Franchise Law 101

For starters, some franchise laws are federal and others can vary from state to state, so make sure you’re abiding by your local requirements – especially if a new hopeful franchisee approaches you from out of state. Laws can include subtleties like “business opportunities” that might technically be considered franchising (even though you don’t consider your company a franchise), and ignorance of the law is no excuse, so it’s best to have a pro on your side.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) governs all franchising in the United States, and the laws apply to every franchise. State laws apply when the sale offer is made in a particular state, if the franchised company will operate in that state or if the franchisee is a resident of a certain state.

The federal definition of a franchise includes three aspects: trademark, significant control or assistance, and required payment. If you have all three components, then the FTC considers your business a franchise.

The Trifecta

With a trademark, franchisees have the right to distribute services/goods that boast the franchise’s trademark. It also might be called a logo, service mark or any other type of commercial marking.

Having “significant control or assistance” is the most complex element. A franchisor has a lot of control over the franchisee’s operations. Many aspects may fall under this specification and can include design requirements, production strategies, site approval, training programs, key accounting practices and more.

Finally, there’s the all-important required payment. A franchisee must pay the franchise owner (or his/her affiliate) a minimum of $500 within a six-month window of the business’ opening. Of course, franchises can dictate what that sum really is. The fee must include any training costs, service payments, royalties and profits from product sales.

A State of Mind

Always check with a franchise lawyer in your state before moving forward with any agreement. The laws can vary greatly from state to state, but many overlap. For example, in at least 12 states you’re required to have a marketing plan and you must pay a required fee. Many states require a community of interest and a trademark license. In states with truly unique laws, including Arkansas, Delaware and Florida, you’ll be better off with legal counsel.

At both the federal and state levels, laws can be broken down into three areas: disclosure, registration and relationship. Disclosure laws address items such as prohibited sales practices, cooling-off time frames and any pre-sale disclosures. Registration laws cover registration, advertising and salespeople. Relationship laws oversee termination, nonrenewal of a franchise and equal treatment.

No matter what side of the agreement you’re on, having an attorney in your corner can help. Consult with a trusted, local franchise attorney for all your business’ needs, from bringing on a new franchisee to making sure all state requirements are being met.

Jen Stott is a writer and blogger, and works as the Content Director at Be Locally SEO in Salt Lake City, Utah.

If you’re unsure your franchise is actually a franchise, contact an attorney today.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jen_Stott/2109812

 

Ways In Which Lemon Laws Act As Saviors

A car is more of a necessity these days in contrast to having being considered a luxury in earlier times. Buying a car is a commitment of a lifetime and so you need to be extra cautious during the purchase. The money and time you spent on deciding and purchasing your dream vehicle should not go waste. However cautious you are you may get heartaches with cars breaking down even when they are just bought. Like any machine the car too can face issues and nobody can guarantee its working. A vehicle is considered lemon if it breaks down too often in comparison and this is more than its working.

Different states follow different versions of the lemon law. Initially the law was put forward as a means of protecting buyers of four wheelers. Your vehicle can be considered a lemon when there are too many repairs being done and it keeps breaking down too often.

You need to be knowledgeable about the law before you go ahead and file a suit against the manufacturer. It is vital that you seek the help of a lemon law attorney of a firm that specializes in lemon law cases. They would be able to tell you all there is about such cases. You would be able to receive the right advice only if you consult a specialist. They would give you details information about your case, your rights and the outcomes by following their options. Communicating clearly ensures you are informed and do not face any unpleasantness later on.

It is also important that you possess all the documentation needed which will prove as evidence. The information you need to have are records of repairs done on the car with dates, the number of issues you had with the vehicle and the finance involved in fixing it. This will act as information for the manufacturers to validate your claim.

Having a great deal of knowledge will ensure that the manufacturer take you for face value and would not play with you. This way you can avoid being taken for a ride. Your knowledge will ensure you are taken seriously which in turn helps you get all that you deserve.

After the information you provided is substantiated, the manufacturers will either have to give you a refund or ensure you will get a replacement of better quality. Also since the laws in states vary you need to ensure that your attorney is experienced with cases in that particular state.

Los Angeles lemon law lawyers are experienced lemon law attorneys. http://www.lemonlawattorneyinla.com/ would bring you justice for sure.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Karen_K_Williams/812525

 

The Lemon Law And Its Importance

Any buyer who has invested in a car recently would highly benefit with the lemon law as it is designed to protect your rights as a buyer. If you have recently purchased a new vehicle and are facing a lot of issues with it then the Lemon law can come to your rescue. Any individual invests their hard-earned money in buying a vehicle and when the car that you bought with so much anticipation gives you endless trouble then it is truly heart breaking. You as a buyer deserve to be treated with respect and also deserve a product that is worth your investment. The law helps you get your rights. A car is deemed a Lemon when it gives you a lot of trouble right from when it is new making it beat the purpose it was bought for. Being unreliable and unsafe to travel in and if it is also within the warranty then it is surely called a lemon. Before proceeding further you would have to see if the problem is big or minor.

