[13 Sep 2009 ]
When Small Businesses Go Big: Deciding Whether to Franchise or License

Mama Fu’s Noodle House started as a single Pan-Asian restaurant in downtown Atlanta. Founded by entrepreneur Martin Sprock, who expanded the outlet through his franchising company Raving Brands, the restaurant quickly grew from a single eatery to a fast-casual food chain with locations in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas. However, the rapid growth of the chain led to discontent among the franchisees, who believed that the company had grown too quickly without providing the support, marketing and training promised under franchise agreements. In December 2006, when it was estimated that Mama Fu’s had reached or exceeded approximately 40 restaurants within 24 months, a group of 29 franchisees and investors sued Martin Sprock, Raving Brands and Mama Fu’s, alleging a variety of claims including violations of state contract and franchise law.

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The Casoni Law Group »

[11 May 2011 | No Comment | ]

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Employees, Entities, Headline, Licenses, Organizational Structure, Regulation »

[13 Sep 2009 | No Comment | ]
When Small Businesses Go Big: Deciding Whether to Franchise or License

Mama Fu’s Noodle House started as a single Pan-Asian restaurant in downtown Atlanta. Founded by entrepreneur Martin Sprock, who expanded the outlet through his franchising company Raving Brands, the restaurant quickly grew from a single eatery to a fast-casual food chain with locations in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas. However, the rapid growth of the chain led to discontent among the franchisees, who believed that the company had grown too quickly without providing the support, marketing and training promised under franchise agreements. In December 2006, when it was estimated that Mama Fu’s had reached or exceeded approximately 40 restaurants within 24 months, a group of 29 franchisees and investors sued Martin Sprock, Raving Brands and Mama Fu’s, alleging a variety of claims including violations of state contract and franchise law.

Headline, Internet Contracts, Marketing, Regulation »

[26 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]
Something For Nothing: Digital and Mobile Promotions, Sweepstakes and Contests

Executives at NBC Universal decided to market reality TV show The Apprentice by launching a national watch-and-win sweepstakes. Viewers were given the opportunity to win a prize of $10,000 by voting for certain Apprentice contestants to be exiled from the group and forced to live in a tent. Those who voted online could participate for free. However, those who voted by text message were charged an entry fee of 99 cents. In 2007, a Georgia woman sued Donald Trump and NBC Universal for operating an illegal lottery in violation of state racketeering statutes. Similar class action lawsuits have also been filed against popular shows such as America’s Got Talent, Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100.

Employees, Headline, Regulation »

[20 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]
Plugging In, Clocking In

If you pay the monthly bill for your employee’s Blackberry, are you required to pay your employee for the time spent checking work-related emails and text messages? T-Mobile retail associates recently made headlines by challenging the mobile provider’s requirement that employees review their company-issued smart devices off the clock.

Contractors, Contracts, Employees, Entities, Headline, Licenses, Organizational Structure, Taxes, Working with Lawyers »

[11 Jun 2009 | No Comment | ]
Calling It Quits

The decision to quit a venture is never an easy one for an entrepreneur. When the decision is driven by financial reasons, as is often the case in a troubled economy, it can be tempting to simply walk away under the rationale that no new business means the business is dead. The excitement of new projects or the appeal of a fresh start under a new name can overshadow the headaches associated with a failing business. But as cases like Emily Lane Homeowners Association v. Colonial Development, LLC show, maintaining the shell of a company is an all-too-convenient move that leaves owners vulnerable to lawsuits and liability. The failure to properly wind up affairs may lead to a variety of repercussions.