Best Lawyers for Franchise Law in Wisconsin, United States

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Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2015
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Antitrust Law Franchise Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Franchise Law Product Liability Litigation - Defendants Commercial Litigation Financial Services Regulation Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Mergers and Acquisitions Law Franchise Law Corporate Law International Trade and Finance Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2011
  • Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Corporate Law Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) Franchise Law Real Estate Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2006
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Antitrust Commercial Litigation Litigation - Patent Franchise Law Bet-the-Company Litigation
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2015
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Franchise Law Trade Secrets Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Franchise Law Securities / Capital Markets Law Food and Beverage Law Mergers and Acquisitions Law Corporate Law Commercial Finance Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Franchise Law Corporate Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Franchise Law Tax Law Corporate Law International Trade and Finance Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2013
  • Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Franchise Law Litigation - Real Estate Real Estate Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Corporate Law Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) Mergers and Acquisitions Law Franchise Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Food and Beverage Law Commercial Litigation Franchise Law

  • Recognized Since: Ones to Watch Since:
  • Location:
  • Practice Areas:

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Our methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.

Practice Area Definition

Franchise Law Definition

Franchise law is a complex combination of common law, statutory law, and regulatory law. The wide breadth of issues that arise in franchising has led to the emergence of franchise law as a distinct specialty, but it also draws from numerous practice areas including contracts, securities, trademarks and copyright, advertising, fraud and misrepresentation, antitrust, employment, and dispute resolution. Franchise attorneys generally are divided between regulatory compliance and counseling on the one hand, and dispute resolution on the other.

Regulatory Compliance and Counseling

Federal Presale Disclosure. Franchising is a heavily regulated industry. At the federal level, the FTC Franchise Rule requires franchisors to provide prospective franchisees with a detailed prospectus (Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”)) that contains information about the franchisor, the franchise system, the franchisor’s financial statements, and required agreements. Franchisors cannot make “financial performance representations” about the success of their franchisees unless the franchisor has substantiation and the information is included in the FDD. FDDs must be updated annually or more often if there are material changes to the FDD disclosures.

State Franchise Laws. Fifteen states have enacted laws that regulate pre-sale disclosure and registration. Some of the laws have disclosure requirements that vary from the FTC Franchise Rule, so the FDD may contain state-specific addenda or multiple FDDs may be necessary. These states require FDDs to become registered with a state agency before the franchisor is permitted to offer or sell franchises in the state. In addition, many states have passed laws that are designed to protect franchisees from what is perceived to be their inferior bargaining position compared to franchisors. These laws restrict the right of franchisors to terminate franchise agreements, disapprove transfers of franchises, discriminate between franchisees, require disputes to be resolved out of state, and similar limitations.

Counseling. Franchise attorneys must know the businesses and industries of their clients. They should be able to assist franchisors with franchise sales law compliance, negotiation of franchise agreements and supply arrangements, franchise agreement enforcement, system changes, franchisee renewals, franchisee terminations, franchisee transfers, pricing issues, and international franchising.

Dispute Resolution

Franchise agreements are typically long-term relationships. It is not unusual for franchisors and franchisees to have disputes that result in mediation, arbitration, and litigation. These disputes often stem from franchisees who are unprofitable or less profitable than expected, or franchisees may disagree with decisions made by the franchisor. Disputes also may result when a franchisor is unhappy with the way in which a franchisee is operating the franchise or when a franchisee refuses to pay royalties. Franchise disputes frequently involve allegations such as:

  • Fraud and misrepresentation
  • Breach of contract
  • Overcharging for supplies
  • Termination or non-renewal disputes
  • Violation of brand standards
  • Franchisee discrimination
  • Territory or encroachment issues
  • Transfer issues
  • Pricing and antitrust issues
  • Vicarious liability issues
  • Post-termination noncompetition covenants

Franchise law is a complex combination of common law, statutory law, and regulatory law. The wide breadth of issues that arise in franchising has led to the emergence of franchise law as a distinct specialty, but it also draws from numerous practice areas including contracts, securities, trademarks and copyright, advertising, fraud and misrepresentation, antitrust, employment, and dispute resolution. Franchise attorneys generally are divided between regulatory compliance and counseling on the one hand, and dispute resolution on the other.

Regulatory Compliance and Counseling

Federal Presale Disclosure. Franchising is a heavily regulated industry. At the federal level, the FTC Franchise Rule requires franchisors to provide prospective franchisees with a detailed prospectus (Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”)) that contains information about the franchisor, the franchise system, the franchisor’s financial statements, and required agreements. Franchisors cannot make “financial performance representations” about the success of their franchisees unless the franchisor has substantiation and the information is included in the FDD. FDDs must be updated annually or more often if there are material changes to the FDD disclosures.

State Franchise Laws. Fifteen states have enacted laws that regulate pre-sale disclosure and registration. Some of the laws have disclosure requirements that vary from the FTC Franchise Rule, so the FDD may contain state-specific addenda or multiple FDDs may be necessary. These states require FDDs to become registered with a state agency before the franchisor is permitted to offer or sell franchises in the state. In addition, many states have passed laws that are designed to protect franchisees from what is perceived to be their inferior bargaining position compared to franchisors. These laws restrict the right of franchisors to terminate franchise agreements, disapprove transfers of franchises, discriminate between franchisees, require disputes to be resolved out of state, and similar limitations.

Counseling. Franchise attorneys must know the businesses and industries of their clients. They should be able to assist franchisors with franchise sales law compliance, negotiation of franchise agreements and supply arrangements, franchise agreement enforcement, system changes, franchisee renewals, franchisee terminations, franchisee transfers, pricing issues, and international franchising.

Dispute Resolution

Franchise agreements are typically long-term relationships. It is not unusual for franchisors and franchisees to have disputes that result in mediation, arbitration, and litigation. These disputes often stem from franchisees who are unprofitable or less profitable than expected, or franchisees may disagree with decisions made by the franchisor. Disputes also may result when a franchisor is unhappy with the way in which a franchisee is operating the franchise or when a franchisee refuses to pay royalties. Franchise disputes frequently involve allegations such as:

  • Fraud and misrepresentation
  • Breach of contract
  • Overcharging for supplies
  • Termination or non-renewal disputes
  • Violation of brand standards
  • Franchisee discrimination
  • Territory or encroachment issues
  • Transfer issues
  • Pricing and antitrust issues
  • Vicarious liability issues
  • Post-termination noncompetition covenants