Remedies for Franchisee when Franchisor does not Perfrom

It is a characteristic of franchise agreements that they are top heavy on franchisee obligations and light on franchisor obligations. Having the ability to draft the franchise agreement enables franchisors to cast franchisor obligations in largely discretionary terms and, conversely, the franchisee’s role as a set of non-negotiable cast iron obligations.

Many franchisees, when disaffected by franchisor non-performance, look to withhold payments of fees and pursue grounds of termination. Although strong systems, which follow and promote best practices in franchising, will provide considerable ongoing benefits to franchisees, this is not the case in every franchise system, and sometimes the benefits to franchisees can be hard to discern. In these weaker systems, the system might be outdated, with very little being done by the franchisor to update and refresh the system. The system may be troubled, whose star is fading, and a form of retrenchment has begun. The franchise may have been born of a passing fad, and demand for the product has diminished.

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