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

  • Change is Inevitable and Some Requires Special Handling Change is inevitable in a franchise system, and disclosure then becomes a concern. Disclosure may be a business issue for the existing franchisees, but it becomes a legal issue in the offer and sale of franchises. The question is whether the information would be considered by a hypothetical purchaser of a franchise as significant. Case law is sparse, but certain registration states, such as New York, provide examples of material change requiring disclosure. Examples of material business changes that must be... More
  • Employers Beware: ICE Is Ramping Up I-9 Audits to Record Levels On Fox’s Immigration View blog, partner Alka Bahal provides a detailed exploration of the I-9 inspection process, in the wake of a recent surge in I-9 audits carried out by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. All employers in the United States are required to have a Form I-9 on file for all employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States. We invite you to read Alka’s information-packed post addressing concerns facing employers: Employers Beware: ICE Is Ramping... 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
  • NASAA’s Proposed FDD Cover Page Changes: Helpful or Misleading? The North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. (“NASAA”) is proposing to revise the instructions in the NASAA Franchise Registration and Disclosure Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) that outline policies and procedures regarding the preparation of a franchise disclosure document (“FDD”). Specifically, NASAA has set forth a proposal for public comment that replaces the “State Cover Page”  to the FDD with three separate pages titled “How to Use this Franchise Disclosure Document”, “What You Need to Know About Franchising, Generally”, and “Special Risks... More
  • The Taxman Cometh (for Your Internet Sales) In a closely watched 5 to 4 decision authored by retiring Justice Kennedy in South Dakota v. Wayfair, 585 U.S. ___ (2018), the U.S. Supreme Court reversed decades of Supreme Court precedent, giving state and local governments the right to collect sales taxes from out of state retailers on online sales made into the local jurisdiction. The case involves Wayfair, a furniture and home company which sold products over the Internet into the state of South Dakota.  The law in question... More
  • (Almost) All Your Tricky FDD Drafting Questions Answered Almost every year at the IFA Annual Legal Symposium in Washington D.C., a panel of distinguished franchise attorneys and state regulators will discuss best practices in drafting a franchise disclosure document in compliance with the FTC Franchise Rule.   This year was no different and the workshop “Thorny FDD Disclosure Issues” offered a number of best practices and tips to help draft an FDD that is compliant with federal rule and state law and will breeze through the state registration process: 25388704... More
  • Will a GrubHub Restaurant Take Over a Neighborhood Near You? Each year in Washington D.C., the IFA joins forces with the International Bar Association’s Franchising Committee (IBA) to hold the IBA/IFA Joint Conference immediately after the IFA Legal Symposium. This was my first year attending. As our international franchise practice grows, I found it a rewarding opportunity to educate myself about the latest issues facing international franchise practitioners. The most fascinating andlively discussion was held during an interactive workshop entitled “Disruptive New Technologies and Franchising.” 48329671 – dish fast delivery flat... More
  • Are You Going to the International Franchise Expo This Week? The International Franchise Expo (IFE) starts TODAY (May 31st) and runs through Saturday, June 2nd at the Javits Center in New York City.  The IFE is one the largest franchise expo in the country.  This is an opportunity for franchise systems to market their brands face to face with prospective franchisees and for prospective franchisees to research brands and investigate potential franchise opportunities.  However, the IFE is not simply an franchise sales expo.  The IFE offers many additional opportunities as well.  For example, many... More
  • Unique Data Breach Issues Facing Franchise Systems I recently attended a very informative panel discussion at this year’s IFA Legal Symposium in Washington D.C. earlier this month on addressing data security risks in franchise systems. The panel, consisting of two attorneys with Bank of America Merchant Services provided some good tips and takeaways for franchise systems: Do tabletops.   Your franchise system should have a data response plan in place for various potential breach scenarios and practice the plan regularly by conducting tabletop exercises. The last thing you want... More
  • The Franchisor is Liable for Franchisee’s Submission of Fraudulent Tax Statements?! In Lomeli v. Jackson Hewitt, Inc., the United States District Court in the Central District of California held that the plaintiff, Luis Lomeli (“Lomeli”), had submitted enough evidence to hold the franchisor (“Jackson Hewitt”) vicariously liable for potential class actions due to a franchisee’s preparation and submission of fraudulent tax returns. The most concerning part of this decision is that the Court held that Jackson Hewitt could be directly liable for the fraud claims. This decision is another lesson in... More
  • Broad Provisions in Franchise Agreement: How Far is too Far? The fight against joint employment of franchisors and franchisees took a small hit when the Western District of Pennsylvania (“Court”) chose to allow a franchisee’s employee’s suit to proceed. In Harris v. Midas, et. al., the plaintiff, Hannah Harris (“Harris”), convinced the Court that she had proffered enough evidence to allege a plausible basis to hold the franchisor (“Midas”) as a joint employer and vicariously liable for the franchisee’s conduct with respect to Harris’ sexual harassment claims against her franchisee... 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
  • A Closer Look: Recent NVCA Form Updates Highlight Discrimination and Harassment Key Issues Recently, we discussed generally the NVCA’s updated model legal documents on this blog. Of particular interest in the new forms is the NVCA’s attention to anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies for emerging companies. Discrimination and harassment issues have impacted many industry-leading companies in the last year – and investors, board members and company executives all have aligned interests to ensure that the companies they are building are actively working to prevent discrimination and harassment. Two of the documents published by the NVCA... More