The Franchising Team at Ashtons Legal are among the leaders in the franchising world.
It has over 20 years of assistance in helping franchise networks to succeed both nationally and internationally and mains a reputation for high-end quality advice coupled with genuine sector expertise, all of which is provided at a cost which means we are able to add real value in helping you to achieve your goals.
Our dedicated franchise team is made up of specialists within their fields who understand the often unique needs of franchise networks. Assisting many of the countries largest and most prestigious franchisors in the running of their resale processes, we are well placed to understand the issues which are of key importance. Completing the transactions in a smooth and efficient manner and avoiding delays ensures that the relationship between you and the incoming franchisee remains buoyant and the outgoing franchisee can be confident in maximising his or her return on investment, which results in good publicity for the network.
How we can help
Our involvement in your resale process can be tailored to meet your specific requirements and where you have no existing procedures we can work with you to devise a process to suit you.
Set out below is a typical summary of our involvement in the process:
- obtain agreement from the buyer and the seller to meet our fees
- prepare the relevant sale documentation
- negotiate any provisions which affect your position
- liaise with the buyer and seller (or their solicitors) to progress the transaction
- protect your position
- issue the new franchise agreement to the buyer
- ensure that the process proceeds in an organised, structured and efficient manner
- manage completion of the transaction (including collecting any monies due to you from the seller or the buyer).
In addition to these core services clients sometimes ask us to assist in:
- dealing with any property issues relevant to the franchisor
- ensuring that the outgoing franchisee repays any bank borrowing.
Advantages to you
- the purchase monies go through us which means that we deduct any monies due to you before the balance is paid to the seller
- all parties use tried and tested documentation which is reasonable and fair to both the buyer and the seller*
- the seller and the buyer are free to take their own legal advice and should be encouraged to do so. However, often, especially where resale values are relatively low, franchisees do not take legal advice
- we are able to drive the sale forward, whilst always acting on your behalf, and co-ordinate the efforts of the buyer and the seller (or their solicitors)
- it costs you nothing since our fees are normally paid for equally between the buyer and the seller as part of the agreed resale procedure.
*The sale documentation
This documentation may be in the form of either a share sale agreement or an asset sale agreement. As to whether the deal agreed between the incoming franchisee the buyer) and the outgoing franchisee (the seller) is a sale of the assets of the franchise business (an asset sale) or a sale of the shares in the company operating the franchise business (a share sale) will vary on a case by case basis. In our experience, the parties are generally relaxed about using a standard asset sale agreement prepared by us. However, in a share sale, the buyer (or his or her solicitor) usually drafts the share sale agreement to ensure adequate protection for the buyer. In this case, we would provide the buyer (or their solicitor) specifically drafted provisions for your protection which will need to be included in the share sale agreement.
The cost of our advising and assisting you will depend on our level of involvement and your particular resale process and can be tailored to suit your needs. Our fees for assisting will always be fixed to ensure certainty.
If you think this is a service that your network can benefit from, then please feel free to contact us to discuss further.