In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to attorney at law, Mohaimina Haque, PLLC.
Mohaimina’s law firm is a general practice firm located in Washington D.C. They represent both individuals and companies and they’re a one-stop-shop and work in various legal practice areas.
Mohaimina and Josh talk about how entrepreneurs, specifically franchise owners, need to protect themselves legally. It’s a heavily regulated space and before you can expand into franchising, you need to legally protect your brand and IP. Do you have your trademarks filed? In the US, you have to make sure the trademark is filed domestically and internationally. You also need to be aware of both federal and state regulatory requirements. There are many legal steps and audits involved with franchising, so prepare to seek out an attorney and check these boxes before you jump in.
Business owners need to make sure they are registered properly in their home state and any states their businesses operate in. They also need to understand franchising disclosures.
It sounds like a lot of work, and it might be for some, but this puts in place a system that protects franchises and business owners. Putting a slight barrier in place also means those entering the space really understand both the opportunities associated with franchising as well as the obstacles and logistical challenges.
Mohaimina also shares that you should consult with a trademark lawyer. There are franchise disclosure laws in the US and in foreign countries and they’re not the same from place to place. Consulting a dedicated trademark attorney is one of the best ways to navigate these complex legalities.
One way to protect yourself in the legal sense when it comes to your employees – have an employee handbook available to them so everyone knows what the expectations are. Employee handbooks are also a great place to educate your employees about how they’re protected by certain laws – and to educate your management team and yourself.
Mohaimina also shares what she and her firm have been up to in recent months and how her work has changed over the course of the pandemic. She also plans on entering the franchising space herself and continues to offer legal support to franchise owners through her firm. She wants her clients to feel they have a trusted attorney by their side when she works with them, and she makes it easier than ever to work with her and reach her when she’s needed.