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American Bar Association

ABA Section of Business Law

Business Law Today

Our Mini-Theme: Franchise Law

As of 2005 there were more than 909,000 franchised business establishments in the United States alone, providing more than 11 million jobs. These businesses directly or indirectly are responsible for the creation of nearly 21 million private sector jobs with an economic output of more than $2.3 trillion per year. According to the International Franchise Association, in 2010, the credit crisis in the United States will result in a shortfall of $3.4 billion in lending to franchise businesses, which will result in 134,000 jobs not created and $13.9 billion in lost economic output.

This issue's mini-theme on franchising is designed to familiarize business lawyers with some of the important issues in franchising today. We are fortunate to be able to publish articles by some of the leading figures in the franchise bar. Susan Grueneberg and Jon Solish set the tone for this issue of Business Law Today by providing a broad overview of franchising, franchise regulation, and commonly encountered legal issues affecting the franchise relationship. Rupert Barkoff and Gerald Wells provide practical advice to the lawyer who is about to assist his or her client in reaching an informed decision as to whether and how to develop a franchise system. Liz Sigety and Seth Stadfeld provide practical advice to the business lawyer representing prospective franchisees.

On more specific topics, Marisa Faunce and Benjamin Reed write on the critical issue of trademark and brand protection strategies for franchisors. Alan Schaeffer has contributed a timely and thoughtful article on brand licensing programs that may unwittingly run afoul of state and federal franchise laws.

And from our neighbors from the north, John Rogers and Larry Weinberg, two prominent Canadian lawyers active in the ABA Forum on Franchising, provide insight into the issues presented when American companies expand their franchise systems into Canada. Shelly Spandorf, contributing from the left coast, provides us with a cautionary (and true) tale of what can happen to franchisors and their senior executives when they fail to comply with California's Franchise Investment Law.

We hope that you find these articles on various franchising issues to be both provocative and informative.

--Steven K. Fedder
Baltimore, Maryland

Additional Resources
For more reading on a similar topic, you can retrieve the following articles on the Business Law Today website at www.abanet.org/buslaw/blt. All issues since 1998 may be accessed under the "Past Issues" heading at the bottom of the web page.

But it doesn't walk or talk like a duck
The perils of the hidden franchise
By William L. Killion and Sarah J. Yatchak
Business Law Today
September/October 2007

Digging into franchises
The due diligence minefield
By Barry Kurtz
Business Law Today
March/April 2007

The accidental franchise
When a business relationship becomes a trap
By Charles S. Modell
Business Law Today
January/February 2004

Franchising 101
Key issues in the law of franchising
By Susan A. Grueneberg and Jonathan C. Solish

So your client wants to franchise its business?
Practical advice for lawyers embarking on representing franchisors
By Rupert M. Barkoff and Gerald C. Wells

Representing prospective franchisees
Specialized expertise required
By Elizabeth D. Sigety and L. Seth Stadfeld

What's in a name? A lot
Trademark and brand protection strategies for franchisors
By Marisa D. Faunce and Benjamin B. Reed

Brand licensing programs
Exemptions—a silver lining in a regulatory cloud
By Alan J. Schaeffer

Heading north?
How to expand your franchise system to Canada
By John L. Rogers and Larry M. Weinberg

Crouching tiger
Franchise regulators pounce on franchisors
By Rochelle Spandorf


Post-domain infringement
In search of a remedy
By Natalma M. McKnew

When can a trustee claw back payments to creditors?
By J. Henk Taylor and Justin Henderson


Snap Judgments
Notes on news items from the world of business and the law.
Keeping Current:
Concise up-to-the minute summaries of new cases and developments impacting specific business law practice areas.

In this Issue:
Securities -- SEC revises executive comp and governance disclosure for 2010

BLT Live
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