Dealer Franchise Laws Provide Many Benefits

If you own an automobile dealership franchise, then you know that there are a lot of laws to follow. Dealerships are subject to more laws than most other industries, but there is a good reason for that. Cars are expensive, contain hazardous material, and require maintenance by trained technicians. They are also potentially dangerous if used incorrectly. That is why there are so many strict regulations around purchasing and operating a car.

Despite the excessive amount of laws, dealership franchises have many benefits for consumers. For instance, the competition among all of the different franchises helps keep the prices low for consumers. Also, dealerships are able to service vehicles and handle repairs with ease due to their extensive warranty coverage.

Franchises also offer a great benefits to manufacturers because, instead of building their own dealership from scratch, manufacturers can sell their cars through franchise dealerships and still make a decent profit.

Dealership franchises also provide lots of benefits to the local community. According to research done by NADA, locally franchised dealerships employ more than 1.1 million Americans. Also, 15% of all state and local tax revenue comes from dealerships.

All in all, while dealership franchise owners may not like dealing with the excessive laws and regulations, they can be comforted by the knowledge that these regulations are protecting not just themselves, but the whole community. If the dealership franchises did not function smoothly, then consumers and manufacturers might both suffer financially, the tax revenue would decrease, and many jobs would be lost. This is just another example of the important role laws play in our society.

Are You Thinking of Hiring a Business Attorney?

In the business world, there is a maze of legal issues that could arise. Many entrepreneurs try and face these issues alone as they start their own business, but this is not always the best idea. It’s far better to have a business attorney with you from the beginning rather than seeking one out when trouble arises.


Business attorneys can help out with a plethora of issues including setting up a partnership or corporation, checking for compliance with regulations, negotiating loans, obtaining trademarks or patents, assisting with tax planning, drawing up pension plans, reviewing business forms, and reviewing employee contracts. Because of all of the legal issues that arise on a day to day basis, businesses would benefit by having legal guidance from the start.


So how do you find a good business attorney? You start by asking other businesses in your field about what attorney they use, and who they recommend. Once you have several picked out, set up conferences with them. Make it clear that you looking to establish a long term business relationship.


When choosing an attorney, it is vital to look for someone with experience in your field and an understanding of your business. You want to find an attorney that can help your business grow over the years. You also want to make sure that you communicate well with this person, and that he or she is available to help you at the times in which you need support, such as business meetings or conferences. Once you have your attorney picked out, be sure to set up regular meetings or phone calls to discuss legal matters before they become issues.


Ready to get started? Our attorneys here at KFB have experience in many different fields of commercial litigation. They are friendly, open, and eager to help. We strive to be available around the clock, when you need us most. Give us a call today!

Small Business Cybersecurity Act Becomes Law

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, provides many services and resources. It’s Computer Security Resource Center, CSRC, provides access to NIST’s cybersecurity and information on security-related projects, publications, news, and events. These resources are extremely helpful to businesses that are hoping to increase their security measures.

Last month, President Trump signed the NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act into law. This act is an amendment to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act. It extends the resources that NIST provides to small businesses and helps them reduce their cybersecurity risks.

Now, the NIST is required to publish technology-neutral resources based on international standards to aid small businesses. These resources must be scalable to various business sizes and data sensitivities.

Without these resources, small and medium-sized businesses were easy targets for hackers. Typically, these businesses have fewer resources and therefore weaker defenses. Many small businesses neglected to seek help for cybersecurity, or pay for cybersecurity programs due to high prices and a lack of thorough understanding.

The resources provided by the NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act will help protect small businesses from cybersecurity attacks, and to keep their data safe from hackers.

Is Cybercrime a Threat at Your Dealership?

Cybercrime is a major threat to businesses everywhere, including auto dealerships.

Contrary to popular belief, cyber criminals do not use sophisticated hacks to access locked files. Instead, they focus on a vulnerable access point; your employees. The typical cyber attack that auto dealers face comes in the form of an email scam.  These phishing attacks focus on getting employees to perform actions or enter data that can compromise your secure network and give the criminals access to sensitive information.


The best way to prevent these cybercrimes is to make your employees aware of the dangers and to educate them on ways to recognize and avoid these cyber attacks.


