Bundy Law Firm has represented franchisees in hundreds of franchise systems. Here are a few of the things we have accomplished:
- A group of about a dozen convenience store franchisees came to us for assistance because the franchisor was engaging in unfair practices. We represented them and fought for them for several years in court, ultimately winning a major decision in the Washington Court of Appeals.
- A client retained us to review a disclosure document and contract for a well-known food franchise. After reviewing the documents we outlined for the client some points of concern, including that the franchisor’s financial condition was shaky, that they had a history of selling a lot of franchises and never getting them open, but keeping the fees, that they required the franchisee and spouse to sign personal guarantees that also guaranteed obligations to all vendors and suppliers, that they required franchisees to travel to their headquarters in a distant state to resolve disputes, and that they required franchisees to pay minimum royalties even if the business completely failed. The client decided to look at other business opportunities.
- A client brought a disclosure document and contract for a sign company to us for review. After reviewing the documents, we met with him. In the course of the conversation it became clear that he would prefer to own an independent sign company, but felt that he did not have all the right resources. We talked and suggested some additional homework. A few days later, he called for more discussion and we walked him through the process of starting his independent sign company from scratch. He did it and was quite happy and successful.
- A health-related franchisee was sued by its franchisor for allegedly violating a franchise agreement that was never signed. We defended the franchisee, filed aggressive counter-claims, and were able to settle the case before trial.
- We represented a group of tutoring franchisees through a lengthy arbitration proceeding because their franchisor had mislead them about the cost of operating their business and the prospects of success. After obtaining a substantial arbitration award for one of the group, we settled the remainder of the claims. The franchisor ultimately signed the entire franchise company over to the franchisees.
- We have reviewed disclosure documents and contracts for innumerable prospective franchisees and consulted with them about their decision whether to invest in the franchise.
Bundy Law Firm has represented dozens of franchisors, helping them to qualify to offer and sell franchises in Washington and across the country. Here are a few of the things we have done:
- We worked with a major regional real estate company to qualify it to offer and sell franchises. During the time we represented them, the company grew into a major regional chain with approximately 30 franchisees.
- We represented a small franchisor who was accused by the state of violating the franchise law by not disclosing a fact. We negotiated with the state officials and got the matter resolved with a minimal penalty and a slight change to the disclosure so that the franchisor could continue in business.
- We consulted with a company that was considering franchising its youth-education business. After we explained the difference between running a franchise company and teaching kids, and some of the responsibilities a franchising company has, the company decided to take a different direction.
- We helped a small company sell a single retail meat franchise under an exemption for a single offering inside the State of Washington, by qualifying them for an exemption and preparing the necessary paperwork to make that possible.
We have helped many businesses and individuals resolve disputes in cost-effective ways. We recognize that every dispute is important to the people involved, but we keep in mind that not every dispute justifies advising the client to “bet the farm”. Here are a few of the things we have done:
- We represented a condominium owner whose neighbor locked her out of part of her property. After several months of motions, depositions and other preparation for trial, we worked out a settlement where the client regained unrestricted access to her property and the other party paid the client’s attorneys’ fees and costs.
- A client who is a commercial landlord had a tenant who was not paying for insurance or paying rent on time. We worked with the landlord to get the tenant out of the premises without litigation and with enough rent paid to cover until they can probably find a new tenant.
- Another client got into a dispute with her business partner of several years. Cash and other assets were at risk. We were able to work with the client to secure the cash and other assets while negotiating with the attorney for the other party. After just a few weeks, we were able to work out a resolution that both preserved the business and separated our client from her former partner without real harm.
- In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we helped an online retailer client sell its business assets to its long time manager. The sale included thousands of items of intellectual property and supply chain and fulfillment issues. We prepared the asset purchase and sale documents, financing documents, and title transfers. We worked with the client to limit post-sale lease liability. The closing occurred on time and all electronically—in an era of social distancing. The business never lost a beat.
- A client wanted to buy a small farm with a wine producing business on it. We helped negotiate the deal, prepared documents and assisted the client in getting a good deal.
- Another client wanted to sell her franchised business. We worked with her to negotiate the best deal possible and, when it became clear that the buyer was not as qualified as the client thought, we advised the client to terminate the transaction.
- A client wanted to sell his telecon company that had grown to a size where it was generating several million dollars a year in revenue. The first two prospective buyers were not qualified or would not meet the client’s terms. Finally, the third prospective buyer proved to be qualified and we closed a multi-million-dollar transaction for all cash. We negotiated the deal points and the documentation with the buyer’s out-of-state counsel and the closing was uneventful.