Florida Senate - 2017                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 750
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  04/05/2017           .                                

       The Committee on Regulated Industries (Latvala) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 686.101, Florida Statutes, is created to
    6  read:
    7         686.101Short title.—Sections 686.101-686.113 may be cited
    8  as the “Protect Florida Small Business Act.”
    9         Section 2. Section 686.102, Florida Statutes, is created to
   10  read:
   11         686.102Legislative findings and intent; construction.—
   12         (1)The Legislature finds that the welfare of franchisees,
   13  including the success and failure of their franchise businesses,
   14  greatly affects the general economy of this state, the public
   15  interest, and the public welfare. The intent of the Legislature
   16  is to promote fair business relations between franchisees and
   17  franchisors and to protect franchisees against unfair treatment
   18  by franchisors. Therefore, it is necessary to regulate the
   19  conduct of franchisors and their representatives in order to
   20  prevent fraud, unfair business practices, unfair methods of
   21  competition, impositions, and other abuses upon franchisees in
   22  this state.
   23         (2)In order to promote the intention and policies in this
   24  section, the provisions of this act shall be liberally
   25  construed.
   26         Section 3. Section 686.103, Florida Statutes, is created to
   27  read:
   28         686.103Definitions.—As used in this act, the term:
   29         (1)“Affiliate” means a person controlling, controlled by,
   30  or under common control with another person or, in the case of a
   31  business entity, such entity’s officer, director, or other
   32  person in control of the activities of such entity.
   33         (2)“Area franchise” means a contract or agreement,
   34  expressed or implied, written or oral, regardless of whether the
   35  contract or agreement is designated as a franchise, permit,
   36  license, resolution, contract, certificate, agreement, or
   37  otherwise, between a franchisor and another person through which
   38  that person is granted the right, for consideration in whole or
   39  in part:
   40         (a)To sell or negotiate the sale of a franchise in the
   41  name or on behalf of the franchisor; or
   42         (b)To become an area developer and develop a franchise for
   43  the benefit of that person or that person’s affiliates.
   44         (3)“Area franchisee” means the owner of an area franchise.
   45         (4)(a)“Franchise” or “franchise agreement” means a
   46  contract or agreement, expressed or implied, written or oral,
   47  regardless of whether the contract or agreement is designated as
   48  a franchise, permit, license, resolution, contract, certificate,
   49  agreement, or otherwise, for a definite or indefinite time,
   50  between two or more persons by which:
   51         1.A franchisee is granted the right to engage in the
   52  business of offering, selling, or distributing goods or services
   53  under a marketing plan or system prescribed in substantial part
   54  by a franchisor;
   55         2.The operation of the franchise business pursuant to that
   56  marketing plan or system is substantially associated with the
   57  franchisor’s trademark, service mark, trade name, logotype,
   58  advertising, or other commercial symbol designating the
   59  franchisor or its affiliate; and
   60         3.The franchisee is required to pay, directly or
   61  indirectly, a franchise fee.
   62         (b)The term “franchise” or “franchise agreement” includes
   63  an area franchise.
   64         (c)The term “franchise” or “franchise agreement” does not
   65  include any of the following:
   66         1.A franchise governed by the Agricultural Equipment
   67  Manufacturers and Dealers Act.
   68         2.Any activity governed by ss. 686.501-686.506.
   69         3.A franchise governed by the Outdoor Power Equipment
   70  Manufacturers, Distributors, Wholesalers, and Servicing Dealers
   71  Act.
   72         4.A motor vehicle franchise or agreement governed by ss.
   73  320.3201-320.3211 or ss. 320.60-320.70.
   74         5.A business relationship between a beer distributor and a
   75  manufacturer governed by s. 563.022.
   76         6.A professional sports franchise as described in s.
   77  288.11625(2)(c).
   78         (5)“Franchise business” means a business unit that is
   79  owned or operated by a franchisee and that is subject to a
   80  marketing plan or system prescribed by the franchise.
   81         (6)“Franchise fee” means a fee or charge greater than $100
   82  annually which a franchisee is required to pay or agrees to pay,
   83  directly or indirectly, to the franchisor for the right to enter
   84  into or continue a franchise, including, but not limited to, a
   85  payment for goods or services. However, a fee or charge that a
   86  franchisee pays or agrees to pay the franchisor for goods at a
   87  bona fide wholesale price if no obligation is imposed upon the
   88  franchisee to purchase or pay for a quantity of goods in excess
   89  of that which a reasonable person normally would purchase by way
   90  of a starting inventory or supply or to maintain an ongoing
   91  inventory or supply is not considered a franchise fee.
