Oct 27, 2021 - Blog, Franchise Articles by |

As a franchisee, facing a dispute with your franchisor can be a trying experience. You need to protect your investment—but does this mean giving in, or does it mean fighting for a just result? You need to make an informed decision about how to move forward, and you also need to be careful to avoid mistakes that could put your franchise at risk unnecessarily. Here are some insights from franchisee attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein.

Steps to Take When Facing a Dispute with Your Franchisor

If you are facing a dispute with your franchisor, there are some steps you should try to take promptly. These steps include:

1. Preserve All Relevant Communications

Be sure to preserve all relevant communications. This includes emails, texts, voicemails and mailed letters. Not only could these communications be crucial to your case, but deleting or destroying them – whether intentionally or inadvertently – could create problems in the event of litigation with your franchisor.

2. Maintain Compliance with Your Franchise Agreement

To the best of your ability, you should maintain compliance with your franchise agreement. You are required to do so; and, even if your franchisor is in breach, this does not provide you with justification to breach your contractual obligations.

3. See if Your Franchise Agreement has a Mediation or Arbitration Clause

Many franchisors include mandatory mediation or arbitration clauses (or both) in their franchise agreements. If your dispute is subject to mediation or arbitration (or both), this may influence how you move forward with your efforts at dispute resolution. Note, however, that while you may be subject to mandatory mediation or arbitration, your franchisor may have the option to take certain claims directly to court.

4. Take Detailed Notes

Take some time to write down the details that are pertinent to your dispute with your franchisor. When did the issue begin? Why did it begin? Are any other franchisees impacted (if you know)? Have you had any verbal communications with the franchisor; and, if so, what did you discuss? These types of information could all be crucial for assessing your legal rights.  

5. Speak with a Franchisee Attorney

To determine your best path forward, you will need to speak with a franchisee attorney about your situation. Franchisee-franchisor disputes present some unique challenges, and the nature of the franchise relationship means that franchisees are often at a disadvantage. However, as a franchisee, you do have legal rights, and an experienced franchisee attorney will be able to use these rights to your advantage. Whether this means negotiating an amicable resolution, pursuing mediation or arbitration (or both), or taking your dispute to court will depend on the specific facts and circumstances involved.  

Schedule a Free Consultation with Franchisee Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein

Are you facing a dispute with your franchisor? If so, franchisee attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein can help. To learn more in a free and confidential consultation, call 202-293-3947 or tell us how we can reach you online today.

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