Manning, Fulton & Skinner, P.A.

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Developing a Social Media Policy for Franchise Systems Effective use of social media is challenging for any business, but creating a strategy that works for an entire franchise system can be even more difficult.  Once that strategy is developed, it needs to be supplemented with a social media policy that protects you and your franchisees. Below are four things to consider as you develop a social media policy.…
You have worked hard to grow your business and brand.  The last thing you want to do is give it all away.  A carefully drafted non-competition agreement can protect your brand and trade secrets. Well-drafted, enforceable non-compete agreements include the following elements: Narrow List of Prohibited Activities Courts are increasingly focusing on balancing former franchisees’ right to work against franchisors’ interests in preserving its trade secrets and protecting its brand from unfair competition.  For this…
COVID 19 undoubtedly impacted your business. Franchise systems in a wide array of industries experienced temporary closures, forced innovation in the delivery of goods and services, and altered unit economics. Some of these changes may qualify as “material” changed under state and federal law and will need to be accounted for in an amendment to the 2020 FDD.  The federal and state requirements are outlined below and will help you to determine if and when…
The FTC Rule allows some franchisors to be exempt from the franchise disclosure document requirements. There are seven stated exemptions, and some of them are tied to certain monetary values. The FTC is authorized to adjust them every fourth year based upon the Consumer Price Index so that the laws are still relevant in changing economic conditions. The Commission is required to update the monetary exemption thresholds in 2020. The following adjustments will go into…
But…how much money am I going to make? This is the primary question a prospective franchisee will ask before signing on the dotted line. As a franchisor, it is in your best interest to respond, especially if your business has been profitable. In the franchise world, the mechanism by which to respond is called the Item 19.…
The Basics of Federal Franchise Law  If you’re immersed in the franchise world, you’ve likely heard of the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, a federal agency that sets forth standards for franchises. However, in the day-to-day grind of running your business, you may not be familiar with just how the law impacts you, as a business owner, on a high level. Although wading through legal jargon may not be enjoyable, the laws impose very…
A properly negotiated lease is critical to protecting your franchised business as well as the franchise network and brand. For franchisors, entering into a commercial lease agreement is an important step as the location out of which a business operates is critical to its success. Indeed, the adage “location, location, location” is much more than a cliché: Your business should be in a prime spot with heavy traffic and other quality (non-competing!) businesses nearby that attract…
Perhaps you’ve heard about the California Legislature’s efforts to target misclassification of employees in the gig economy. While the law passed in September 2019 had obvious impacts on companies like Uber and Lyft, it can also significantly affect franchisors. AB 5 increases the likelihood that a franchisee or franchisee’s employees will be viewed as employees of the franchisor, which dramatically increases the franchisor’s obligations to them. Read on to learn how legislation in California may…
On Sunday, January 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the final version of its rule interpreting joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which regulates minimum wage and overtime. The DOL adopted a four-factor test, which considers whether an alleged joint employer:…