   92         (7)“Franchisee” means a person to whom a franchise is
   93  offered or granted.
   94         (8)“Franchisor” means a person who grants a franchise to a
   95  franchisee.
   96         (9)“Fraud” means and includes actual fraud or constructive
   97  fraud as normally defined, in addition to the following:
   98         (a)A misrepresentation in any manner, whether
   99  intentionally false or arising from negligence, of a material
  100  fact.
  101         (b)A promise or representation not made honestly and in
  102  good faith.
  103         (c)An intentional failure to disclose a material fact.
  104         (d)Any artifice employed to deceive another.
  105         (10)“Person” means a natural person, corporation, limited
  106  liability company, association, partnership, trust, or other
  107  business entity and, in the case of a business entity, includes
  108  any other affiliate of such entity.
  109         (11)“Sale” means and includes the issuance, transfer,
  110  agreement for transfer, exchange, pledge, hypothecation, or
  111  mortgage in any manner or form, whether by transfer in trust or
  112  otherwise, of any goods or interest therein, or of any franchise
  113  related thereto, for a consideration, and any option,
  114  subscription or other contract, or solicitation, looking to a
  115  sale, or offer or attempt to sell in any form, whether in
  116  written or oral form, for a consideration.
  117         Section 4. Section 686.104, Florida Statutes, is created to
  118  read:
  119         686.104Termination or nonrenewal.—
  120         (1)Except as otherwise provided in this act, a franchisor
  121  may not terminate or refuse to renew a franchise except for good
  122  cause. The termination or nonrenewal of a franchise without good
  123  cause constitutes an unfair termination. Except as provided in
  124  subsection (2), good cause is limited to the failure of the
  125  franchisee to substantially comply with the reasonable and
  126  material requirements imposed upon the franchisee by the
  127  franchise agreement after being given notice at least 90 days in
  128  advance of the termination and a reasonable opportunity, which
  129  may not be less than 60 days after the date of the notice of
  130  noncompliance, to cure the failure. If the franchisee cures the
  131  failure within the time given to cure, the termination notice is
  132  void.
  133         (2)A franchisor may give to a franchisee an immediate
  134  notice of termination without an opportunity to cure if, during
  135  the period in which the franchise is in effect, any one of the
  136  following events relevant to the franchise occurs:
  137         (a)The franchisee has been judicially determined to be
  138  insolvent, has had all or a substantial part of its assets
  139  assigned to or for the benefit of any creditor, or has admitted
  140  its inability to pay its debts as they come due.
  141         (b)The franchisee abandons, by failing to operate, the
  142  franchise business for 10 consecutive days during which, under
  143  the terms of the franchise, the franchisee is required to
  144  operate the franchise business unless such failure to operate is
  145  due to an act of God; a work stoppage; a strike or labor
  146  difficulty; a fire, flood, hurricane, or sinkhole; or other
  147  causes beyond the franchisee’s control.
  148         (c)The franchisor and franchisee, within 30 days after
  149  termination or nonrenewal, agree in writing to terminate the
  150  franchise.
  151         (d)The franchisee fails, for a period of 10 days after a
  152  notice of noncompliance, to comply with any federal, state, or
  153  local law or regulation, including, but not limited to, any
  154  health, safety, building, and labor law or regulation applicable
  155  to the operation of the franchise.
  156         (e)A levy of execution has been made on the license
  157  granted by the franchise or on a property used in the franchise
  158  business and is not discharged within 5 days after such levy.
  159         (f)The franchisee is convicted of a felony that
  160  significantly, directly, and adversely affects the operation of
  161  the franchise business.
  162         (g)The franchisor makes a reasonable determination that
  163  continued operation of the franchise business by the franchisee
  164  will result in imminent and substantial danger to public health
  165  or safety.
  166         Section 5. Section 686.105, Florida Statutes, is created to
  167  read:
  168         686.105Expiration.—
  169         (1)A franchise agreement, regardless of its stated term of
  170  years, is deemed to be continuing unless the franchisor has
  171  complied with subsections (2) and (3).