A defective vehicle is eligible for a replacement or you may sometimes be provided a refund. You may also apply for a refund of the repair expenses. In case of a case being filed you would require all the documents as evidence and so it is very important that you save them all. Thought the dealer is required to be cooperative, they may not be helpful sometimes and that is why you need evidence to prove that you are right. However, many a times you see manufacturers coming to terms and settle the issue out of court itself.

There have been positive and negative experiences going into arbitration. Most people are not satisfied as they do not get a solution to their problem. Some states even allow for a Lemon claim to be made after the warranty period provided the buyer has made an attempt to repair the vehicle within the warranty timeframe.

If you are taking to the legal means you need to ensure that you have all the information and knowledge so that you would not be played with. This is why it is vital that you hire a good lemon law attorney with experience. A reputed lawyer would be able to provide you with proper advice so as to help you get the deserved compensation. If your case is genuine this Lemon law will surely bring you justice as it was designed to protect the common man.

A California lemon law attorney will give you all the information you require. Visit us! For details and to get a good look into how we operate.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Karen_K_Williams/812525

 

Foreign Currency Loans Embed an Exchange Rate Risk: The Case of SWISS FRANC Loans

Loans and mortgages in SWISS FRANC became popular in Cyprus after 2006, the year when the Republic was a candidate country to assess the EURO zone. During this particular period, SWISS FRANC loans were attractive because the cost of borrowing was relatively low. Notably, within the period 2006-2009, thousands of investors took loans in SWISS FRANC. Nevertheless, the sudden appreciation of SWISS FRANC towards EURO worsened the position of those investors and caused outstanding losses to borrowers and banking institutions.

Financial and banking institutions should shape their decisions and actions by taking into account the exchange rate fluctuations. Apart from risk assessment, banks are required to inform customers and investors adequately regarding the risks they may face once they decided to take a loan in a foreign currency. Banking and financial institutions are required to consider customers’ ability to comprehend and deal with risks related to exchange rate fluctuations. In addition to this, banks are obliged to warn the customers about potential risks that may emerge. That is to say, the banking institutions must have a transparent approach towards foreign currency loans and provide a detailed information to their customers.

As mentioned above, borrowing in foreign currency is risky because of exchange rate fluctuations which causes fluctuations in the capital itself that the borrower must pay back. Since borrowing in foreign currency embeds a considerable risk Cyprus banking institutions have initially distanced from these kinds of loans. Nonetheless, Cyprus banking and financial institutions have not estimated the complex nature of foreign currency loans and based their actions on the available information they had at a particular period.

The sudden appreciation of SWISS FRANC towards EURO increased the cost of borrowing. Consequently, it created problems regarding the repayment of SWISS FRANC loans. The latter caused considerable losses for banking institutions and consumers. On the one hand, the restructuring of non-performing loans becomes more challenging. On the other hand, consumers encounter serious difficulties to pay back their loans.

In October 2015, rating agency MOODY’S warned that the forced conversion of SWISS FRANC loans and mortgages would cost the banking institutions €250 million and will create ‘moral hazard’. New Cyprus Central Bank’s data demonstrate that non-performing loans are still increasing in banks’ balance sheets. Currently, there are court cases against Cyprus banking and financial institutions that promoted SWISS FRANC loans but have not informed and protected borrowers from the risk of exchange rate hit.

SWISS FRANC LOAN COURT CASES

The majority of SWISS FRANC loans were granted by the Bank of Cyprus and Alpha Bank. Elena Gregoriades, a representative of the Central Bank of Cyprus, maintained that according to Central Bank’s data, the total SWISS FRANC loans granted for the purchase of real estate are estimated to €1.05 billion and affected 3000 accounts. Mrs Gregoriades articulated that a consumer who borrowed in SWISS FRANC in the period 2008-2010 suffered a loss of 30%-40% at the current exchange rate.

Approximately 11.000 borrowers have been affected by the inflation of their loans as a result of SWISS FRANC appreciation towards EURO. Currently, the exchange rate between EURO and SWISS FRANC is 1/1.1. However, most of the consumers borrowed when the exchange rate EURO/SWISS FRANC was more than 1.6. The augmentation of repayment cost and losses are highly associated with the transparency of Cyprus banking institutions concerning the high-quality information about the embedded risks.

