Southampton 02380 482 482
Winchester 01962 679 777

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Franchising legal advice

Franchising remains an important and legitimate business format for the UK economy, leading to an overall contribution of £17.2 billion and employing an estimated 710,000 people.

What is franchising?

Franchising is a replication of a proven business system  (“the system”) in exchange for an upfront payment and on-going royalties for an agreed period of time. The system comprises of all the elements necessary to establish an untrained person in the franchise business, running it with support from the franchiser.

Well known examples include Burger King, McDonalds and Subway. However, practically every business sector is represented by one type of franchise or another.

We have a wealth of experience providing advice to the franchising sector. Areas include:

  • advising prospective franchisees on the terms of their franchise agreements and assisting with franchise renewals;
  • drafting and reviewing franchise agreements, deposit agreements and confidentiality agreements for franchisers;
  • intellectual property and brand protection advice;
  • advising on franchise re-sales;
  • resolving complex franchise disputes;
  • considering and advising on all property related matters arising from and connected with the franchise
  • considering employment law issues associated with the franchise;
  • providing insolvency advice when a franchise fails or is failing.

Growing your franchise

We can work with prospective franchisors in setting up new franchise networks and drafting the necessary framework documentation. If you are already established as a franchiser, we can assist by providing a health check of your documentation to ensure it conforms to current standards and best practices associated with ethical franchising as well as recent changes in the law.

Taking a franchise

If you are taking a franchise we can review your franchise agreement (typically 40-69 pages long) and produce for you a comprehensive, written report on a fixed fee basis. Our report will advise on the key aspects of the franchise agreement and appraise you of any particularly onerous or unusual provisions.

The majority of franchise agreements are non-negotiable, however we see our role as ensuring you fully understand the financial and personal obligations you are signing up to. If any negotiations with the franchiser are required we can assist with these on your behalf for an additional charge. We have experience advising prospective franchisees in a wide variety of business sectors and are on the panel of recommended lawyers for Toni & Guy franchisees.

Why Paris Smith?

Expertise in the franchising sector tends to be a given.

We have acted mainly for franchisees so have the advantage of having seen a lot of franchise agreements – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Therefore we know what we are looking for and crucially what we might be missing. We can offer timely, practical and cost effective advice a a result.

This is of benefit not only to prospective franchisees but to franchisers, as we can readily see both perspectives.

We pride ourselves on being approachable, easy to contact and reliable and aim to clarify what can often seem an impenetrable area of law.


Paris Smith are Affiliate members of the British Franchise Association (bfa).

The bfa is the only voluntary self-regulatory body for the UK franchise industry, with a standards based approach to membership. Its aim is to promote ethical franchising practice in the UK and help the industry develop credibility, influence and favourable circumstance for growth.

*Statistics taken from the BFA/Natwest Franchise Survey 2018.

BFA | Franchising

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Southampton Contact

Emily Sadler

T: 023 8048 2102
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Meet the Team

Arezou Rezai

T: 023 8048 2330
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Laura Trapnell
LLP Partner

T: 023 8048 2114
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“I just wanted to send you a note to say thank you for your support and advice on the Action Coach franchise agreement. You really did help me in making a decision to go with the company.”

- Gary Potter, Prospective franchisee

Emily is exceptionally helpful, understanding and extremely professional, polite and exceeded my expectations – from start to finish and with ongoing support – highly recommended.

- Benjamin Lewis Evans-Starr, Franchisor, Aspect Valeting Ltd

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