  172         (2)A franchisor must provide written notice to the
  173  franchisee of the franchisor’s intent not to extend the
  174  agreement beyond its expiration date at least 180 days before
  175  the expiration date unless:
  176         (a)Termination of the franchise agreement is authorized
  177  under s. 686.104;
  178         (b)The franchisor and franchisee agree, before the
  179  agreement’s expiration, in writing not to extend the franchise;
  180  or
  181         (c)The franchisor completely withdraws from directly or
  182  indirectly distributing its products or services in the
  183  geographic market then being served by the franchisee.
  184         (3)The franchisor may permit the franchise agreement to
  185  expire if the franchisor provides written notice 180 days before
  186  the agreement’s expiration, the franchisor agrees not to enforce
  187  any covenant against the franchisee not to compete with the
  188  franchisor or with other franchisees of the franchisor, and the
  189  nonrenewal of the franchise is not for the purpose of converting
  190  the franchise business to operation by an affiliate, employee,
  191  or agent of the franchisor.
  192         (4)As a condition of an extension of the franchise
  193  agreement, the franchisor may require that the franchisee meet
  194  the reasonable qualifications for new franchisees existing at
  195  the time of extension and that the franchisee execute a new
  196  franchise agreement incorporating terms and fees existing for
  197  new franchises at the time of extension.
  198         Section 6. Section 686.106, Florida Statutes, is created to
  199  read:
  200         686.106Sales, transfers, and assignments.—
  201         (1)A franchisor may not deny the surviving spouse, heir,
  202  or estate of a deceased franchisee or of the person controlling
  203  a majority interest in the franchisee the opportunity to
  204  participate in the ownership of the franchise or franchise
  205  business under a valid franchise agreement for at least 180 days
  206  after the death of the franchisee or person controlling a
  207  majority interest in the franchisee. During that time, the
  208  surviving spouse, heir, or estate of the deceased must either
  209  meet all of the existing reasonable qualifications for a
  210  purchaser of a franchise or must sell, transfer, or assign the
  211  franchise to a person who meets the franchisor’s existing
  212  reasonable qualifications for new franchisees. The rights
  213  granted to the surviving spouse, heir, or estate under this
  214  section are granted subject to the surviving spouse, heir, or
  215  estate of the deceased maintaining all standards and obligations
  216  of the franchise.
  217         (2)(a)A franchisee may sell, transfer, or assign a
  218  franchise, all or substantially all of the assets of the
  219  franchise business, or an interest in the franchisee with the
  220  prior written consent of the franchisor. The franchisor’s
  221  consent may not be withheld unless the purchaser, transferee, or
  222  assignee does not meet the qualifications for new or renewing
  223  franchisees described in paragraph (b) or the franchisee and the
  224  purchaser, transferee, or assignee fail to comply with other
  225  reasonable transfer conditions specified in the franchise
  226  agreement.
  227         (b)A franchisor may not prevent a franchisee from selling,
  228  transferring, or assigning a franchise, all or substantially all
  229  of the assets of the franchise business, or an interest in the
  230  franchisee to another person if the other person meets the
  231  franchisor’s reasonable qualifications for the approval of new
  232  or renewing franchises in effect at the time the franchisor
  233  receives notice of the proposed sale, transfer, or assignment.
  234         (3)(a)To invoke the protections under this section, a
  235  franchisee must, before the sale, transfer, or assignment of a
  236  franchise, all or substantially all of the assets of the
  237  franchise business, or an interest in the franchisee, notify the
  238  franchisor in writing of the franchisee’s intent to sell,
  239  transfer, or assign.
  240         (b)The franchisor shall, within 60 days after receipt of
  241  all of the written notice or any shorter period required by the
  242  franchise agreement, notify the franchisee of the approval or
  243  disapproval of the proposed sale, transfer, or assignment. If
  244  the proposed sale, transfer, or assignment is disapproved, the
  245  franchisor must include in the notice of disapproval a statement
  246  specifying the reasons for the disapproval. A proposed sale,
  247  transfer, or assignment is deemed approved unless disapproved by
  248  the franchisor in the manner provided in this paragraph.
  249         (4)This section does not prohibit a franchisor from
  250  exercising the contractual right of first refusal to purchase a
  251  franchise, all or substantially all of the assets of a franchise
  252  business, or an interest in a franchisee after receipt of a bona
  253  fide offer from a proposed seller to purchase the franchise,
  254  assets, or interest. A franchisor exercising the contractual
  255  right of first refusal shall offer the seller payment at least
  256  equal to the value offered in the bona fide offer.
