Opening and operating an auto dealership can be a rewarding business experience which can also have substantial financial rewards. However, in order to succeed, it is often necessary to contend with a range of legal issues that arise in the business environment.
James Arenson has spent over 22 years in the auto dealer business. The legal team at Arenson Law Group, PC has over three decades of experience. We know the convoluted rules and regulations that follow the auto dealer business and franchise law. Who knows the industry better than someone who ran their own successful dealership?
While you can manage the business decisions necessary to build a successful auto dealership in Iowa, Wisconsin, or Minnesota, our team at Arenson Law Group, PC, knows that dealing with legal issues can be much more difficult. Fortunately, with the help of attorneys with intimate knowledge of the legal complexities auto dealerships typically face, you can rest assured that your business is in capable hands.
Do I Need an Auto Dealer Lawyer?
When opening up a new business, we often don’t really consider the legal standards beforehand. Most of us don’t even think about all the different issues it till it is too late. It is important to understand what the legal do’s and don’t’s are when starting or continuing to run a business, because you can prevent legal issues before they ever arise.
Obtaining an auto dealership license can quickly lead to having to face complex rules and regulations that are hard to understand. These intricate regulations are closely monitored by State officials and Motor Vehicle boards. One wrong move and these groups have the ability to revoke your dealership license. Awareness of these rules is a necessity to keep your business afloat.
The attorneys at Arenson Law Group, PC have considerable experience and the knowledge necessary to assist you in tackling legal problems that may arise during the course of opening and owning an auto dealership. Let our skilled lawyers help you run a successful business. We can walk you through the legal landscape, keep you updated on changes in standards, and assist you through the inevitable complexities involved in auto dealer law.
Our Auto Dealer Practice Areas
Auto dealers will face many issues in the management of their businesses where legal advice and assistance is crucial. Having the guidance of a skilled attorney when dealing with the following issues can be critical:
- Formation of Entity: For a company to start, it is required to create a government-recognized legal entity. This entity will represent and be responsible for any dealings with the government. It is important that when forming an entity, your best interests are put first and protected.
- Employment Issues: There are several employment issues that arise when running an auto dealership. The labor practices and guidelines can be daunting to an employer, but with a skilled attorney, you can protect your business while resolving employment disputes.
- Expense Reduction: There are unavoidable expenses that come with owning a business. With strategic planning, it is possible to reduce some unnecessary expenses and maximize profits for the new business. With a lawyer helping with expense reduction, you can focus on efficiently operating a high-quality business.
- Franchise Relocation: Not all franchise locations are successful. In order for the business to grow, sometimes relocation is necessary. Time spent away from running the franchise means less development for the business overall. Our attorneys will handle the regulations of relocation so you can run your business.
- Consumer Issues: The consumer is an integral part of any business, and their complaints or issues could lead difficulties for your dealership. A violation of consumer protection is serious, and our lawyers can help you navigate toward a successful outcome.
- Publicity Issues: A company’s brand is their identity in the business world. For someone else to capitalize on the brand without permission would be a violation of the business’s right to publicity.
- Mergers and Acquisitions: Combining businesses together comes with a whole host of hardships, such as reorganization, reconstruction, liquidations, dealing with finances, and much more. A skilled attorney can help at any stage of the process to help efficiently get to the end goal of creating a new business.
- Franchise Divestitures: Unfortunately, sometimes one of your many franchises might not be successful. If that happens, it becomes more difficult to keep all the other franchises running. Divestiture, or the process of selling off a franchise, is an option, and an attorney can get you the best result.
- Franchise Acquisitions: This can happen in one of two ways: being acquired or acquiring a franchise. Either way, franchise acquisition helps expand your business. Along with the process comes legal complexities that are difficult to navigate. A skilled attorney can ensure the benefits of acquisitions outweigh the risks.
- Dealing with Crises: Crises are an inevitable part of business. While business owners are usually more than capable of dealing with crises, it is during the unexpected crises that a legal team can provide crucial assistance.
- Cash Flow Issues: Cash flow can be difficult to manage, especially when dealing with anticipated and unanticipated expenses. Regardless, the expenses must be paid. Careful management of cash flow can help keep a business running successfully.
Whether you are facing an unexpected legal problem or need help dealing with the everyday business issues, a lawyer knowledgeable in auto dealer law can be invaluable.
Frequently Asked Questions
As an auto dealer, you probably just want to leave handling your cases to your lawyer. However, you probably have some questions of your own. Here are some of the common questions our car dealership attorneys get related to auto dealer law:
Where does your practice operate?
Our founding attorney, James Arenson, used to run his own successful auto dealership and is based in Iowa. Arenson handles cases throughout Iowa, primarily in Linn County, Benton County, Johnson County, Cedar County, Black Hawk County, Jones County, and Buchanan County. However, our practice also includes several lawyers who are licensed to practice law in Minnesota and Wisconsin. If you have a legal issue related to auto dealer law in any of these three states, our car dealership attorneys can provide the legal guidance you’re looking for.
How can your practice help me reduce my expenses?
It costs a lot of money to run any business, especially an auto dealership, and one of the key services we provide is helping auto dealers find ways to trim their expenses. Some ways our attorneys for car dealerships can help you include:
- Helping you choose the right structure for your business during the initial setup process to keep your expenses low
- Helping you with employment issues, so you don’t face additional expenses from lawsuits or labor law violations
- Finding legal ways to optimize the efficiency of your dealership, such as reducing production costs, lowering supply expenses, etc.
- Handling franchise divestments or acquisitions in a way that keep your costs low
- Taking care of franchise relocation issues so you can focus on the day-to-day operations of your business
Can you help me if my auto manufacturer wants to open a new dealership near me or change my market area?
An auto manufacturer’s interests don’t always line up with that of its dealers, and sometimes that means the manufacturer wants to open another franchise in an area where you’re already operating. This can put a serious financial strain on your business. The good news for dealerships is that Iowa has certain rules regarding where auto dealerships selling the same manufacturer’s vehicles can be placed. As experienced attorneys for car dealerships, we can help defend your rights and help keep your businesses as profitable as possible.
Can you help if I’ve been accused of fraud or other bad business practices by one of my customers?
Car dealerships, especially used car dealerships, often get a bad rap among consumers. From outright fraud and false advertising to failure to disclose damage and false odometer readings, car dealers are often accused of all sorts of bad behavior. Being accused of bad business practices can cost you directly, in the form of a lawsuit, as well as hurt your reputation. Fortunately for you, consumer issues are a major concern for auto dealers and one of the key focus areas for our practice at Arenson Law Group, PC. We have a deep understanding of consumer law and will mount a vigorous defense on your behalf.
Talk to an Auto Dealer Lawyer based in Iowa
The lawyers at Arenson Law Group, PC are ready to work for you. We want to ensure that your business is not facing legal hurdles that could easily be prevented or taken care of. Your focus is your business, not the law. Time and time again, it has been proven that a lawyer can significantly increase your chance of a favorable outcome. Let us work to make sure you and your business are protected.
If you currently own an auto dealership in Iowa, Wisconsin, or Minnesota, or are considering opening one, the lawyers at Arenson Law Group, PC have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you with all your legal needs. Our head attorney, James Arenson, has personal experience with auto dealerships, and associate John Hofmeyer can assist you if you live in Wisconsin or Minnesota. Call (319) 363-8199 to discuss your needs with us and get the support you need.
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Written by James H. ArensonLast Updated : October 26, 2023