Spoiler alert for any franchising stakeholder: Lawyers do not have all the answers. At least not all of the time.
Whether you are an experienced operator, a new franchisor or franchisee, or an entrepreneur entering this exciting industry, you can look beyond legal counsel to find success in franchising.
Franchising in New York is particularly unique because much of the state’s success and reputation is tied to New York City. But, upstate, Westchester and Long Island also serve affluent consumer bases. Any party involved in franchising in New York should be aware of the resources that can help elevate your presence, from networking and industry insights to market trends and best practices.
Let’s explore some organizations and outlets that are especially useful for franchising professionals in New York.
New York State and City Sites
The New York State Attorney General’s site has a dedicated page for franchise stakeholders. The page features registration forms, information about state laws, exemption requests and other useful links, such as FAQs, publications and guides on topics such as “what to consider before buying a franchise.”
The official pages for New York State, New York City and the cities or towns in which you operate should be at the top of your bookmarked pages. Your local chamber of commerce provides a great way to network, in-person and online.
Just by checking these sites, you can stay apprised of:
- Laws that affect businesses and owners.
- Public health and safety warnings – from COVID guidelines and outbreaks to violence in the area.
- Major traffic and transportation news.
- Business services, such as Small Business Recovery Grant programs
- Local events that offer opportunities for sponsorship, community engagement and visibility.
These sites will keep your employees informed in case of an emergency or change in policy. Furthermore, it can help protect you in the event a customer or employee files a claim.
See: AG.NY.gov | NY.gov | NYC.gov
Federal Agencies That Can Help NY Franchisors and Franchisees
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has resources that can help entrepreneurs decide if a franchise is right for them. Additionally, the FTC sets the rule that requires franchisors to provide prospective purchasers of franchises with material information to help them weigh the risks and benefits of such an investment. As previously discussed, this “FTC Rule” also protects franchisees by prohibiting misrepresentations by franchise sellers.
It is also worth noting that the FTC periodically seeks public comment on a wide range of questions and issues in an effort to make periodic updates to the FTC Rule. By providing feedback and suggestions on issues like the costs of compliance, you can have a say and help influence the way franchises are governed.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the International Trade Administration (ITA) can also help franchisors and franchisees. Both have various resources for franchise professionals, including directories, learning platforms, guidance on buying an existing business, and how to conduct business outside the U.S.
For example, the SBA hosts virtual and local events during National Small Business Week each May. The ITA offers a downloadable publication for U.S. exporters, which is customized for the franchising industry.
See: FTC.gov | SBA.gov | ITA – Trade.gov
You should leverage the resources offered by all the above agencies and websites to help determine if franchising is right for you, and to keep you updated with useful information for operating your business and staying abreast of important issues.
In our next Insights installment, we will explore organizations, associations and research outlets that can broaden your perspective of franchising in New York.
Contact Lusthaus Law
In addition to all the links listed above, remember that Lusthaus Law’s website is also a resource for New York franchisors and franchisees. We have published two downloadable and complimentary e-books and our Insights blog is regularly updated to reflect industry trends and recent achievements in client representation.
Lusthaus Law has extensive experience representing franchisors and franchisees and can help you avoid mistakes and protect your interests.