There are nearly a million franchised businesses in the United States—all of which are subject to a myriad of state and federal franchise and distribution laws. Ice Miller's franchise attorneys have experience with state-level regulations throughout the country.

Ice Miller’s franchise team represents franchisors, franchisees, franchisee associations, and investors. Our depth of experience representing franchise clients allows us to take an efficient and results-oriented approach that puts our clients’ needs at the forefront.

Franchisor Services
Ice Miller’s team provides legal services to franchisors of various sizes through all stages of franchise development and in a broad range of legal practice areas. Our franchisor clients include among others, international vacation ownership developers, multi-national consumer beverage producers, national fitness clubs, and a range of emerging businesses including restaurants and specialty food producers. Ice Miller provides comprehensive legal services for franchisors including:
  • Establishing a new franchise
  • Drafting, negotiating, and reviewing franchise disclosure documents, franchise agreements and other contracts
  • Modifying an existing franchise system
  • Protection of intellectual property, including registration and prosecution of trademarks
  • Establishing a system-wide advertising program 
  • Compliance with state and federal franchise and business opportunity laws
  • Assistance with supplier relationships, technology and data security and privacy issues
  • Tax and regulatory compliance
  • Employee and labor relations
  • All aspects of litigation and dispute resolution
  • Real estate procurement and development
  • Environmental issues
  • Risk management
Franchisee Services
Ice Miller's franchise practice group assists franchisees and franchisee associations with negotiating complex agreements with franchisors. We also assist with ongoing relationship management between the franchisee and the franchisor. We work to mitigate risks before conflicts arise. In the event that a conflict is inevitable, we put our client's best interests first, and seek to resolve the conflict with as little disruption to the client's business operations as possible.

Distributor and Dealer Services
Ice Miller has experience assisting distributors, dealers and other businesses involved in the delivery of products or services. We can help these clients navigate state and federal laws that impact their ability to do business in multiple jurisdictions. We also provide assistance with tax matters, employee issues, and negotiation of dealer and distribution contracts.

Comprehensive Litigation Services
Ice Miller’s litigators have handled a broad spectrum of business disputes involving franchise issues, including disputes over the existence of a franchise relationship, validity and enforcement of franchise or dealership agreements, state franchise law requirements, intellectual property disputes, termination of franchise or dealership agreements, antitrust issues, dealership issues and numerous others.

Our franchise practice group is ready to help you meet your business goals. To learn how we have helped other franchise clients, visit our Key Matters section to review our Representative Experience. 

Representative Experience

  • Chupp v. Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Inc., 990 N.E.2d 993 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013)
  • Super 8 Motels, Inc. v. Rahmatullah, 2009 WL 2905463 (S.D. Ind. Sept. 9, 2009)
  • Moran Foods, Inc. v. Mid-Atlantic Market Development Co., LLC, 476 F.3d 436 (7th Cir. 2007)
  • Carrel v. George Weston Bakeries Dist., Inc., 2007 WL 2827405 (S.D. Ind. Sept. 25, 2007)
  • Blimpie Intern., Inc. v. Choi, 822 N.E.2d 1091 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005)
  • RWJ Companies, Inc. v. Equilon Enterprises, LLC d/b/a Shell Oil Products US, 2005 WL 3544295 (S.D. Ind. Dec. 28, 2005)
  • Creative Foods of Ind., Inc. d/b/a My Favorite Muffin and Bagel Café v. My Favoriate Muffin, Too, Inc., 2002 WL 244577 (S.D. Ind. Jan. 14, 2002)
  • Deans v. Tutor Time Child Care Sys. Inc., 982 F.Supp. 1330 (S.D. Ind. 1997)
  • Hammes v. AAMCO Transmissions, Inc., 33 F.3d 774 (7th Cir. 1994)
  • B-Dry Owners Ass’n v. B-Dry System, Inc., 636 N.E.2d 161 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994)
  • Wright-Moore Corp. v. Ricoh Corp., 980 F.2d 432 (7th Cir. 1992)
  • Wright-Moore Corp. v. Ricoh Corp., 794 F.Supp. 844 (N.D. Ind. 1991)
  • Wright-Moore Corp. v. Ricoh Corp., 908 F.2d 128 (7th Cir. 1990)
  • Mariner-Denver, Inc. d/b/a Holiday Inn of Downtown Denver, Colorado, Inc. v. Holiday Inn of America, Inc., 461 F.Supp. 306 (S.D. Ind. 1978)
  • Ind. Dept. of State Revenue v. Convenient Indus. Of America, Inc., 299 N.E.2d 641 (Ind. Ct. App. 1973)

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