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Manufacturer guidelines can help resolve franchise disputes

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Few industries embody the American Dream more than car sales. Sometimes all you need to succeed in it is the drive to create comfort for motorists and the right opportunity to relate to a market. But a lot of people may share this dream, and that can lead to conflicts.

Motor vehicle manufacturers value their brands and work to preserve the perception of their values. This means no market can have too many or too few options, and franchisees cannot be too close together either by geography or by audience. Florida’s Statute 320 governs the dynamics of how car dealers can work together to stay out of each other’s way.

Although the ultimate decision-maker in dispute is a Florida court, the law in the state allows manufacturers to designate territories that are to be serviced by a particular dealer or number of dealers. This can help resolve disputes before they begin when potential dealers do their due diligence in checking with home offices.

What is a franchisee in the definition of the law in the Sunshine State? It is anyone or any business engaged in the repair, buying, selling, or trading in cars, trucks and other motor vehicles as defined by Statute 320. There are six different licenses that motor vehicle dealers of any kind can hold, and each one has its own scope of the business.

An attorney can help answer some of the detailed questions related to establishing a car dealership. A lawyer can also help address and resolve a franchise dispute with the help of the state law and manufacturers’ guidelines.