The World is Getting Smaller
This often overused cliché is only overused because it is so true. With near universal and almost instantaneous communications, the speed and ease to support, grow and expand a brand globally has never seemed easier. However, as the technological barriers have come down, certain cultural and legal barriers have increased along with the risk of a misstep.
Bringing your brand out of your home country and into a foreign country is a long-term strategic play. Just like most successful franchisors grew over time and built a strong base before they experienced strong and sometimes exponential growth, the best international plays should be rooted in patience, persistence and knowledge.
Coming to America
If you are an international brand looking to expand into the United States, you have to balance your eagerness with a realistic understanding of how to do it correctly. Franchising in the United States is regulated at the federal or national level by the the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and at the state level by individual state laws.
Many states require you to have your franchise registered in that state prior to being able to sell franchises. You need a solid foundation of legal documents prior to soliciting franchisees, including but not limited to the franchise disclosure document (FDD), franchise agreement and a clear federal trademarks. We have helped many brands launch master franchise agreement programs and have also negotiated master franchise agreements for clients wishing to be the masters of an international brand. We welcome having an initial consultation with you to discuss your project.
Bringing your brand outside of the United States can be the next logical step in the expansion of your franchise system; however, it is a different game than domestic franchising and should not be done without a clear understanding of the risks, the pitfalls and the unique challenges. As long-standing members of the the International Franchise Association (IFA), we have forged deep relationships with many attorneys and business people from across the globe. The first step in bringing your brand international is to build a qualified international team of professionals. We would love to be on that team and to even help you assemble it from our vast network of international contacts.
Feel free to call us today, whether you have yet to embark on the journey of international expansion, or you have hit a wall in your international expansion and need a law firm to help you get back on track toward achieving your business goals. We look forward to having a confidential and productive initial conversation.