  257         Section 7. Section 686.107, Florida Statutes, is created to
  258  read:
  259         686.107Repurchase of inventory upon termination,
  260  nonrenewal, or expiration of a franchise agreement.—
  261         (1)(a)A franchisee must have the opportunity to monetize
  262  any equity that the franchisee may have developed in the
  263  franchise business before the termination, nonrenewal, or
  264  expiration of the franchise agreement. Equity in the
  265  franchisor’s intellectual property is not transferred to the
  266  franchisee, however. Therefore, upon termination, nonrenewal, or
  267  expiration of a franchise agreement, a franchisor must, if the
  268  franchisee requests it, repurchase at fair market value the
  269  inventory, supplies, goods, fixtures, equipment, and furnishings
  270  of the franchise business. The franchisor must also either
  271  purchase the goodwill of the franchise business or waive any and
  272  all noncompete obligations of the franchisee so that the
  273  franchisee may, at its option, continue in business.
  274         (b)This section does not apply if the franchisee declines
  275  a bona fide offer of renewal from the franchisor which is
  276  consistent with s. 686.105 and the franchise agreement between
  277  the franchisor and franchisee.
  278         (c)This section does not apply if the franchisor and
  279  franchisee agree in writing within 30 days of the termination,
  280  nonrenewal, or expiration of the franchise to terminate or not
  281  renew the franchise, or to allow the franchise to expire.
  282         (d)This section does not apply to inventory, supplies,
  283  goods, fixtures, equipment, or furnishings sold by the
  284  franchisee between the date of the notice of termination,
  285  nonrenewal, or expiration and the date the franchisee ceases to
  286  operate the franchise business pursuant to a termination,
  287  nonrenewal, or expiration.
  288         (2)If a franchisor fails or refuses to repurchase any
  289  inventory, supplies, goods, fixtures, equipment, good will, or
  290  furnishings required to be repurchased under subsection (1)
  291  within 60 days after the termination, nonrenewal, or expiration
  292  of a franchise, the franchisor is civilly liable for the entire
  293  value of the inventory, supplies, goods, fixtures, equipment,
  294  good will, and furnishings required to be repurchased under
  295  subsection (1), plus the franchisee’s reasonable attorney fees,
  296  court costs, and interest on the inventory, supplies, goods,
  297  fixtures, equipment, good will, and furnishings computed at the
  298  legal interest rate provided in s. 687.01 from the 61st day
  299  after termination.
  300         Section 8. Section 686.108, Florida Statutes, is created to
  301  read:
  302         686.108Rights and prohibitions.—The following rights and
  303  prohibitions govern the relations between a franchisor or
  304  subfranchisor and its franchisee:
  305         (1)The parties shall deal with each other in good faith
  306  and in a commercially reasonable manner.
  307         (2)A person may not, during the selling or establishing of
  308  a franchise, intentionally misrepresent or fail to disclose:
  309         (a)The prospects or chances for success of the proposed or
  310  existing franchise;
  311         (b)The known required total investment for such franchise;
  312  or
  313         (c)Any effort to sell or establish more franchises than is
  314  reasonable to expect the market or market area for the
  315  particular franchise to sustain.
