Blogs

Emerging Companies Insider

The Emerging Companies Insider blog focuses on recent and developing areas of the law affecting startup and emerging growth companies and their investors, including choice of entity, shareholders’ agreements, issuance of equity to employees, preparing for and executing a capital raise, exit strategies and the JOBS Act and its impact on how companies can and should raise capital from investors.

Franchise Law Update

For those with an interest in the world of franchising, the Franchise Law Update blog will become a regular stop for you. Our bloggers discuss not only the regulatory aspects of franchising, but also diverse topics such as business finance, employment, litigation and the protection of intellectual property including trademarks and copyrights. We understand that while franchising has its unique aspects, franchise businesses confront the same opportunities, changes and challenges as any other business.

Recent Blog Posts

  • NJ Bans Non-Disclosure Clauses in Employment Settlements On the Weekly Fox Workplace Watch, associate Justin Schwam provides a detailed summary of the recent New Jersey legislation entitled the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). This law prohibits non-disclosure provisions in employment contracts and the settlements of certain discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims. Any agreements settling NJLAD claims must now include a bold, prominently placed notice stating that, even if the parties have agreed to keep the settlement terms confidential, if the employee publicly discloses enough details of a... More
  • Franchise Times Names Five Fox Attorneys as ‘Legal Eagles’ Fox Rothschild LLP congratulates Eleanor Vaida Gerhards, John R. Gotaskie, Jr., Elizabeth D. Sigety, Craig R. Tractenberg and Megan B. Center, who were featured among the 2019 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine. The list highlights attorneys who have made significant strides in franchise law and were selected from nominations by their clients and peers. This is the sixth consecutive year Franchise Times has named Gotaskie and Sigety to the list and the fourth time it has recognized Gerhards and Center.... More
  • FTC Seeks Comments on Franchise Rule The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has requested public comments on its Trade Regulation Rule entitled “Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Franchising” (the “Rule”). The Rule makes it an unfair or deceptive act or practice for franchisors to fail to give prospective franchisees a Franchise Disclosure Document, which is required to provide certain specific information about the franchisor, the franchise business, and the terms of the franchise agreement. The FTC is currently soliciting comments about the efficiency, costs, benefits, and regulatory... More
  • Restaurant Structural Change: The Opportunity Last time we asked, given the high number of restaurant concept bankruptcies and money sloshing around in the sector, is there still more upside than downside in the restaurant franchising sector? We can find the answer by looking at where we have been. The U.S. economy is experiencing the second longest expansion in our lifetimes, after recovering from the greatest recession ever. We are still feeling the effects of economic stimulus, low interest rates, recent tax cuts and government deficit... More
  • Restaurant Structural Change: The Challenge Imagine operating a single restaurant. The food keeps bringing them in, and prices are relatively stable. Consumer confidence is high, unemployment low, discretionary income rising, and people are going out more. Now multiply these variables as if we operated a chain of restaurants, and you will find small changes in any of these variables are multiplied exponentially and take a longer time to adjust for a restaurant chain. By looking across the industry, we can see that big changes may... More
  • Failing to Plan? Then Plan to Fail. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” That is true in any business, but particularly so in franchising.  Planning is more important in franchising because franchising leverages a business–expanding the horizon of the brand more than a single owner or operator could. Decisions on branding need to balance the effects on employees, franchisees, prospective franchisees and customers. Without proper planning, the brand will grow randomly, without alignment, and will never achieve the momentum necessary to... More
  • Did the D.C. Circuit Overrule or Uphold Browning-Ferris? Yes. On December 28, 2018, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the Browning-Ferris case. In this much anticipated decision, the Court of Appeals concluded that the National Labor Relations Board’s decision to enumerate a new joint employer test was a valid exercise of its authority. The Court of Appeals held, however, the NLRB failed to properly apply the newly created test. Consequently, while the Court of Appeals didn’t completely abrogate the NLRB’s ruling, the opinion frankly raises... More
