Research Potential Lawyers

Your local bar association will provide you some insight, as you will be able to find public records of complaints and disciplinary actions taken. There are also online sites that provide reviews but make sure to check more than one in case of bias.

Check their Website and Arrange Consultations

A lawyer’s or law firm’s website will have specific information on the type of law the attorney practices, as well as reference their years of practice and any achievements. Once you have selected a few top ones, set up consultations to get a feel for their style and take notes to refer back to.

These 3 steps are a brief guideline in how to begin the process of selecting a lawyer but the key is selecting a lawyer with expertise in your particular case. If you require a franchise lawyer in Mississauga than Law Works an expert in Franchise law is the firm for you.

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How To Handle Franchise Disputes

Disputes used to be dangerous for those involved: both individuals fought to defend their honour with a sword or pistol and this type of resolution clearly marked one the winner and the other the untimely loser.

Luckily today, the mitigation of disputes is not life threatening but this does not mean that it goes without potential harm; as any dispute, especially a business one, can impact the livelihood of those involved. Franchise disputes in particular can arise for many reasons: if a franchisee feels they are not receiving value from a franchisor; a franchisee looks at ways of selling products outside the franchise system; when or if a franchise fails.

These are some of the potential disputes that can arise in the franchise system, and despite the sometimes volatile nature of broken trust or economic loss, it is important for both parties to seek resolution over a fight. If a commercial resolution is not possible, nor is mediation, than arbitration or litigation may be the answer.

When dealing with a franchise dispute in Vaughan, Law Works is a business and franchise regional law boutique with expertise in: franchise law, international and ‎domestic business disputes and arbitration in niche industries. In both scenarios of franchise litigation and franchise arbitration, Law Works represents parties through the entire process (initial assessments, drafting pleadings, representing on all steps including final hearing). If you find yourself in a franchise dispute in Vaughan, contact Law Works to ensure you have the most capable experienced team representing you.