Arizona Franchise Lawyers, Offices in Mesa & Scottsdale
As owners and representatives of small businesses ourselves, we, the Arizona business attorneys at Denton & Peterson, have experienced many of the complexities that are part of operating a business.
Top-Rated Arizona Franchise Attorneys
Franchising is a complex area of law. There are both opportunities and dangers for both the franchisor and the franchisee. Franchisors are required by law to fully inform prospective franchisees about the franchise and franchisor, using a Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”). If you are franchising your business or looking to buy a franchise, an experienced franchise attorney can assist you through the process. A franchise attorney can help you review already-drafted franchise documents, or prepare the necessary franchise documents, depending on your franchise needs.
Preparing the Franchise Disclosure Document
In our initial meeting with prospective franchisors, we address most of the critical issues for the start-up franchisor, including the structure of the proposed franchise. We help clients determine what type of franchise they will offer – unit franchises, area representation franchises, or some other type of franchise structure. We use our proprietary questionnaire and initial meeting with our clients to discuss their goals and objectives. After the initial meeting, we then draft the appropriate documents in accordance with federal and state laws.
The Mesa attorneys at Denton Peterson are experienced in drafting franchise disclosure documents. We walk our clients through the disclosure requirements. The franchise disclosure document (FDD) includes 23 items or sections and is a lengthy document. Some of the information required in the FDD is the litigation history involving the franchisor or its officer, disclosure of parent and affiliate companies, initial and ongoing costs of the franchise, training and advertising information, disclosure of current and former franchisees, financing offered by the franchisor, and financial information with audited financial statements. The FDD also includes several exhibits including sample franchise agreements, the table of contents for the operations manual, financial statements, and other sample agreements. We also advise clients about making financial representations in the FDD and the added risks of doing so. We get to know our franchise clients throughout the process in order to make the correct disclosures about their business.
Local Arizona Franchise Registration Lawyers
In addition to preparing the FDD, we assist clients in registering franchise offerings in the various registration and business opportunity states when necessary. The following are registration states: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. The process to register varies state by state, but most registration states require that the FDD be filed and approved by the designated state agency before a franchisor can offer or sell a franchise in that state. We have helped clients register their franchises in each of the registration states.
Registration states require franchisors to file a renewal application each year. When requested, we notify our franchise clients when their registrations need to be renewed. We help our clients gather necessary information for renewal and assist them through the renewal process. Franchisors are also required to revise the FDD within a reasonable time to include any material changes. We help our clients prepare and file amendments to their registration when changes occur in their business structure or when material changes arise relating to their franchise offering. In addition to registration states, some business opportunity states have laws that may require franchisors to apply for authorization in order to sell their franchise. Our Arizona business lawyers help clients file the appropriate applications in the business opportunity states that they plan on selling their franchise in.
Professional Arizona Franchise Legal Services
After registration is complete, we continue to help our Mesa franchise clients sell their franchise by assisting in negotiating franchise agreements with prospective franchisees and helping resolve franchisee disputes that arise from time to time. We also advise our clients about their options when working with non-compliant franchisees, including the option of termination. We are experienced in creating franchise entities. We help clients file the appropriate formation documents, draft an operating agreement, and obtain an EIN from the IRS. Our attorneys are experienced business law attorneys and can assist you with the creation of a franchise entity.
As part of the franchise process, we help clients file for and register their trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Our Mesa franchise attorneys can walk you through the USPTO registration process and help you file the correct applications and documents required.
We tend to develop a close working relationship with our franchise clients because of our firm’s small size. We have successfully helped many franchisors get started and continue to support our existing franchise clients in different parts of the United States.
Some examples of the franchises we have assisted include numerous restaurant, yogurt, coffee and other food-related companies; a background check company; a successful weight-loss clinic; a specialty toy store; specialty health care companies; a national water company; office cleaning and security companies; a non-ultraviolet sun tan company; and a specialized e-cigarette company. We have assisted franchise clients from all over the United States as well as Canadian franchisors looking to expand in the US.
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Whatever challenges you face, the Denton Peterson legal team is prepared to help you reach a solution that puts your business in position to thrive and grow. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss all of your business law needs.