Attached is a sample letter urging the Governor to sign SB 610, authored by Senator Hanna-Beth Jackson, that would help franchisee owners protect their business and more fairly negotiate with the franchisor in cases where there may be a dispute or that the franchisor chooses to shut the business down on their term.
Please have your members cut/paste the attached letter onto their letterhead, sign and scan a copy to you. I will take the letters to the Governor’s office on a daily basis. The Governor is expected to sign or veto this legislation any day now, so the sooner we can deliver letters to his office, the better!
Lori C. Kammerer
Kammerer & Company
1215 K Street, 17th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Office: (916) 441-5674
Cell: (916) 716-5674
September 3, 2014The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Governor, State of California
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 610 (Jackson) Respectfully Request Your SignatureDear Governor Brown:
As a small business owner in California, I am writing to respectfully request that you sign Senate Bill 610 (Jackson) that would protect small-business owners by bringing some balance to the franchisor-franchisee relationship. Current California law allows franchisors to terminate franchise agreements for “good cause,” which includes a failure to comply with a requirement of the contract. But franchise contracts often specify dozens—or even hundreds— of requirements. Franchise agreements often allow the franchisor to terminate the agreement for minor violations of the contract or of thousands of pages of manuals and other rules. And these are rules that the franchisor can often change unilaterally.
Senate Bill 610 will also prohibit franchisors from unreasonably denying the sale of the business to a qualified third party by providing franchisees with the same transfer rights afforded to auto-dealers. SB 610 was amended to model the sale and transfer of a franchise after the California Automobile Dealers’ Franchise Law, “the Gonsalves Act” of 1973 that has protected auto dealer franchisees from abusive franchisor auto manufacturers since 1973. Unfortunately, the rest of the franchisee business community has suffered at the hands of some franchisors when it comes to abusive terminations and the simple right to sell or transfer their franchise business to a qualified person.
Additionally, Senate Bill 610 will offer protections to small businesses who are franchisees to fast-food restaurants, retail stores, tax-preparation services, auto-repair shops and other businesses bearing major brand names. The franchisees often put their life savings at risk to start their businesses. Senate Bill 610 gives franchisees’ rights to renew their franchise, if they comply with the franchisor’s standards. California law now allows franchisors to decide not to renew a franchisee’s contract for any reason or no reason at all. Franchisee associations provide franchisees with a forum for discussing common problems and issues and with a collective voice for raising these issues with the franchisor. Some franchisees have reported that franchisors have retaliated against franchisees who join these associations. The bill would protect franchisees from retaliation for joining an association, thus ensuring that franchisees can continue to work together to improve conditions for their business.
For these reasons and more, I respectfully request that you sign Senate Bill 610. If you or your staff have any questions, please contact me at (phone number) or email (email address).
Your Company Name
cc: Scott Hauge, President, Small Business California
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116