Well-Versed In the Highly Regulated Franchise Environment
For thirteen years, High Swartz LLP’s Joel Rosen served as in-house counsel to franchisors with a variety of approaches and philosophies to franchising. His experience includes:
- Senior Corporate Counsel – AAMCO Transmissions (900 franchisees)
- Vice-President, Corporate Counsel, Secretary – NutriSystem (1800 locations in six countries)
These positions required broad knowledge of both franchise and business law matters, including marketing, sales, financing, litigation, employment, trademark, copyright, leases, licensing agreements, and compliance with state and federal regulations.
What an Experienced Franchise Lawyer Offers
For the past 30+ years, attorney Joel Rosen has served businesses and individuals throughout eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. As an experienced franchise lawyer, he has a firm understanding of the four basic components to franchising:
- Franchise agreements
- Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs)
- Operating Manuals
- Marketing and sales
He is also experienced in franchise litigation, representing both franchisees and franchisors.
Franchise Agreements – Never Fall in Love with a Deal
“Never fall in love with a deal.” That is what we tell our clients. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. A franchise agreement rarely says what you think it does, so it is better to get to the heart of the details before it is too late. What most people entering into a franchise agreement don’t know is that most of the time the terms are negotiable.
Franchise Disclosure Documents
High Swartz LLP prepares and registers Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs) for franchisors seeking to do business nationwide. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires all franchisors to prepare a complex disclosure document, the Franchise Disclosure Document (previously known as the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular, or UFOC), and to give a copy of it to any prospective franchisee. Within the FDD are 23 different categories of material information about the franchise, including:
- Number and location of existing outlets/stores/restaurants
- Required franchisee fees and other costs
- The obligations of the franchisee and franchisor under the terms of the franchise agreement
- Franchisor bankruptcy and litigation history
- Franchisor audited financial statements
- Franchisor earnings claims, if any
If you are a potential franchisee, an experienced franchise attorney can help you understand the significance of the details in the FDD. If you are a franchisor in need of FDD drafting, review and registration state filings, High Swartz LLP can make sure that your FDD complies with all of the FTC and state specific requirements in the states in which you wish to operate.
Franchise agreements, which are drafted by the franchisor, set the terms and conditions that will govern the franchisee’s ownership and operation of the franchise. We assist prospective franchisees by drafting, negotiating and reviewing franchise agreements and agreement terms, including:
- Advertising requirements
- Rights of first refusal
- Fees and “mandatory” costs
- Assignment provisions
- Termination and renewal
Franchise Marketing and Sales
During attorney Joel Rosen’s 30+ years as a practicing franchise attorney, he has seen franchises succeed and fail, and he understands the reasons for both. Federal and state advertising laws present both franchisees and franchisors alike with another quagmire of legislation that they must understand and comply with to ensure long-term success. Attorney Rosen has successfully negotiated settlements for clients with the Federal Trade Commission and various state attorneys general when compliance issues have arisen.
We have represented franchisors and franchisees in a wide variety of franchise disputes, including encroachment, breach of licensing agreements, performance and operational disputes, financial issues and other issues that arise under the terms of a franchise agreement.
Hire an Experienced Pennsylvania Franchise Lawyer
Whatever kind of business you have or plan on acquiring, we can put our years of franchise law experience to work in your favor. Contact us at 610-275-0700 for more information.