With phishing scams, it is imperative to pay attention to the details. Employees should refrain from opening an email attachment if they do not recognize the sender, and flag emails that request a password or personal information. Any suspicious emails should be reported immediately.


In addition, it is highly recommended that each major dealership designate an employee or group of employees to Cybersecurity. This team can assess potential risks and address security concerns as they arise.

Have You Considered Investing in Real Estate?

Money is essential, and with the growing inflation, the dollar doesn’t go nearly as far as it used to. One way to help make sure you have enough money is to find a good investment opportunity. Investing in real estate can provide a great opportunity to make a little extra cash.


One big benefit of investing in real estate is that it provides a regular stream of income. This is money that you can count on every month, whereas some other investments, like stock, tend to go up and down. Another important factor is the ability to place debt on the asset. This enables you to buy more assets and multiple asset values as the loans are paid.


You can also create positive leverage on a piece of commercial real estate. This allows for investors to effectively increase positive cash flow from operations by borrowing money at a lower cost than the property pays out.


It’s also important to consider that real estate, unlike many other investments, actually rises as inflation rises. That is why investing in real estate is so beneficial during times of high inflation. Property historically increases in value as the net operating income of the property improves as rent increases with inflation.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re looking for a reliable way to make a little extra income, consider investing in commercial real estate.

Cryptocurrency and it’s Cryptic Regulations

Cryptocurrency was a cryptic concept when Bitcoin first appeared in 2008. Now, a decade later, there are over 1,600 different cryptocurrencies, with a total market value of $300 billion. And along with this new wave of currency came a new way to manage it; blockchain.


As these new technologies and currencies revolutionize the way we spend money, we have to adjust our regulations and investing methods to take them into consideration.  For example, many entrepreneurs have started using an initial coin offering (ICO) to raise startup funds. Essentially, this is the cryptocurrency form of an initial public offering (IPO).


The ICO investors are promised a digital token which can later be used in the new cryptocurrency application. ICOs received over $13 billion in total during the first half of 2018. However, there are many regulatory challenges surrounding ICOs. Some ICOs are very similar to securities, and therefore it seems like anyone conducting an ICO should register with the Securities and Exchange Commision. However, this does not hold true for all ICOs. Should different regulations apply to different types of ICOs, or should one standard be applied to all?


The main concern with cryptocurrency is that it can fill the role of many different things at once. It can be used as money, a security, a property, and a commodity. Because of this, multiple regulators might be asked to manage any given cryptocurrency, and this presents a problem.


These new technologies are pushing the limits of our current governmental framework, the core of which was created in the 1930s. They no longer fit into the regulations that we have in place, and this is causing major issues. For example, some ICOs comply with federal securities law, but not state money transmitter laws, and are thus illegal.


Major changes need to happen, but major changes don’t come easy. Only time will tell what the future holds for cryptocurrencies, and for the way we as a society handle money.


KFB: Genesis Press Release

Press Release


The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has denied the distributor license application submitted by Genesis Motor America, LLC. 

The Genesis brand has been and continues to be sold and distributed through Hyundai Motor America. However, Hyundai decided to pull Genesis branded vehicles out of the Hyundai line-up and distribute them through a different dealership network in the luxury car sector under the Genesis name. Aside from shifting sales of the G90 and G80s to their new Genesis dealer network, they were also set to launch a new model, the G70, through this new network. 

The new Genesis dealership network and the new G70 was set to launch across America, but the recent denial of a distributor license in the state of Florida will put a kink in these plans. 

The state denied the distributorship application based on a determination that the shifting of the Genesis models currently sold under the Hyundai franchise agreement to the Genesis franchise agreement would be a violation of Section 320.6415, Fla. Stat., unless Genesis offered Hyundai dealers a franchise agreement “containing substantially the same provisions which were contained in the previous [Hyundai] franchise agreement”.  

