A Broad Scope Franchisor Law Firm

Plave Koch is recognized as a go-to law firm for the specialized legal services needed for successful franchising. With over 230 years of collective franchising experience, in dozens of industries, at all stages from start-up to wind-down or sale of the concept, we pretty much have seen it all.

Whether you need ongoing counsel to ensure the future success of your business, or you are looking for a fierce advocate during a difficult conflict with one of your franchisees or stakeholders, our premier franchising lawyers are always at the ready. Contact our team today to learn more, or call 703-774-1200 to get started.

Our Franchising Services

Our firm is known nationwide and all over the globe for handling the full scope of issues that come with franchising your business. We focus our practice on representing franchisors and tailor our services to meet each client’s unique business needs.

Build and launch your franchise program. We walk concept owners through vital business decisions, such as drafting and negotiating franchising contracts. We only offer custom-made services – we do not expect you to accept an off-the-shelf product. We write contracts to be user-friendly both for potential franchisees and for the franchisor’s own staff, without sacrificing critical safeguards.

Comply with franchise sales laws. One of our primary objectives when setting up a franchise is to ensure our client meets all FTC and state requirements regarding disclosure and other franchise regulations.

Manage relationships with franchisees. A franchise system is a living organism that grows and changes. Managing one is more art than science. Our attorneys provide actionable advice backed by our legal experience and your business judgment, so you can build an effective and positive relationship with your franchisees. We also frequently structure franchisee advisory councils and advertising cooperatives and craft workout arrangements for struggling franchisees that safeguard franchisor interests.

Construct and monitor the supply chain. We assist franchisors with issues up and down the supply chain. Our attorneys often structure supply contracts and assist with purchasing products and services from vendors. We also set up approved supplier/distributor programs for franchisee purchasing and design national account programs.

Protect the franchisor brand. One of the most valuable assets for a franchisor is its brand and reputation. We help our clients build compliance programs and promote consistency between franchise locations and operators, to ensure the brand is protected. We help clients assess and respond to franchisee defaults and noncompete issues, sometimes leading to termination. In times of conflict, our attorneys help facilitate negotiations to end disagreements efficiently and quietly, while also swiftly handling litigation and dispute resolution for those that can’t be resolved informally. We also enforce obligations of terminated franchisees to de-identify and we challenge others who infringe our clients’ trademarks, domain names, and social media names.

Coordinate the franchise program with other business initiatives. We advise on co-branding and licensing arrangements and alternative distribution outside of the franchise network. We also help with general advertising standards and special promotional programs such as contests and gift cards.

Execute large and small transactions. Our seasoned franchising team has helped many franchisors and private equity investors seize opportunities to acquire brands, usually serving as special counsel for due diligence on franchise issues. We help brand owners implement their exit strategies and have been involved in a variety of other business and finance transactions, including franchise buybacks, sale of company-owned units, securitization, lending arrangements, equipment leases, management agreements, and joint ventures.

Go international. At last count, collectively we have worked on franchise projects in well over 60 countries. Our international work includes drafting and negotiating master franchise/subfranchise, multiple-unit development, and direct franchise deals and helping U.S. franchisors comply with franchise sales laws in other countries. Our firm was the very first to obtain registrations for U.S. franchise brands under the 2007 Chinese Franchise Regulations.

Representing Franchisees

Though the focus of our franchising services is brand owners, we represent franchisees and prospective franchisees in transactions from time to time (we do not represent franchisees in litigation). We believe that exposure to both sides of the relationship makes us better franchise lawyers for all of our clients. Our understanding of franchisors’ concerns and expectations makes us effective and efficient advocates for franchisee clients, especially in negotiating business terms. At the same time, viewing franchise offerings from the investor’s perspective, if only occasionally, richly informs our work for brand owners, by sensitizing us to the real-world impact of franchise program documents.