Franchising in Germany

The Federal Republic of Germany has the strongest economy in Europe and is one of the leading economies in the world. With a population of 81 million, it also is the most populous country in Europe. Germany is a mature and successful franchise market with more than 950 franchised systems operating in the country. It has been ranked 24th out of 185 countries in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings.

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Franchising in Laos

Introduction

Hidden between some of the most prominent powerhouses in Asia—China, Thailand, and Vietnam—Laos has often been overlooked by foreign investors seeking to capitalize on investment opportunities in the region. However, thanks to an increased commitment from the government to ease restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI) and efforts to create a more well-rounded economy that is less dependent on natural resources, Laos has witnessed a surge of new franchise operations over the past few years. From food and beverage operators to car rental providers and clothing retailers, these new franchises represent a variety of different industries and help to diversify the Lao economy. To date, some of the most well-known brands present in Laos include Avis, Café Amazon, Mini Big C, Pizza Company, and Texas Chicken (the overseas version of Church’s Chicken).

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Franchising in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Introduction

The franchise market in Kazakhstan started to develop in the mid-1990s. The Kazakhstan Franchising Agency (KFA) estimates that the number of foreign brands currently franchising in Kazakhstan is close to 500 (and will grow to 550 by 2020), with an estimated 3,000 franchised outlets employing over 30,000 people and estimated annual sales of US $2.5 billion.  According to the KFA, there are about 30 domestic (local) franchises with over 200 franchised outlets. Continue Reading

Franchising in New Zealand

Introduction

New Zealand is an exciting and fast developing market for franchising. The population of New Zealand is about 4.6 million and there are over 630 franchise systems—one for every 7,400 people—which is very high in comparison with other countries. Why? As a whole, New Zealanders love brands and businesses that succeed, and franchising offers people a chance to leave the security of employment and purchase a franchised business which should succeed provided the system is followed.

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Franchising in Myanmar

Introduction

The relaxation of foreign investment restrictions and a growing, aspiring middle class have encouraged new players to enter Myanmar’s franchising industry in recent years. Previously, franchises in Myanmar predominantly operated in the food and beverage industry; however, in the last few years, the country has witnessed a growth spurt of franchise operations in the services and education sectors. While no official statistics are available on overseas franchises in the country, brands currently present in Myanmar include, among others, Best Western, Europcar, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Gymboree, KFC, Krispy Kreme, Pingu’s English, and Swensen’s.

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Franchising in Spain

Introduction

The Kingdom of Spain is a democratic parliamentary monarchy, a member of the European Union and a signatory to the Schengen Area Agreement. Spain is also part of most international organizations and a signatory to most international treaties and conventions.

Spanish territory is administratively divided in 17 autonomous communities (regions) including two autonomous cities in Northern Africa (the cities of Ceuta and Melilla). According to the 1978 Spanish Constitution and the respective Autonomic Statutes, all of these territories have some legislative, administrative and political exclusive or shared authority. Spanish law is based on civil law with civil and commercial codes.

From a commercial point of view, franchising is ruled in Spain by regulations in the Retail Act (Ley de Ordenación del Comercio Minorista), as amended in December 2018, as well as by a special Decree on Franchise (the Regulation). These norms deal with administrative and general rules, but do not regulate the franchise relationship. Continue Reading

Webinar Replay for Franchisors: NLRB Developments

Quarles & Brady’s Labor & Employment Practice recently presented a webinar on, “Developments at the National Labor Relations Board and Their Impact on Employers and Franchisors.” 

Judi Williams-Killackey, Chris Nickels and Steve Kruzel reviewed the recent General Counsel memo and recent decisions from the NLRB, including those relating to its joint employer standard, workplace policies and employee handbook rules, micro-unit bargaining rules, and an employer’s ability to implement unilateral changes.

Unable to attend? Click here for the video.

Proposed Florida Franchise Bill Dies in Committee

Vector illustration of a white Florida map with shadow in a green circle

SB 750, the deceptively titled “Protect Florida Small Business Act,” appears to have met its demise.  Although it passed the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries by a vote of 7–2, the bill will be not be scheduled for a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee. This marks the end of SB 750’s journey in the 2017 Florida legislative session. SB 750 drew sharp criticism from franchisors and franchisees alike for its expansive and invasive regulation of the franchisor-franchisee relationship. If passed, the bill would have severely curtailed a franchisor’s ability to protect its brand and goodwill and undermined the viability of franchising in Florida.

Proposed Bill Threatens Franchising in Florida

Business People with Contract-700_440A bill introduced this month in the Florida Legislature threatens to fundamentally shift the balance of franchise relationships in the Sunshine State. SB 750, deceptively titled “Protect Florida Small Business Act,” represents the most expansive, invasive and burdensome franchise relationship law ever proposed in the United States, if not the world. Although it contains numerous provisions harmful to franchisors, franchisees and the public alike, the Act overwhelmingly subverts a franchisor’s ability to protect its brand and goodwill. Continue Reading

Should Franchisors be Concerned with the McDonald’s Wage Deal?

Business People with Contract-700_440McDonald’s Corp. recently agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a lawsuit filed by workers of one of its franchisees. Stop the presses! Isn’t that the opposite of what McDonald’s should be doing?  Isn’t McDonald’s a leading player in fighting the idea that it is a joint employer of franchisee’s workers? Let’s back up a moment.

In 2014, employees of a California McDonald’s franchise sued both the franchisee and McDonald’s Corp. for labor violations alleging that, as joint employers, the franchisee and McDonald’s had failed to pay overtime, keep accurate pay records and reimburse workers for time spent cleaning uniforms. In late 2015, the franchisee settled with the workers for $700,000, leaving McDonald’s Corp. as the lone defendant in the case. During the case, the court had ruled that McDonald’s was not a joint employer, but that McDonald’s could be liable under the doctrine of ostensible (or apparent) agency, under which the workers must prove that they reasonably believed McDonald’s was their employer because, for example, they wore McDonald’s uniforms, served McDonald’s food in McDonald’s packaging, and received paystubs and orientation materials marked with McDonald’s name and logo. Few franchisee employees have prevailed on similar apparent agency claims. Continue Reading

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