Franchise Law Focus


Franchise Law

Mulcahy LLP is a nationally-recognized franchise law firm representing franchisors, distributors, manufacturers, sub-franchisors, and franchisee associations, among other business models, in the following business sectors:

  • Business Services
  • Cleaning
  • DVD, Video & Gaming
  • Entertainment
  • Farm & Industrial Equipment
  • Health and Fitness
  • Health and Fitness
  • Home Services
  • Hospitality
  • Hotels
  • Mailing & Shipping
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Pet & Grooming
  • Printer, Copying & Sign
  • Quick Service Restaurant (QSR)
  • Real Estate Brokerages
  • Restaurant
  • Security
  • Senior Care
  • Tutoring
  • Vending
 

Our clients cover a broad range, from the small businesses interested in pursuing the franchise model to some of the most recognizable franchise brands with thousands of outlets. We represents our franchise clients in both the transactional and litigation arenas offering a full-service solution on a wide variety of legal issues involving franchise licensing, distribution, intellectual property, real estate, employment, and other matters.

Our attorneys are recognized as leaders in the franchise law community. They include many Certified Specialists in Franchise and Distribution law by the California State Bar, Board of Legal Specialization. They have also been conferred titles such as: “Top Rated Franchise & Dealership Attorney” by Super Lawyers® Magazine, and “Franchise Times Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times Magazine and their peers.

In addition, our attorneys hold or have held leadership positions on various franchise-specific committees and associations including, the California Lawyers' Association Franchise Committee (Chairs) and on the Franchise and Distribution Law Advisory Commission, California Board of Legal Specialization. They regularly write and speak on franchise, distribution and competition issues for, among others, the California State Bar, the International Franchise Association and the American Bar Association.

We counsel clients on all aspects of the franchise relationship: from the initial decision to franchise, to navigating the myriad state and federal registration and disclosure laws, to drafting franchise agreements and disclosure documents, to developing internal policies and best practices for managing a franchise and distribution system, to negotiating with suppliers, distributors and other third parties, to litigating and arbitrating when necessary.

Our experienced trial lawyers are intimately familiar with state-specific franchise and relationships laws, disclosure and fraud issues, contract disputes and breaches of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, dealer/franchise renewals, terminations, and transfers, territorial disputes, expansion and encroachment issues exclusivity and non-compete provisions, tortious interference and other intentional tort claims, trade secret, trademark and copyright infringement, Lanham Act violations, antitrust, and labor and employment disputes.

Practice Guides




  • What is a Franchise Under California Law?

    What is a Franchise Under California Law?

    On January 1, 1971, the California Franchise Investment Law (the “CFIL”) became law in California, making it the first franchise-specific law in the country. The CFIL, codified at Corporations Code sections 31000 through 31516, is designed to regulate franchisors’ dissemination of information to prospective franchisees, allowing the prospects to make informed decisions regarding their potential franchise investments. Both the registration and disclosure requirements under the CFIL closely mirror California’s Blue Sky Laws.

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  • Selectively Enforcing Franchise Agreements

    Selectively Enforcing Franchise Agreements

    The contractual rights and responsibilities of the individual franchisees in a particular franchise system are generally uniform throughout that system. The franchisor achieves this homogeneity by (1) amending or supplementing earlier versions of its franchise agreement to reflect its current version of the document, and (2) requiring all franchisees to adhere to a single operations manual. Uniform obligations help instill consistency in the brand and simplify the franchisor’s monitoring and enforcement efforts.

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  • Personal Liability of Franchisor's Officers & Directors

    Personal Liability of Franchisor's Officers & Directors

    It is widely understood that the owner or operator of a corporation acting in her “corporate capacity” can hide behind the protective veil of the corporation to avoid liability of the corporation. However, this fundamental protection afforded the principals of most business models may not be available to franchisors.

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  • Private Right of Action Under the CFIL

    Private Right of Action Under the CFIL

    Unlike the federal franchise laws – that can only be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission – the California Franchise Investment Law (CFIL) provides individual franchisees (and subfranchisors) with a private right of action against the franchisor.

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  • Disclosure Of California Franchise Opportunity

    Disclosure Of California Franchise Opportunity

    All franchisors that are subject to registration in California are required to provide prospective franchisees with a Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”), including the California cover page and addendum, all attachments and exhibits, 14 calendar days before the prospect signs a binding agreement with, or makes any payment to, the franchisor or its affiliate.

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  • The Experienced Franchisee Exemption Under The California Franchise Investment Law

    The Experienced Franchisee Exemption Under The California Franchise Investment Law

    In California, the offer and sale of a franchise is regulated by the California Franchise Investment Law (“CFIL”)

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