franchising and distribution  


Franchising and distribution arrangements continue to be increasingly important elements of our global economy. Many brands that are global household names today achieved their success through master franchisees and distributors who bring established products, services and customer experiences to international markets.

Businesses involved in franchising face contractual and legal issues that are significantly different from other types of enterprises. Franchisors have invested valuable time and money in developing brands and products, and they are entrusting third parties to uphold standards and maintain goodwill. In many provinces, franchisors also must comply with statutes requiring franchise disclosure.

McMillan's Business Law Group has deep experience in franchising and distribution law, and represents some of the largest companies operating in Canada. We advise clients throughout the entire franchise life cycle, from establishing a profitable franchise system, to a purchase or sale of a franchise system, or representing them in a franchise dispute of any nature. In the distribution area, we advise major manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and dealers on a full range of distribution matters, helping them create and maintain their legal relationships.

McMillan professionals help clients lead by:

  • Drafting the complete range of franchise and supporting agreements including distribution and sales representation agreements
  • Structuring license arrangements
  • Preparing franchise disclosure documents
  • Advising on the financing, acquisition or sale of existing franchise systems or individual franchise locations
  • Assisting with the termination of franchisor/franchisee relationships
  • Advising on the acquisition or sale of distribution businesses
  • Resolving franchisor/franchisee disputes
  • Advising on and enforcing trademarks and other proprietary rights
  • Advising on legislation governing advertising, contests, packaging and labelling, and other regulatory matters
  • Preparing territorial restrictions and non-competition covenants
  • Advising on the development of distribution networks
  • Assisting with the termination of distributor and agency relationships