The state determined that Genesis’ proposed franchise agreement did not contain substantially the same provisions as Hyundai’s franchise agreement.  Additionally, the state further found that Genesis’s franchise agreement provision requiring Genesis dealers to “purchase a minimum of 50% of dealers assigned off-lease Genesis return vehicle as an upstream purchase” was a violation of Section 320.64(34), Fla. Stat., which prohibits a distributor or manufacturer from requiring dealers to purchase or sell “any quantity of used motor vehicles.” As a result, at least for the time being, Genesis Motor America, LLC is not permitted to distribute cars in the state of Florida.

The Florida Automobile Dealers Association and their counsel, Kurkin Forehand Brandes, worked closely with the state to make sure that Hyundai and Genesis complied with Florida law. 



The Dealership of the Future

The end of the 20th Century came with the revolutionary idea of online shopping. It started with the first couple of transactions at NetMarket and Internet Shopping Network before was launched with eBay following soon after.



Nowadays, most people seem to prefer online shopping over shopping in stores. Not only does online shopping save time and gas, it also saves the stress of browsing in-store. Online shopping has become so prominent in people’s lives that a once famous company--Toys ’R’ Us--closed due to many reasons, with one of them being a loss of business and a lack of customers due to the increasing presence of online shopping. This is believed to be the future of car dealerships.


Within the next several years, it is expected that the vast majority of dealership transactions will take place online. Consumers will have access to all of the information regarding the vehicles and financing, allowing them to control the entire process. This online platform will allow dealers to show transparency and accountability, which in turn will likely increase customer satisfaction and trust.


Some companies already have a head start. In fact, Ford Credit has announced its investment in an online car-buying platform. It is never too early to start thinking of the future.

How Much Do You Know About Non-Disclosure Agreements?

Non-Disclosure Agreements are quite common, but do you know what they entail and why they are necessary?


A non-disclosure agreement is a contract between two parties which ensures the protection of information from any third party. Non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs, are governed under state law. Generally, NDAs are treated the same across state boundaries but may have specific regulations and standards that vary from state to state.


Non-disclosure agreements can be used to type a plethora of information, including valuable research data, software, intellectual property, prototypes, and customer or client information. These agreements are essential when it comes to preventing unhappy employees from sharing confidential company information or valuable trade secrets.


There are two types of NDAs, unilateral and mutual. Unilateral NDAs only restrict one of the two parties from sharing the protected information, whereas mutual NDAs apply to both parties. Both parties must sign and date the agreement before it is considered enforceable.


Have you ever had to craft or sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement? Was it unilateral, or mutual?

Breach of Contract

When any party to a contract, whether oral or written, fails to perform any of the contract’s terms, they may be found in breach of contract. While there are many ways to breach a contract, common failures include failure to deliver goods or services, failure to fully complete the job, failure to pay on time, or providing inferior goods or services. In other words, a breach of contract is a broken promise to do or provide something.

Partial Breach

A partial breach, or failure to perform or provide some immaterial provision of the contract, may allow the aggrieved party to sue, though only for “actual damages”

Material Breach of Contract

Failure of one party to perform his obligations under the contract in such a way that the value of the contract is destroyed exposes that party to liability for breach of contract damages. Anticipatory Breach of Contract

The anticipatory breach occurs when one party to a contract stops acting in accordance with the contract, leading the other party to believe he has no intention of fulfilling his part of the agreement. In this case, the breaching party may give such an impression by his actions, or failure to act, such as failing to produce an ordered item, refusing to accept payment, or somehow making it obvious that he cannot or will not fulfill the terms of the contract. An anticipatory breach of contract enables the non-breaching party to end the contract and sue for breach of contract damages without waiting for the actual breach to occur.

Specific Performance

Specific performance may be any court-ordered action, forcing the breaching party to perform or provide exactly what was agreed to in the contract. Specific performance is most often ordered in a contract involving something for which a value is difficult to determine, such as land or an unusual or rare item of personal property.

Example Breach of Contract Cases

Courts in the United States are virtually inundated with breach of contract cases.


Macy’s v. Martha Stewart Living

Macy’s department stores filed a breach of contract complaint against Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia for making an agreement with J.C. Penney for the creation of Martha Steward retail stores within their retail stores beginning February 2013. Prior to the deal, J.C. Penney had purchased a minority stake in Steward’s company for $38.5 million. The mini-retail stores were to carry Martha Stewart home goods, however, Macy’s argued they had been granted an exclusive right to make and sell certain Martha Steward Living products in an agreement signed in 2006.