  316         (3)It is prohibited and deemed an unfair and deceptive act
  317  or practice, or an unfair method of competition, and a violation
  318  of this section for a franchisor or subfranchisor, or an
  319  officer, agent, employee, or other representative thereof to
  320  directly or indirectly:
  321         (a)Terminate or fail to renew a franchise agreement in
  322  violation of this act;
  323         (b)Allow a franchise agreement to expire without complying
  324  with this act;
  325         (c)Fail to repurchase inventory, supplies, goods,
  326  fixtures, equipment, good will, and furnishings in violation of
  327  s. 686.107;
  328         (d)Prevent a sale, transfer, or assignment of a franchise
  329  in violation of s. 686.106;
  330         (e)Violate the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade
  331  Practices Act in connection with its business as a franchisor,
  332  or an officer, agent, or other representative thereof;
  333         (f)Resort to or use false or misleading advertising in
  334  connection with its business as a franchisor, or an officer,
  335  agent, or other representative thereof;
  336         (g)Without prior written disclosure to a franchisee,
  337  obtain vendor rebates, kickbacks, or other similar payments from
  338  another person with whom the franchisee does business or employs
  339  on account of or in relation to the transactions between the
  340  franchisee, the franchisor, and the other person;
  341         (h)Require a franchisee to assent to a release,
  342  assignment, novation, waiver, or estoppel that would relieve any
  343  person from liability imposed under this act, including, but not
  344  limited to, through the use of a disclaimer or checklist
  345  designed to avoid a protection under this act;
  346         (i)Require a franchisee to assent to the use of a choice
  347  of law provision by selecting a different state’s law to govern
  348  the relationship of the parties;
  349         (j)Restrict or inhibit, directly or indirectly, the right
  350  of a franchisee to join a franchisee association or the free
  351  association for any lawful purpose among franchisees;
  352         (k)Impose upon a franchisee, by contract or rule, written
  353  or oral, any unreasonable standard of conduct; or
  354         (l)Require a franchisee to waive its rights to a jury
  355  trial or waive any procedure or remedy otherwise available in
  356  this state, however, a binding arbitration clause is enforceable
  357  if it complies with s. 686.111.
  358         (4)A person who executes or carries out a scheme, plan, or
  359  organization that violates any provision of this section, if
  360  knowledge or intent is proved, commits a misdemeanor of the
  361  second degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and
  362  775.083.
  363         (5)A person who shows in a civil court of law a violation
  364  of this section is entitled to the remedies in s. 686.112.
  365         (6)The Department of Legal Affairs, by itself or jointly
  366  with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, may
  367  sue on behalf of the people of this state for injunctive relief
  368  against any franchisor plan or activity that is in violation of
  369  this act.
  370         Section 9. Section 686.109, Florida Statutes, is created to
  371  read:
  372         686.109Unenforceable franchise agreement or other contract
  373  or part thereof.—A franchise agreement or other contract, a part
  374  thereof, or practice thereunder which is in violation of any
  375  provision of this act is deemed against public policy and is
  376  void and unenforceable. An aggrieved party at its option may
  377  choose to seek to void only the portion of the agreement that is
  378  unenforceable and continue to enforce the remainder of the
  379  agreement.
  380         Section 10. Section 686.110, Florida Statutes, is created
  381  to read:
  382         686.110Venue; choice of law.—
  383         (1)A provision in a franchise agreement restricting the
  384  venue to a forum outside of this state or selecting the law of
  385  any other state or jurisdiction other than Florida is void with
  386  respect to any claim arising under or relating to a franchise
  387  agreement involving a franchisee that was, at the time of
  388  signing, a resident of this state or a business entity
  389  established in this state or involving a franchise business
  390  either operating or planning to be operated in this state.
  391         (2)An agreement between a franchisor based in this state
  392  and a franchisee that was not, at the time of signing, a
  393  resident of this state or a business entity established in this
  394  state or involving a franchise business either operating or
  395  planning to be operated in this state is not subject to this
  396  act, regardless of whether the franchise agreement contains a
  397  choice of law provision selecting this state.
  398         Section 11. Section 686.111, Florida Statutes, is created
  399  to read:
  400         686.111Arbitration.—This act does not limit the right of a
  401  franchisor and franchisee to agree, before or after a dispute
  402  arises, to binding arbitration to settle a claim under this act
  403  if:
  404         (1)The standards applied and the remedies available in the
  405  arbitration are not less than the requirements specified in this
  406  act; and
  407         (2)Each arbitrator employed is chosen from a list of
  408  impartial arbitrators provided by the American Arbitration
  409  Association or is any other impartial person.
  410         Section 12. Section 686.112, Florida Statutes, is created
  411  to read:
  412         686.112Remedies.—
  413         (1)If a franchisor terminates, fails to renew, or allows a
  414  franchise to expire in violation of this act, the franchisee is
  415  entitled to receive from the franchisor the fair market value of
  416  the franchise business and franchise assets in addition to any
  417  other damage caused by the violation.
  418         (2)In addition to any relief specified in this act, any
  419  person aggrieved or injured in his or her business or property
  420  by any violation of this act may bring an action in the
  421  appropriate state or federal court of this state and shall
  422  recover the damages sustained and the costs of such action,
  423  including reasonable attorney fees.
