Franchise + Distribution Law

Franchisee Services

Prospective franchisees: Please read the important checklist linked here before you purchase a franchise.

Your own business! A dream come true.
But remember, being a franchisee is a complex business.
You need our expertise to help you along the way.


  • Identify potential pitfalls in purchasing a franchise in general and the particular franchise of interest to you.
  • Understand the complexities of the legal process, the disclosure document and franchise agreement, and the purchase documentation in plain language.
  • Conduct detailed review and analysis of franchise disclosure document and franchise agreement to determine whether the franchise is well suited for you.
  • Work with other franchising professionals if required (i.e. franchise consultants & accountants).
  • Obtain various legal searches to assess the viability of the franchise system under review.
  • Review financial statements with your accountants.
  • Negotiate with your prospective franchisor and minimize your exposure to liability.


  • Legal advice on protecting your assets and conducting your franchised business.
  • Advice on your relationship with your customers, suppliers and the franchisor.
  • Personal advocacy on your behalf in discussions with the franchisor.
  • Assistance in the purchase of additional franchised units or in the acquisition and negotiation of master or area development rights.
  • Creation of a franchisee association to address issues confronting your system.
  • Assertion of your legal rights if your relationship with the franchisor turns sour.
  • Negotiation with and litigation against your franchisor if necessary.


Joseph Adler is a senior corporate and commercial lawyer and a registered trade-mark agent who assists clients in all matters related to their operations and transactions in Canada. His particular emphasis is in franchising and distribution, intellectual property law and cross-border trade. Joseph serves as legal counsel for Canadian and US (and other foreign) franchisors doing business in Canada as well as Canadian franchisors doing business in the US, Europe and abroad. He also acts and has acted for various multi-unit franchisees and franchisee associations. Joseph has published and has been quoted in numerous articles and has spoken on various franchising topics at venues organized by the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA), the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) and the International Franchise Association (IFA).

Recognized by his peers, Joseph is:

  • Secretary and General Counsel, Canadian Franchise Association
  • Member, the CFA’s Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee
  • Director and executive member, the CFA’s Board of Directors
  • A Certified Franchise Executive (a designation granted by the International Franchise Association)
  • Contributing editor, the Franchise and Distribution Journal (Federated Press)
  • Listed as a leading practitioner in franchise law in the:
    • Prestigious International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers
    • Legal LEXPERT Directory
    • Franchise Times as a “Legal Eagle” – one of the top franchise lawyers in the United States and Canada
    • The National Post’s Best Lawyers in Canada (franchising)
  • Canadian representative, the International Franchise Lawyers Association

Key Contacts

We are Hoffer Adler LLP. Lawyers Focused on the Needs of Their Clients.

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