While franchise trends have traditionally tended to trail behind other business sectors in terms of embracing new ideas and concepts, the tide seems to be turning. In the past few years, more franchises — both those that are long established as well as new players — have been more proactive about pushing into fresh niches of the industry in order to stay ahead of their competition and attract the attention of their customers. Along that note, be on the lookout for the following franchise legal trends that are likely to make headway during 2016.
1. How Does Browning-Ferris Pan Out?
The historic ruling handed down by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) at the tail end of 2014 — as well as a clarification delivered in 2015 — has the potential to change the relationship between a franchisor and its corporate office. It is likely that this ruling will continue to be in the news as its ramifications are felt and dealt with appropriately.
2. Home Delivery Opens Possibilities and Uncertainty
Based on the long-successful model of pizza delivery — with a twist — more franchises are poised to follow in the successful footsteps of Jimmy John’s. Unlike pizza delivery, though, building the infrastructure necessary to make delivery an option involves an outlay of resources that is not cost effective for most franchises. Turning to third-party delivery services — Uber, GrubHub and Postmates come to mind as options — seems like it could be the missing link in allowing franchises to push into this burgeoning niche. Could unforeseen legal issues tangle this concept in its infancy?
3. Innovative Financing Arrives
As a method of financing during the recession, alternative streams such as flipping a 401K, in-house financing or BoeFly in which applicants are matched with financing options after filling out a single form are set to explode in popularity. While these options provide exciting choices for people to realize their dreams of owning their own business, are there unforeseen legal issues that could arise along the way?
Franchisors have always been an innovative and creative set of individuals devoted to realizing their dreams. Embracing new concepts that help them do so is invigorating and exciting while also often fraught with uncertainty.
So you want to franchise your business? Check out our franchise services page Franchise Legal Services for New Franchisors.