It should be pointed out that the European Court rules in favour of the borrowers regarding cases related to foreign exchange loans. The court cases emphasize that European consumers and investors are protected against unclear selling practices in which banking institutions were engaged. In other words, the legislation protects consumers from misinformation and enhances the transparency of banking and financial institutions.

Recently, a historic court decision in Athens judged the loans in SWISS FRANC as non-valid and asked the banks to pay the full extent of the damage caused by a foreign currency hit. Specifically, the loan agreement between the borrowers and the Millennium Bank was judged as invalid. Moreover, the Court judged that the borrowers were not able to assess the risks related to foreign currency loans so the bank should have provided the necessary information and support. The decision of the court ordered the borrowers to pay back SWISS FRANC loans at the exchange rate that applied when the loan was granted and not at the current exchange rate.

The billion euro damage and the regulatory framework urged borrowers to submit lawsuits against certain Cyprus financial and banking institutions. Several Cypriot borrowers or foreign residents of the Republic of Cyprus proceed to legal actions against financial and banking institutions in Cyprus that promoted SWISS FRANC loans without the necessary information concerning the risks they may face.

REVISION OF SWISS FRANC LOANS

Following the ongoing developments, banking and financial institutions are elaborating new and improved plans for the regulation and repayment of SWISS FRANC loans. A representative of the Central Bank of Cyprus asserted that banks agreed to submit revised plans, taking into consideration the interest rate difference, the benefit of the borrower, the amount borrowed and the date of the loan agreement. In addition, banks should provide borrowers with good repayment plans and lower interest rate. However, it should be underlined that the Central Bank of Cyprus cannot proceed to further actions since issues related to systemic banks need the approval of the European Central Bank.

LIMITATION LAW 66 (1) 2012 EXPIRES ON 31ST DECEMBER 2015- BRING YOUR CLAIM NOW

The Limitation Law 66 (1) 2012 sets time limits on which the one party should bring a claim or give notice of a claim to the other party. When the limitation period expires, a party is prohibited from initiating a claim against another party. The law provisions consider different limitation periods according to the nature of the actionable right.

Given that the Limitation Law 66 (1) 2012 expires on 31st December 2015, it means that borrowers who wish to bring a claim against banking institutions within the six-year limitation period, do not have enough time. In other words, borrowers who wish to bring a claim against banking institutions will have to proceed with the necessary procedures by 31st December 2015, unless the Cyprus government proceeds to further extension.

LEGAL AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

As it was analysed before, foreign currency loans and mortgages require proper risk assessment and detailed information. Given the complexity of this particular topic borrowers and investors should seek financial and legal assistance from experts. In the case that banking and financial institutions have not provided borrowers with the adequate support then the borrowers should seek legal guidance regarding the legal actions they will proceed.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_Chambers/2206157

 

How Important Is It To Have Legal Protection?

Do you know that under indigent representation, you may have to partially reimburse the court for the cost of legal services given to you? You can often avoid costly and complicated issues if you consult a lawyer before you have a legal problem. Also, there are other advocates who can assist people with their legal and non-legal situation even when they are arrested. Above all, make sure you get legal information and advice from experienced attorneys. There are many people who simply cannot afford to hire an attorney, and the need for legal services among the poor is overwhelming.

In a lot of case If you are under 60 years of age and seeking help for yourself or your family, and you may qualify for free legal assistance. So, legal assistance is available, often at a reduced cost or no cost, depending on your legal situation. If you have a low-income and need legal services try contacting you State legal aid office for individuals. Now business owners should always be connected to a source of legal protection. There are lots of reasons why a small business might need legal assistance. In light of our current economic climate, and economic downturns, small businesses are facing increasing financial challenges. And trying to address these challenges without legal advice could put the small business and your livelihood at greater risk. Acquiring the help of an experienced small business lawyer will more than offset the potential cost from harm that can fall upon your business if you don’t deal with legal issues properly.

No matter what if you know that you’ll need legal representation whether individual or business it’s always best to get legal advise from lawyers in your state. Deciding whether to hire an attorney or represent an individual or a small business should be carefully thought through clearly.

As unexpected legal questions and situations arise every day and by having good law firm on your side is a good idea. Moreover, you can get set up to have access to a high-quality law firm with a plan as little as $20 a month. From real estate legal issues to document reviews, speeding tickets to will preparations, and more, from high-profile attorneys who will be here to advise you with any legal matter – no matter how traumatic or how trivial it may seem. Those law firms that are paid in advance sole focus is on serving you, rather than billing you. With a good legal plan you will be protected and empowered to worry less and live more.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Randy_Mondorelli/1409451