Macy’s asked the court to stop Steward from breaching the contract while the court considered the matter. Twelve years later, in June 2014, a New York judge ruled that J.C. Penney had indeed stepped over Macy’s contract with the domestic diva in its attempt to sell products bearing her name. While the J.C. Penney contract has been nullified, monetary breach of contract damages were not immediately decided.


A breach of a contract is a serious issue that can happen to anyone. If your business or firm is involved in a breach of contract case, make sure that you seek help. Here at KFB, we have several attorneys who focus in contract law. If you need assistance, give us a call.

Franchise Resale program

There are many reasons why a franchise owner may want to sell units. In some cases, the franchise is experiencing low sales or is under poor leadership. Other times, franchisees want to seek other investment opportunities or prepare for retirement. No matter the reason, the resale of franchise units is becoming more common, and is an important part of franchise law.

Under most franchise agreements, there are regulations concerning the transfer of rights from one franchisee to another. For example, the agreement might specify that a potential buyer meet certain criteria, such as special training or a sound financial standing. The franchisee must request the franchisor’s permission to sell, and then present a specific buyer that meets all of the required criteria. This could be a difficult process. However, an established franchise resale program can make this procedure significantly easier. For starters, the program utilizes a pool of qualified potential buyers. This makes the process of finding a buyer significantly easier.

Franchise resale programs are customized for each brand to maximize return profits. They also provide instructions for the buyer about how to advertise the unit, train personnel, and grow in the current market. Therefore, franchise resale programs can be very beneficial to the buyer and seller of a franchise.

Before the creation of a franchise resale program, several legal issues must be taken under consideration. These include disclosure requirements, relationship laws, and financial performance representations. If you are buying or selling a franchise unit without the help of a resale program, a close consideration of these laws is essential.

Are you in the process of buying or selling a franchise unit? Contact a KFB-Law attorney today! Call (305) 929-8500 for our Miami office or (850) 391-5060 for our Tallahassee office.



Commercial Litigation Attorneys Can Be a Valuable Asset to Your Company

Commercial Litigation is growing in popularity. According to a recent survey, 30% of all recent hiring by law firms and corporate legal departments is within this specialty area. With the rapid increase in this field, the supply of commercial litigation attorneys cannot keep up with the demand.



So why are commercial litigation attorneys such a valuable asset? For starters, they are focused on protecting business interests, and that is key for many companies. Commercial litigation attorneys may be asked to provide counsel on a new contract, a compliance matter, a patent dispute, an executive hire, a merger or acquisition, and much more. Because these attorneys cover everything related to business law, business managers have a lot less to worry about. If they hire a commercial litigation attorney, then they have one person that can focus on and address all major issues concerning business law.


When disputes do arise, a commercial litigation attorney can help determine the best course of action for a business. They may recommend cost-effective strategies for resolving disputes, or decide if a matter should be taken to court.

If you own a business or corporation, consider hiring a commercial litigation attorney to keep track of your business matters. Whether you want to hire an attorney as an issue arises, on a contract basis, or as an ongoing position, commercial litigation attorneys can be a valuable asset to your business. If you’re interested in speaking with some of the highly experienced commercial litigation attorneys at KFB, contact us today! Call (305) 929-8500 for our Miami office or (850) 391-5060 for our Tallahassee office.

A New Florida Law will Reduce the Number of Crash-Related Lawsuits

A new law in Florida seeks to reduce the number of crash-related lawsuits and to lower insurance rates. This law requires that insurance companies reduce personal injury protection (PIP) premiums at least 10 percent, and later 25 percent.

This law bars massage therapists and acupuncturists from treating patients under PIP by making it so that only people diagnosed with an “emergency medical condition” will be eligible for the full $10,000 PIP benefit, and only certified doctors and physicians will be authorized to make the determination. While medical professionals can still treat accident victims, they will be expected to perform the necessary treatments for $2,500 or less, limiting the services provided.

