The second webinar in IFA’s International Toolkit series is “Drafting and Negotiating an International Franchise Agreement”, presented by Ned Levitt, Partner, Dickinson Wright. The webinar will take place Thursday August 20th from 11 to noon, ET. Levitt offers the following description of the webinar:
Like the siren’s song, many a franchisor has become intoxicated with the idea of expanding internationally, only to end up crushed on rocky foreign shores, with little to show for the experience but a new found wisdom. Learning the best practices in drafting and negotiating an international franchise agreement can go a long way to increasing a franchisor’s success in international markets. This exercise is one part technical, one part art and one part hard work.
This webinar will cover such crucial issues as:
What preliminary steps need to be taken?
Which countries and when?
How to choose the most appropriate franchise structure.
The value of letters of intent and how to prepare them.
The critical deal points and drafting options.
What is safely negotiable and how to settle the final document.
The international articles by IFA supplier members in the June issue of Franchising World Magazine are the first manifestation of the “IFA International Toolkit”. IFA is shaping the Toolkit with the intent of it becoming a core resource for franchisors and franchisees interested in international franchising. The International Toolkit will feature webinar courses that collectively comprise a curriculum in international franchising. The Toolkit will be branded and located prominently on the main international page of IFA’s website.
The first of these webinars “Choosing A Deal Structure For International Franchise Expansion” will be presented by DLA Piper on Tuesday, June 23rd from 2- 3:15 pm ET.
During the free webinar DLA partners with deep international experience will discuss one of the essential questions for franchisors expanding abroad – what expansion model should be used for entering a foreign market? This webinar will examine different scenarios, drawn from real world experience, designed to illustrate how the choice can be made most effectively, and what factors might be considered in choosing one vehicle over another.
The 2014 International Franchise Expo attracted 3,956 international visitors from 96 countries. Expectations of even bigger international numbers in 2015 give U.S. franchisors the chance to explore global growth without crossing a border. The IFA sponsored Expo takes place June 18th to 20th, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York City.
A key reason that nearly one in five attendees at this year’s Expo will be international is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program (IBP). As an IBP certified event, the commercial sections of U.S. Embassies and Consulates recruit pre-screened international buyers to attend the Expo and meet with U.S exhibitors. The International Buyer Program produced 38 investor delegations to the International Franchise Expo in 2014 alone.
International franchising now also means franchisors entering the US. As franchisors from outside the U.S. grow in scale and sophistication, many target the largest franchise economy in the world for expansion, seeking to follow the footsteps of IFA members like, InterContinental Hotels, Kumon, BoConcept, Tim Horton’s, Cartridge World, Yogen Fruz and Pollo Campero. The 2015 International Franchise Expo will include 53 international franchisor exhibitors from 20 countries, including pavilions from the Brazil, Japan, Korea and the United Arab Emirates.
Educational programs related to international franchising enhance the value of participating. Many of these educational sessions are for CFE credit. Internationally oriented Seminars and Symposia at this year’s Expo include:
Master Franchising – Why do Some Succeed and Others Struggle
The Use of Master Franchising, Domestically and Internationally
Global Franchise Expansion: Strategies for Lucrative & Planned Growth
An Overview of Key U.S. Trends and Regulatory Issues for International Franchisors
Strategies for Franchising into the U.S. Market
Navigating the US Marketplace
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program – Tool for Franchise Network Expansion
Aziz Hashim, Phil Zeidman and Aslam Khan prepare to broadcast from the U.S. State Department
On March 2nd, IFA in conjunction with the U.S. State Department, USAID, and the U.S. Department of Commerce presented a video webinar on franchising for the business community in Pakistan to support economic development.
Aziz Hashim, Managing Partner, NRD Capital and IFA Vice Chair opened the webinar and introduced to listeners to franchising. Phil Zeidman, Senior Partner, DLA Piper and IFA General Counsel followed by sharing an overview of franchise law. Aslam Khan, CEO of Falcon Holdings related his journey from employee in the American Club in Islamabad to success as a franchisee in the U.S.
The U.S. Government worked with chambers of commerce and other business groups in Pakistan to promote the webinar and hosted groups in Karachi and Islamabad to watch the webinar live. The webinar will be used on an ongoing basis for franchise education in Pakistan. It will also serve as a recruiting tool for a Pakistan Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) program delegation that will visit New York during the June 2015 International Franchise Expo.
Yesterday the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) held a hearing titled “Ambushed: How the NLRB’s New Election Rule Harms Employers & Employees,” to discuss a controversial new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule to speed up union representation elections. In December the NLRB reissued a previously invalidated rule that dramatically decreased the amount of time employers and employees have to prepare for a union representation election. Many in the business community argue that the accelerated election schedule would prevent business owners from developing a complete response to a union proposal and compromise both workers’ privacy and ability to make an informed decision.
HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) strongly condemned the reissued rule. “I refer to this as the ‘ambush election rule,’ because it forces a union election before an employer has a chance to figure out what is going on” Alexander said in his opening statement. “Even worse, it jeopardizes employees’ privacy by requiring employers to turn over personal information including email addresses, phone numbers, shift hours and locations to union organizers. Today more than 95 percent of union elections occur within 56 days of the petition-filing. But under this new rule, elections could take place in as few as 11 days.”
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) echoed the Chairman’s concerns, adding “I would tell you that this rule is radical, it is ridiculous, and it is oppressive and it applies to all employers no matter how many employees you have… If there’s any sense of an ambush, as an employer trying to create jobs, help families, this rule stands front and center to that point.”
Earlier this year, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) filed a lawsuit to prevent the NLRB from implementing this new rule, which becomes effective on April 14. IFA sits on the management committee of CDW. A decision on the case is expected this spring.
Achieved video of the hearing, along with the witnesses’ testimony, can be found here.