Whether you're considering buying or selling a business or franchise, or maybe franchising or licensing your business, an experienced legal adviser can save a lot of heartache.

Gibson Sheat is a member of the Franchise Association of New Zealand and has an experienced franchise team with in-depth commercial knowledge to assist with all legal aspects of your business. We also have great relationships with some of New Zealand's biggest business brokers.

With experience acting for franchisees and franchisors in some of New Zealand's best known franchise businesses, we have experience with many of the franchise systems operating in New Zealand. It's vital that you know what you're getting into! We will make sure you understand these sometimes-complex documents and are fully aware of any potential deal-breakers.

What is franchising?

Franchising allows a company ("the franchisor") to expand by granting other individuals or companies ("the franchisee") the right to operate a copy of the franchisor's brand and business methods in an area for a set period.

The franchisor charges the franchisee ongoing costs, in return for various services.

The franchisee owns their own business, but must adhere to the rules of the franchisor.

Buying a Franchise

Buying a franchise can have advantages over starting from scratch as a lot of the hard work has been done for you already.

Advantages of being part of a franchise can include:

  • A proven business model with tested proof of concept and profitability,
  • A recognised brand name,
  • Group buying power, approved suppliers and group marketing,
  • A specific geographic zone in which to operate your business,
  • Training opportunities through experts within the franchise group.

Becoming a franchisee is about entering into a relationship. At the outset, we will focus on issues that could cause problems down the track, as by pinpointing these we can negotiate them. We will advise you of your options as you proceed, but if necessary, we may advise you to walk away.

If you're ready to sell your franchise, we can help work through the obligations of both the franchisee and franchisor for a smooth transaction.

Franchising or licensing your business

If you have a successful business then the next natural step is expansion.

Sure, you could take on the additional commitment to things such as training, staff recruitment, and property - but you might also consider selling your model as a franchise.

The franchisees themselves are responsible for the day-to-day running of their business and they must do this strictly in accordance with a well-written Franchise Agreement.

When the right people are interested in investing you will want to get them onboard quickly. We can draft the documentation that you need, especially balanced agreements that protect your interests but don't turn off good franchisees.

If you have a dispute with one of your franchisees or licensees we will identify the outcome you are seeking and recommend the best approach. Our aim is to protect your position and get you your desired result quickly and cost-effectively.

If you have a question regarding franchise agreements or franchising your business - talk to us.

Franchise Dispute Resolution

If you are already in a franchise relationship and things are turning pear-shaped, we can help you sort things out quickly and cost-effectively.

Despite all best efforts, there may come a time during a relationship between a franchisee and franchisor when you may not see eye-to-eye on an issue.

Franchise disputes come in many forms, maybe you don't agree with how advertising dollars are being spent, or a franchisor is asking you to invest a large amount of money in upgrading the property when you don't have the budget for it. Whatever issues may come your way, these disagreements can usually be resolved, and having great advice and the right legal team on your side can make all the difference.

While disagreements in franchises are rare, if they do occur, the easiest and most effective way to come to an understanding is with the help of a franchise legal expert like our team at Gibson Sheat: