Franchising in Baltimore County is a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of the legal requirements and regulations. According to the Maryland Attorney General, Maryland is one of approximately 15 states that require registration of franchise offers. Legal entities such as corporations, limited liability companies, LLP, and LP must comply with the state's franchise laws and registration requirements. Before signing any documents, it is essential to consult with an experienced franchise attorney to review the franchise agreement and negotiate the best terms on your behalf.
The franchise agreement is the most important document you'll sign just before opening a franchise. It encompasses variables such as the services that the franchisor will provide to you during your tenure, including marketing materials, advertisements, and agreements with wholesale product suppliers. In addition to the laws governing franchising set out above, there are many rules you must comply with under the Maryland Code of Regulations (COMAR). These rules are subject to frequent amendments and changes in interpretation.
As a franchisee, you'll have to pay the franchisor's fees and royalties for the right to market the franchise's name, product, trademarks, and business plans. You'll usually have to pay a fee for all of these things. However, each can be negotiated by an attorney with experience in franchise contracts. In addition, the franchisor must prepare a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) that complies with franchise registration and disclosure guidelines developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association. A local franchise is a contract in which the franchisor grants a subfranchisor the right to sell franchises on behalf of the franchisor. Given the complexity of franchise law, it is wise to hire an expert attorney to help you navigate through this process.
Whether you are planning to buy or sell a franchise, having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference. Katherine founded Taylor Legal after working for 10 years as a senior deputy attorney for Howard County and 7 years as a commercial litigator in Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, a top-tier law firm in Baltimore, Maryland. If you need help taking advantage of these franchise opportunities in Maryland, contact a legal team that specializes in franchising to start working today.