Why Do Franchisors Get Sued?


Franchisors can be sued for a variety of reasons, similar to any other business entity. However, the nature of franchisor-franchisee relationships and the specific obligations and responsibilities involved in franchising can lead to certain types of lawsuits that are unique to the franchise industry. Some common reasons why franchisors might face legal action include:


1. Misrepresentation or Fraud

Franchisees may sue if they believe they were provided with false or misleading information during the franchise sales process. This could include misrepresentations about potential earnings, market conditions, or the level of support provided by the franchisor.


2.  Breach of Contract

Disputes can arise when either the franchisor or franchisee fails to fulfill their contractual obligations as outlined in the franchise agreement. This might involve issues related to territory exclusivity, supply chain agreements, or marketing support.


3. Violation of Franchise Disclosure Laws

Franchise disclosure laws require franchisors to provide prospective franchisees with accurate and complete information about the franchise opportunity. Failure to comply with these laws can result in legal action.


4. Trademark or Intellectual Property Issues

Franchisors might be sued for trademark infringement if they use a trademark that is confusingly similar to another brand, or if they fail to protect their own trademarks, potentially jeopardizing the entire franchise network.


5.  Encroachment or Territory Disputes

If a franchisor allows too many franchise locations in a specific geographic area, existing franchisees might sue for encroachment, claiming that their business is negatively affected.


6. Failure to Provide Support

Franchisees may sue if they believe the franchisor did not fulfill its obligations to provide training, ongoing support, or marketing assistance as outlined in the franchise agreement.


7. Supply Chain or Product Issues

If the franchisor’s approved suppliers provide subpar products or services, leading to negative impacts on franchisee businesses, legal action might be taken.


8. Unfair Business Practices

Franchisees might allege that the franchisor engaged in unfair or deceptive business practices, such as favoring certain franchisees over others or manipulating pricing to benefit the franchisor at the expense of franchisees.


9. Termination or Non-Renewal Disputes

If a franchisor terminates a franchise agreement or chooses not to renew it, franchisees might sue if they believe the reasons for termination are unjust or in violation of the agreement.


10. Antitrust Violations

In some cases, franchisees might claim that the franchisor engaged in anticompetitive behavior or established pricing practices that violate antitrust laws.


It’s important to note that the specifics of these legal issues can vary widely depending on the jurisdiction, the terms of the franchise agreement, and the local laws governing franchising. To minimize the risk of legal disputes, franchisors should maintain transparent communication with franchisees, ensure compliance with franchise laws, and provide the support and resources promised in the franchise agreement.


For more information on how to franchise your business or how to develop your franchise and how to structure your franchise model, contact Franchise Marketing Systems (FMS Franchise):




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