If Your Franchisor Doesn’t Treat You Fairly, The Law Can Help
Franchisors are expected to protect the business and investment of each franchisee who signs up with them. What do you do if your franchisor engages in unfair business practices, however? A business lawyer may be able to help.
When you first buy into a franchise, you go in with high hopes. The franchisor promises great results, and makes you believe that you are an important part of a family that tries hard to make sure you’re successful. Over time, however, many franchise businesses begin to notice a perceptible drop in franchisor interest and enthusiasm. The franchisor no longer communicates as often or as readily as they once did, and their proprietary standards become more of a burden than a benefit.
It isn’t uncommon for such scenarios to play out in the world of franchised business. As interested as franchisors may seem in franchisees until they get them to sign up for a long-term commitment, they sometimes turn their attention to newer prospects soon after.
Fortunately, franchisees who feel misled or unjustly treated by their franchisors have legal alternatives to correct the injustices meted out to them. It’s possible for franchisees to take legal action. A lawyer experienced in franchise business law could help you navigate the legal system to find recourse.
What kinds of complaints against franchisors are legally actionable?
Franchisees who are unhappy with their business arrangements are often able to find remedies in a court of law. Franchisees tend to resort to legal solutions in the following kinds of disputes.
Disclosure breaches: State franchise laws require franchisors to be completely truthful and accurate in the marketing materials that they provide to entrepreneurs interested in signing up. If you believe that the Franchise Disclosure Documents, as they are called, were misleading in important respects, you could find an ally in the courts.
Discrimination: If you believe that your franchisor selectively enforces the rules with some franchisees and not others, you could find relief in the law.
Territorial encroachment: Running a successful franchise depends on having the franchisor make sure that they don’t sell franchises to multiple franchisees to compete in the same geographical areas. If your franchisor appears to violate your territorial rights, you could turn to the law to correct the situation.
Unfair termination: If you have a contract with your franchisor whose rules you have abided by, and you’ve still received notice of termination, litigation in court can help reverse the wrongs done to you.
Retaining experienced legal counsel
A seasoned team of lawyers on your side experienced in franchise litigation could be an invaluable asset as you make your way through unfamiliar legal territory. A lawyer with specific experience in this field could help you take advantage of the allowances the law makes to help your case.