We had the pleasure of meeting with a number of top franchisors and top franchise attorneys in Paris. Our meetings were very productive. We structured two transactions in compliance with French and American law. In the process, we also built solid international relationships.
France has specific franchise statutes. In fact, France was the first country outside North America to regulate franchising. The French franchise law, the “Doubin Law,” requires the licensor of a trademark (including a franchisor) to provide the licensee (including the franchisee) with a disclosure document.
The Doubin Law disclosure document must disclose the length of time the franchisor has been in existence, the franchisor’s history, the current condition of the franchisor, its prospects for developing the relevant market, the size of the franchisor’s franchise system, the field and scope of the franchise agreement’s exclusivity, the duration of the franchise agreement, and the conditions for termination, renewal, and assignment.
The document must be delivered to the prospective franchisee at least 20 days prior to execution of the franchise agreement or the payment of any money.
The French take compliance with the Doubin Law seriously; violations are quasi-criminal offenses, and can lead to monetary fines and imprisonment.
And of course, no trip to Paris is complete without a nighttime trip to the summit of the Eiffel Tower, to enjoy the Seine and the lights of Paris.