The law also seeks to reduce the number of PIP claims that end up in court, but it could create new areas of litigation as well since most lawsuits are filed because doctors disagree with insurance companies on how much they are owed. Once the law goes into effect, we should see adjustments being made by insurance companies.

Shadow a KFB Attorney with Nova's Shark Shadow Program

    The Nova Southeastern University Shark Shadow Program is an opportunity for Nova Students to explore their interests in the workplace and to gain exposure and experience in the professional work environment. This program allows students to shadow NSU Levan Ambassadors Board Members. After joining, shadowers will gain the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the workplace.

    Shadowers at Kurkin Forehand Brandes Law will have the opportunity to truly experience a law firm by learning the ins and outs of how it operates. Shadowers will closely work with one of our lawyers and assist them as needed. This experience will prove to be extremely beneficial to those looking to someday work with legal proceedings.

    If you or someone you know is a current student at NSU and would like to participate in The NSU Shark Shadow Program as a shadower at Kurkin Forehand Brandes Law, contact Career Development to learn more at (954) 262-2701. You may also contact us (305) 929-8500 for our Miami office or (850) 391-5060 for our Tallahassee office.


Environmental Law and the Management of our Natural Resources

Today is World Environment Day, the leading global environmental holiday. The main goal of World Environment Day is to raise awareness about pertinent environmental issues and the way that human activities impact the environment. In honor of World Environment Day, we’d like to examine some ways that law and regulations can be altered to better protect and utilize the environment.



When considering environmental laws, typically the first thing that comes to mind is the Environmental Protection Agency, and major laws such as the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. However, environmental laws can be found in every different category of law, from global treaties to private real estate regulations. When it comes to protecting the environment minor, little-known laws can be just as vital as major Acts.


In the field of Real Estate Law, for example, several new factors must now be considered to enable the most pragmatic and beneficial uses for limited resources. Property owners are now seeking out means of obtaining their own natural resources and energy, whether by collecting water in rain barrels or harnessing energy from solar panels. As these new practices arise, new laws must be put in to place to regulate them.



For instance, if one building has solar panels, and neighboring building is obstructing the panels and thus rendering them unable to efficiently collect sunlight, something must be done. However, property law has traditionally focused on entitlements to tangible resources and has therefore been slow to recognize the rights to sunlight and clean air.



A new property right in the form of a negative easement might help to regulate access to these resources. Reconceiving the property tax as a tool for regulating these resources and protecting the environment would also be highly advantageous. In many instances, a few minor changes to property regulations would save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help preserve our natural resources. Hopefully, these new modifications to real estate law will occur in the near future.



Source: Climate Change and Property Ownership

Kala Marketing Group
Converting Your Florida Business To a Corporation May Not Be a Good Move

Many Florida Business owners have considered upgrading their business to a C corporation. This move would provide a new, reduced 21% tax rate. This seems like a much better alternative than the tax rates that pass-through entity businesses currently face, which can reach as high as 37% under the new tax law. However, a closer look reveals that, despite initial impressions, converting to a C corporation might not be a smart move.


For starters, there is a double tax on C corporations. The 21% tax rate is initially applied to the profits, but an addition tax comes into play after the profits are distributed. This is taxed to shareholders at a 23.8% rate. For shareholders in the top tax bracket, the combined rate can reach as high as 39.8%, which is slightly higher than the largest tax rate on a pass-through entity, about 37%.


In addition to this high combined tax rate, C corporations in Florida are also subject to state income tax of 5% on profits, which is applied on top of the current tax rate. On the contrary, some pass-through entities can qualify for a 20% deduction in tax rate. Because of these additional tax rates and possible tax reductions, many business owners find it much more economically beneficial to remain as pass-through entities rather than converting to a C corporation.

Effects of a Business Acquisition on Employee Morale

Business mergers and acquisitions can have significant effects on the employees of each company.

In each workplace, there is an established atmosphere. Employees may be used to a certain setting or mood during their workday, and disruptions in the workplace ambiance may cause stress.

When one business acquires another, they may bring their own style of management and conduct. Employees of the acquired business will have to go through an adjustment period to get used to the shift in structure. If this shift is not handled efficiently, it can lead to conflict.

