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Seizing opportunities with confidence

Franchising your business can be a great way to expand without being responsible for day-to-day operations. Likewise, opening a franchise in your community can be a great way to run a business and turn a profit. But legal pitfalls abound. Some franchisors have good public relations but little profitability. Others are led by so-called coaches and consultants who lack real franchise experience.

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig represents franchisors and franchisees throughout the United States. We help established business owners become nationwide franchisers and provide continued support, legal guidance, and representation as those clients expand and face new challenges. We also assist clients with drafting, reviewing, negotiating, and executing franchise-related agreements.

Our experience in franchising laws

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig’s team of franchise lawyers have years of experience with federal and state laws that govern franchising and franchise agreements. We also have extensive experience reviewing FDDs and have prepared thorough analyses regarding many large franchises. We use this experience to benefit and protect our franchiser and franchisee clients.

Additionally, we review franchise disclosure documents (FDDs). Franchise sellers are federally mandated to give these 100- to 300-page documents to potential franchisees at least 14 days before they commit to buying a franchised business. FDDs can be incredibly complicated and contain dense legal language that can be intimidating and difficult to understand. We prepare custom analyses that highlight important sections and areas of concern and advise franchisees on pertinent issues.

Our flat fee FDD review package includes:

  • An introductory phone consultation to discuss your goals, objectives, and concerns
  • An FDD review by an experienced franchise attorney
  • A custom critical points memo that summarizes the critical issues and translates the legal jargon contained in the FDD
  • A follow-up phone consultation to discuss the critical points memo and answer questions that may arise

What we do

  • Assist clients with the formation, registration, expansion, and divestiture of franchise systems
  • Advise clients on marketing and distribution agreements
  • Counsel clients on compliance with federal and state laws, including disclosure requirements
  • Review, analyze, and advise franchisees on FDDs
  • Register, protect, and license franchise trademarks, service marks, copyrights, and trade secrets
  • Represent clients regarding commercial loan transactions and the purchase, lease, and development of real property


Alex Butterman


Thomas Dunlap


Dubs Herschlip


Jennifer Morris



Scott Cipinko

Of Counsel

James Dick

Of Counsel

Chadwick D. Rogers

Of Counsel

Rafael Bultz


Jeffrey Lippman

Senior Associate


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Intern Program

As part of our effort to recruit, develop and retail the best and brightest attorneys, Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig offers a summer intern program for promising law school students who are looking to work as part of an innovative and incredibly successful team. With a global team of lawyers, selected candidates are able to work on high level projects in a collaborative space.

Paralegals and Legal Support Staff

At Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig, our team of paralegals and staff work together collaboratively along side our attorneys toward a common goal. We have created a positive work environment where our paralegals and legal assistants work to successfully reach firm-wide goals and support each other to combine individual strengths to enhance team performance. They regularly assist our attorneys with organizing and maintaining files, conducting legal research, and preparing documents.