Franchise Forms FAQ
What is a franchise?
There is a definition of a franchise which has been developed by the Federal Trade Commission. Basically, a franchise involves an owner of a trademark, trade name and/or copyright giving others a license under certain conditions to use these trademarks, trade names or copyrights in providing goods or services to the public. The franchisor is the party who grants the franchise, and the franchisee is the party who receives the franchise.
What is the legal relationship between a franchisor and franchisee?
Technically, the relationship between a franchisor and franchisee is a relationship between two independent contractors. Their rights are determined by the franchise agreement. A franchise then is not a separate business entity, but is a business relationship between two separate business organizations such as a sole proprietorship, a corporation, or a partnership. The relationship between the franchisor and franchisee is controlled by the franchise contract. A corporation, sole proprietorship, or partnership may own the franchise contract or may be the entity entering into the franchise contract.
What laws govern franchises?
There are laws that restrict termination of some franchises. In some states, prior notice of termination is required. Owners of automobile dealership franchises are protected from termination of their dealerships in bad faith. This protection is provided by the Federal Automobile Dealers Franchise Act.