If your business is experiencing a merger or acquisition, it is important to make sure that this new, combined business is reorganized quickly and efficiently. New standards and regulations must be set in place, and each employee must be made aware of what is expected of them, or whether or not their job will be secure.  In this process, communication is key.


If the merger is not handled efficiently, it could result in employee stress. Stressed employees are not as productive and may not remain loyal to the company.

To prevent stress, be sure to communicate all changes and expectations openly. It is also important to listen to how the employees feel and to make necessary adjustments to appease all sides.

In order to ensure that your merger or acquisition is smooth and worry-free, it is important to reach out to an attorney from the start of the process.

Here at KFB-Law, several of our attorneys are highly experienced in Business Acquisition Law.


Firm Opens New Office; Broward and Miami Offices Move to Aventura, Fla.

Kurkin Forehand Brandes is pleased to announce the opening of a new office in Aventura, Fla. Centrally located between Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the new office will better serve the needs of Miami- and Broward-area clients.

All of the firm’s previous phone extensions will remain the same and the main number will continue to be (305) 929-8500.

New Miami Office Address:
Kurkin Forehand Brandes LLP
18851 N.E. 29th Avenue, Suite 303
Aventura, FL 33180-2808

John Mock
Blinderman and Kuhl Join Kurkin Forehand Brandes

Blinderman concentrates his practice on personal injury litigation. He brings 20 years of experience as a trial attorney, including more than 15 years of experience in personal injury protection (PIP) litigation representing both plaintiffs and insurance carriers during his career. He has also been plaintiffs’ co-counsel on several high-profile class action lawsuits against large corporations such as Wal-Mart, Netflix, Shell Oil and Celebrity Cruises.

Kuhl concentrates his practice on motor vehicle dealer and auto industry law. With more than 20 years of legal experience, Kuhl frequently speaks to dealers, dealer groups, state dealer associations and other industry associations. He recently co-authored a report entitled “Understanding the Bush Administration’s Auto Bailout,” published by Aspatore Books. Kuhl has appeared on CNN Headline News’s Comcast Newsmakers South Florida and has been a frequent guest on’s blog talk radio station – WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.

“Craig and Lewis are wonderful additions for Kurkin Forehand Brandes,” said managing partner Alex Kurkin. “They bring valuable skills and a wealth of experience in personal injury protection and auto dealership law that will have a very positive impact for the firm and our clients.”

Blinderman was most recently an attorney at Rosenburg & Rosenburg, P.A. In 1991, he earned his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich. and was admitted to the Florida Bar. Blinderman handles high-level cases involving both the prosecution and insurance defense of bodily injury claims, personal injury protection (PIP) claims, personal injury pre-litigation and workers’ compensation litigation. A renowned expert on attorney’s fees relating to PIP litigation, he regularly testifies before the courts in South Fla. on these matters.


Kuhl was most recently an attorney at Pathman Lewis, LLP. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University and a law degree from Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law. He is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, The Florida Bar, the American Bar Association, the National Association of Dealer Counsel, the Florida Auto Dealers Association, the Florida Independent Auto Dealers Association and the National Independent Auto Dealers Association.

John Mock
John Forehand Joins South Motors; Firm Renamed Kurkin Brandes LLP

Kurkin Forehand Brandes has changed its name to Kurkin Brandes as it congratulates John W. Forehand, who has left the firm after recently accepting a position at the Vista/South Motors Dealer Group.

The firm’s Tallahassee office remains open as the firm continues to represent businesses statewide.

“Our experienced group of attorneys will continue to deliver the highest level of excellence to our clients in all of our practice areas,” said Alex Kurkin. “Beyond that, John and I were friends prior to becoming business partners and we truly remain friends today, and I expect that we will continue to work together; although now in an attorney-client relationship.”

Kurkin Brandes, LLP, focuses on contract law, election law, franchise law, automobile dealer law, real estate law, business acquisitions, regulatory compliance, government disputes and commercial litigation. Its partners represent the Florida Automobile Dealers Association and regularly conduct compliance seminars for organization members. A new firm website is currently under construction at, in the meantime visit or call (305) 929-8500 for more information on Kurkin Brandes.

John Mock