  424         (3)Without regard and in addition to any other remedy or
  425  relief to which a person is entitled, any person aggrieved by a
  426  violation of this act may bring an action to obtain a
  427  declaratory judgment stating that an action or a practice
  428  violates these sections and may obtain injunctive relief
  429  enjoining a franchisor that has violated, is violating, or is
  430  otherwise likely to violate these sections from committing the
  431  violation.
  432         (4)In an action for monetary damages, if a judge or jury
  433  finds that the franchisor acted maliciously, the judge or jury
  434  may award punitive damages as authorized by state law.
  435         (5)The Department of Legal Affairs or the state attorney
  436  may bring an action for injunctive relief or other appropriate
  437  civil relief for a violation of this act if the violation occurs
  438  in the judicial circuit of the department or the state attorney,
  439  respectively.
  440         (6)The remedies provided in this section are in addition
  441  to any other remedies provided by law or in equity, including,
  442  but not limited to, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade
  443  Practices Act.
  444         Section 13. Section 686.113, Florida Statutes, is created
  445  to read:
  446         686.113Applicability.—
  447         (1)Any person or franchisor who engages directly or
  448  indirectly in an agreement or contract within this state in
  449  connection with a franchise, or any franchise whose franchisee
  450  is a resident of this state or is domiciled in this state or
  451  whose franchise business is, has been, or is intended to be
  452  operated in this state, is subject to this act and to the
  453  jurisdiction of the courts of this state, in accordance with the
  454  laws of this state, for violations of this act.
  455         (2)This act applies to:
  456         (a)Any written or oral agreement between a franchisor and
  457  a franchisee, including, but not limited to, a franchise
  458  offering; a franchise agreement; a sale of goods, services, and
  459  advertising; a lease or mortgage of real or personal property; a
  460  promise to pay; a security interest; a pledge; an insurance
  461  contract; an advertising contract; a construction or
  462  installation contract; a servicing contract; and any other
  463  agreement in which the franchisor has a direct or indirect
  464  interest;
  465         (b)Any franchise entered into, renewed, amended, or
  466  revised after the effective date of this act;
  467         (c)Any existing franchise of an indefinite duration which
  468  may be terminated by the franchisee or franchisor without cause;
  469  and
  470         (d)Any existing franchise entered into before the
  471  effective date of this act, only to the extent that this act
  472  does not significantly impair the existing contract rights
  473  between the parties.
  474         (3)This act is supplemental to, and does not preempt,
  475  local ordinances dealing with prohibited or unlawful conduct in
  476  the manufacturing, distribution, wholesaling, advertising, or
  477  sale of goods if such ordinances are not inconsistent with this
  478  act.
  479         (4)This act supersedes s. 817.416 with respect to any
  480  franchisee that signs a franchise agreement on or after the
  481  effective date of this act. Section 817.416 continues to govern
  482  the claims of all franchisees that signed franchise agreements
  483  or were victims of fraud perpetrated before the effective date
  484  of this act, as well as distributors and any other entities,
  485  past, present, or future, which would be covered by s. 817.416,
  486  but not by this act.
  487         Section 14. Subsection (5) is added to section 817.416,
  488  Florida Statutes, to read:
  489         817.416 Franchises and distributorships;
  490  misrepresentations.—
  491         (5)APPLICABILITY.—This section does not apply to a
  492  franchise entered into, renewed, amended, or revised on or after
  493  the effective date of this act. A franchise entered into,
  494  renewed, amended, or revised on or after the effective date of
  495  this act is subject to ss. 686.101-686.113.
  496         Section 15. The Division of Law Revision and Information is
  497  directed to replace the phrase “the effective date of this act”
  498  wherever it occurs in this act with the date the act becomes a
  499  law.
  500         Section 16. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.
  502  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  503  And the title is amended as follows:
  504         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  505  and insert:
  506                        A bill to be entitled                      
  507         An act relating to franchises; creating s. 686.101,
  508         F.S.; providing a short title; creating s. 686.102,
  509         F.S.; providing legislative findings and intent;
  510         providing construction; creating s. 686.103, F.S.;
  511         providing definitions; creating s. 686.104, F.S.;
  512         prohibiting a franchisor from terminating or not
  513         renewing a franchise except under certain
  514         circumstances; providing limitations on what
  515         constitutes good cause; providing that immediate
  516         notice of termination of a franchise for specified
  517         reasons under certain circumstances is reasonable;
  518         creating s. 686.105, F.S.; providing that a franchise
  519         is deemed to be continuing under certain
  520         circumstances; prohibiting a franchisor from allowing
  521         a franchise to expire unless specified criteria have
  522         been met; authorizing a franchisor to require a
  523         franchisee to meet specified requirements; requiring a
  524         franchise and other related agreements to continue in
  525         effect under certain circumstances; creating s.
