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How Franchising Works

The Rules: Restrictive Covenants

The success of most franchises is based on the operating systems, methods, and products produced. For this reason, franchisors must protect their proprietary information and trade marks. In order to do this, they establish restrictive covenants for their franchisees. These covenants govern the things a franchisee can do.

For example, one restrictive covenant may state that the franchisee cannot operate another similar business that would compete with the franchised business during the term of the franchise agreement. These are called in-term non-competition covenants. There may also be post-term non-competition covenants that prohibit the franchisee from operating a similar business even after the terms of the franchise have expired. Each state, however, has its own laws regarding the enforcement of non-competition covenants. Often, in-term covenants can be more readily enforced than post-term covenants.