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Franchise and Distribution

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.

Are you ready to franchise? We're here to help. Complete Ice Miller's quick Franchisor Assessment and submit to the team at to begin your journey.

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 franchisors with comprehensive legal services, including:

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 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 handle 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

Franchisor Representation:
  • Assisted franchisor and distributor of ignition interlock systems with various franchise issues, including termination and renewal
  • Created new franchise system for a fast-casual restaurant featuring kosher-style and comfort food
  • Created new franchise system for a Mexican fast-casual restaurant
  • Created new franchise system for a hotdog restaurant
  • Created joint venture for organic juice bar and fast-casual restaurant
  • Represented fitness franchisor in various litigation matters
Franchisee Representation:
  • Negotiated and assisted with multi-unit renewal of real estate franchise in Indiana and Ohio
  • Assisted franchisees of massage therapy franchise with pre-litigation disputes with franchisor
  • Negotiated and assisted with purchases of senior care franchises
  • Negotiated and assisted with purchase of dry cleaner franchise
  • Assisted with purchase of a soda pop and candy shop franchise
  • Advised manufacturer of vending machines with registration advice
Litigation & Dispute Resolution:
  • Elder Care Providers of Indiana, Inc. v. Home Instead, Inc., 2015 WL 4425679 (S.D. Ind. July 16, 2017)
  • Elder Care Providers of Indiana, Inc. v. Home Instead, Inc., 2017 WL 1106093 (S.D. Ind. Mar. 24, 2017)
  • 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 Favorite 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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