Franchise Attorneys

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Legal Representation for Franchisors and Franchisees

Franchise attorneys act on behalf of local as well as international clients in the franchise industry. Esmari Jonker is an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa with more than 16 years experience with franchise agreements / franchise contracts, litigation and intellectual property. Esmari advises both franchisees and franchisors with regard to legal matters. Smit & Van Wyk is an accredited legal service provider and member of FASA.


The Smit & Van Wyk team of intellectual property attorneys also specialise in franchising in South Africa. Our franchising services include drafting agreements, licensing, legal advice on all the legal aspects when starting your own franchise, advice on all the legal aspects when buying a business, Dispute Resolution Services and advice on Consumer Protection Act.

Smit & Van Wyk specialist franchise attorneys offer professional legal services to anyone who wishes to start or buy a franchise. We also provide legal services to established franchises who wish to have their franchise agreements reviewed.

Franchise Agreements

A franchise contract is a legal, binding document or agreement between a franchisor and franchisee. To start, or buy a franchise will require an attorney to setup the contracts and other legal documents. The relationship between a franchisor and franchisee will mostly be controlled and governed by the contract. There will be provisions in the contract that will have a direct impact on how you run your business. 

Franchise agreements may be for fixed terms or a specified amount of years. How a franchise agreement is setup depends on the type of franchise being bought and sold. No franchise agreement will be the same and the agreement will include provisions that will have a direct impact on how you run your business. Franchise agreements also specify the method of operations, business system requirements, suppliers, and advertising specifications. Smit & Van Wyk franchise attorneys can help any franchisor with franchise agreement setup and legal documentation assessment.

Trade Marks

Our trade mark department consists of a team of skilled and qualified trade mark attorneys and paralegals who work closely with our clients to build interpersonal relationships and to structure the best bespoke trade mark filing programs suited to the client’s specific needs and requirements. We offer advice on all aspects of trade mark filing, prosecution and litigation across the African continent.

South Africa follows the Nice Classification of goods and/or services. The Nice classification assists in filing a trade mark application for the correct goods or services as it is an international standard for the classification of goods and services.

There is a total of 45 classes (34 goods classes and 11 service classes). There are 38 African countries that are currently Madrid members. South African has not conceded to the Madrid Protocol.