  • Does GDPR Apply to Your Brand? Fresh Answers Here. Submitted by Odia Kagan, Partner & Chair of GDPR Compliance and International Privacy. Does the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) apply to my brand? This is a question with which many U.S.-based franchisors have been grappling since the GDPR took effect on May 25th. Six months later, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has issued, for public comment, guidelines on the territorial scope of GDPR. Below is a breakdown of the major questions and takeaways for US-based franchisors: 1. Do you have an... More
  • It’s Deja Vu All Over Again at the NLRB Copyright: vician / 123RF Stock Photo With apologies (and props) to the great Yogi Berra, it’s deja vu all over again at the National Labor Relations Board.  The Board has extended the commenting period on its proposed joint employer rulemaking for a second time. Comments to the proposed rule may now be submitted until January 14, 2019. And the Board will accept replies to comments submitted in the original comment period through January 22, 2019. We have blogged about this important issue... More
  • Ample Planning Cannot Always Save Franchisors from Taxes Out-of-state franchisors beware of opening a franchise in New Mexico due to the recent decision in A&W Restaurants, Inc. v. Taxation and Revenue Department of the State of New Mexico and the potential for tax liability. The Taxation and Revenue Department of the State of New Mexico (“Dept.”) assessed over $29,000 in unpaid taxes against A&W Restaurants, Inc. (“A&W”) arising from its collection of royalty fees from several New Mexico franchisees. In 2007, the New Mexico legislature amended the definition of... More
  • You’re Invited: Austin’s Startup Community Global Impact: Featuring SXSW and Central Texas Angel Network The American Bar Association is holding its upcoming 2018 Business Law Section Annual Meeting at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, from September 13 to 15. Fox partners Emily Yukich and Matt Kittay are organizing a panel discussion entitled “Austin’s Startup Community Global Impact: Featuring SXSW and Central Texas Angel Network.” The panel will feature Claire England (Executive Director of the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN)) and Chris Valentine (SXSW Pitch Event Producer). It will provide unique insights regarding Austin’s early... More
  • The Taxman Cometh (for Your Internet Sales) On Fox’s Franchise Law Update blog, partners John Gotaskie and Elizabeth Sigety reviewed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, in which the court reversed longstanding precedent blocking states from requiring that sellers with no physical presence in their state collect and remit sales taxes on goods shipped to in-state consumers. The precedent had been a boon to the e-commerce industry. We invite you to read John and Elizabeth’s examination of the decision: The Taxman Cometh (for Your Internet Sales) ... More
  • SEC: Bitcoin Is Not Governed by Securities Laws Our colleague Kristen Howell has published an alert reporting on an important development in the cryptocurrency industry. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has declared that Bitcoin, Ethereum and other coins operating on truly decentralized platforms are not securities. The agency’s reasoning was revealed in remarks by William Hinman, Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance, at the Yahoo Finance “All Markets Summit: Crypto” on June 14. Hinman explained that since the value of cryptocurrency is not based on the expectation... More
  • Four Considerations for Advisor Option Grants Startup clients often rely on independent contractors and advisors during their early stages but do not have the cash to pay them, so they turn to equity compensation. Stock options are a great incentive tool, but founders should consider the following before issuing options to advisors or independent contractors: How Much?: Most founders grant early advisors and contractors options that cover anywhere from 0.10% to 1% of the company’s fully diluted stock on a case-by-case basis. Founders should consider (i) how... More
  • Los Angeles Startups: Join Us April 24 for an HR Boot Camp! Attention all Los Angeles area emerging companies! Want to get the most out of your people and your investment? Focus on your company’s HR and corporate governance. Join Fox Rothschild Employment and Corporate attorneys Sahara Pynes and Emily Yukich as they host a free workshop for startups and emerging companies. Enjoy breakfast on us as you learn how to keep growing businesses on track, create invested teams, manage risk and cultivate top-notch culture. When:  April 24, 2018, 8:30am – 10:00am Where:  Fox’s Los Angeles Office  10250 Constellation Blvd.  Suite... More