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Practice Areas: Franchise, Licensing & Distribution

Franchise, Licensing & Distribution

Brand power. With it, a business has the potential to go anywhere. Perhaps that’s why franchising has become one of the fastest growing business models in Canada, accounting for nearly half of every retail dollar spent. But in franchising – whether you are an aspiring franchisor preparing a start-up, an established franchisor planning to expand or a prospective franchisee – success can hinge on the caliber of your franchising legal counsel. With the Franchise Law Team at Goldman Sloan Nash & Haber LLP, franchisors and franchisees benefit from sound legal franchise counsel and the kind of practical strategic advice they’ll need to make the most of a new business venture. Our franchise law team brings a specialized understanding of franchise law that can make all the difference. And with GSNH, you can depend on getting exceptional representation in all business matters, as well as a responsive, cost-effective approach that always keeps your objectives and interests at the forefront. Franchisors from virtually every business sector – from restaurant and fast food, to retail, service and the entertainment industry – call on GSNH LLP for franchise legal advice and support in all matters related to franchising business. Our team provides savvy legal advice to clients who head up some of the most thriving and recognized franchise organizations across Canada and the United States.

Comprehensive Franchise Services

Franchise system development Our first step is to help clients determine whether or not franchising is right for them, providing feedback and sharing our expertise of Canada’s legal framework and how it will impact a franchise business. Going forward, our team guides new and established companies into franchising programs, preparing agreements and disclosure documents, drafting regional and national licensing structures, and providing counsel on alternatives structures, including dealerships, alliances, partnerships co-branding and other distribution systems. Maintaining the franchise relationship We counsel franchisors on their legal contractual rights and obligations in given situations, and the limitations imposed by franchise and other laws. In addition, we deal with issues involving changes to a franchise program, enforcement of system standards, covenants not to compete, purchasing restrictions, discriminations among franchisees, and a host of other legal issues that might arise from time to time. The Franchise Law Team at GSNH LLP closely monitors changes in franchise laws, regulations and case law and continually assesses any potential impact those changes may have on our clients’ business. Mergers and acquisitions of franchise systems We counsel franchise clients wishing to buy or sell their franchises, as well as provide equity financing to merge with franchise companies. We participate in and (when necessary) oversee all stages of the transactions, from devising a strategic plan, conducting due diligence investigations, preparing and negotiating purchase and sale agreements, and advising on regulatory aspects. Litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Franchise relationships have become more regulated. Whether proactively devising cost-effective solutions for avoiding future disputes, resolving existing disputes, or aggressively litigating in the courts, we combine our current and wide-reaching knowledge of civil litigation, franchise and commercial law to every case. GSNH LLP has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court, Court of Appeal for Ontario, Federal Court of Canada, Supreme Court of Canada, and before administrative tribunals in Toronto and Ontario, on a variety of commercial matters. We approach each of our cases with the same basic practice principles: combining meticulous attention to detail, rigorous preparation, innovative problem solving and zealous advocacy. We will assess each case from a professional and business-oriented perspective, always asking, what’s best for the client in the particular case? Does the case require an aggressive approach? What are the chances for settlement? What is the most cost-efficient approach? Alternative dispute resolution? Arbitration? Or vigorous litigation in the courts? We understand that successful alternative dispute resolution requires an understanding of our client’s business objectives. That’s why we work closely with each and every one to formulate a strategy that has the highest potential for reaching a cost-efficient and favourable resolution of the case. Prospective franchisees If you are considering purchasing a franchise business, it is important to clear a number of important hurdles before you commit to a particular franchise system. Due dilligence Research is essential. Start by collecting as much information about the franchise systems that interest you. Attend franchise trade shows, view relevant web sites and consult franchise business experts including financial and legal franchising advisors who can provide a solid foundation of knowledge from which to start. Most importantly, speak to franchise owners themselves (by attending trade shows or through organized conferences) who can share the benefits of their experience. Please visit the Canadian Franchise Association to learn more about franchising, specific franchise opportunities and proper due diligence. http://www.cfa.ca/.

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