  526         686.106, F.S.; prohibiting a franchisor from denying
  527         certain persons the opportunity to participate in the
  528         ownership of a franchise for a specified period after
  529         the death of the franchisee or the person controlling
  530         a majority interest; requiring specified persons to
  531         meet certain requirements or to sell, transfer, or
  532         assign the franchise after the death of the franchisee
  533         or the person controlling a majority interest;
  534         authorizing a franchisee to sell, transfer, or assign
  535         a franchise, specified assets, or an interest in the
  536         franchisee under certain circumstances; prohibiting a
  537         franchisor from preventing a franchisee from selling
  538         or transferring a franchise, assets of the franchise
  539         business, or an interest in the franchisee under
  540         certain circumstances; requiring the franchisor to
  541         make available and to apply specified requirements for
  542         the approval of new or renewing franchises under
  543         certain circumstances; requiring a franchisee to
  544         notify a franchisor of certain intent; providing
  545         notice requirements; providing application
  546         requirements for the proposed purchaser, transferee,
  547         or assignee of a franchise, certain assets, or an
  548         interest in the franchisee under certain
  549         circumstances; requiring a franchisor to notify a
  550         franchisee of the approval status of a proposed sale,
  551         assignment, or transfer within a specified timeframe;
  552         providing notice requirements; providing that certain
  553         provisions do not prohibit a franchisor from
  554         exercising a contractual right of first refusal under
  555         certain circumstances; creating s. 686.107, F.S.;
  556         providing that a franchisee must have the opportunity
  557         to monetize certain equity from the franchise business
  558         under certain circumstances; requiring the repurchase
  559         by a franchisor of certain inventory, supplies, goods,
  560         fixtures, equipment, good will, and furnishings upon
  561         termination, nonrenewal, or expiration of a franchise
  562         subject to certain requirements; providing
  563         applicability; providing that a franchisor is civilly
  564         liable for failing or refusing to repurchase certain
  565         inventory, supplies, goods, fixtures, equipment, good
  566         will, and furnishings under specified requirements
  567         upon termination, nonrenewal, or expiration of a
  568         franchise; creating s. 686.108, F.S.; requiring a
  569         franchisor or subfranchisor and a franchisee to deal
  570         with each other in good faith; prohibiting a person
  571         from intentionally misrepresenting or failing to
  572         disclose specified information; providing that certain
  573         actions are deemed unfair and deceptive; providing
  574         that it is a violation of certain provisions for a
  575         franchisor and subfranchisor to restrict or inhibit
  576         specified rights of franchisees; providing that
  577         certain violations constitute a misdemeanor of the
  578         second degree; providing penalties; providing that a
  579         person may be awarded certain damages, attorney fees,
  580         and other costs under specified circumstances;
  581         authorizing the Department of Legal Affairs by itself
  582         or jointly with the Department of Agriculture and
  583         Consumer Services to sue a franchisor on behalf of
  584         certain persons for specified violations; creating s.
  585         686.109, F.S.; providing that a contract or franchise
  586         agreement is void and unenforceable under certain
  587         circumstances; creating s. 686.110, F.S.; providing
  588         that provisions in a franchise agreement which
  589         restrict venue or choice of law are void under certain
  590         circumstances; creating s. 686.111, F.S.; providing
  591         that the rights of a franchisor and franchisee to
  592         agree to binding arbitration are not limited under
  593         certain circumstances; creating s. 686.112, F.S.;
  594         providing remedies for a franchisee or an aggrieved or
  595         injured person under certain circumstances;
  596         authorizing punitive damages under certain
  597         circumstances; authorizing the Department of Legal
  598         Affairs or the state attorney to bring an action for
  599         injunctive relief or other civil relief under certain
  600         circumstances; clarifying that specified remedies are
  601         in addition to existing remedies; creating s. 686.113
  602         F.S.; providing applicability; amending s. 817.416,
  603         F.S.; providing applicability; providing a directive
  604         to the Division of Law Revision and Information;
  605         providing an effective date.