Lynne M. Hanson

Lynne’s practice concentrates on franchising and distribution regulatory law, and she has represented franchisors in business, trademark, regulatory, and transactional matters for more than 20 years. Lynne has worked with dozens of franchise systems, many of which she represents in the capacity of outside general counsel. Her work spans clients of all sizes and across many industries, including product and service retail, home care, restaurant, healthcare, and fitness, both in the United States and internationally.

Outside General Counsel

In her practice, Lynne works closely with franchisors, providing guidance on the day-to-day operation of their businesses, frequently serving as “outside general counsel” for clients that do not have in-house counsel, establishing and implementing new operational programs, and advising on a wide variety of legal issues, including regulatory compliance and intellectual property matters. She counsels franchise sales departments on disclosure issues and guides franchisors through default, termination, and dispute resolution processes, in addition to preparing franchise disclosure documents and franchise agreements, and preparing financial performance representations (FPRs, or earnings claims). She also guides franchisors through the process of registering disclosure documents in applicable states and preparing disclosure documentation for expansion into other countries.

Mergers and Acquisitions and Finance

Lynne counsels franchisors in the due diligence review process, the purchase and sale of the entire franchise system, and mergers of competing franchise systems. She handles the acquisition of franchised businesses by franchisors and the resale of those businesses to new franchisees. Lynne also advises private equity investors interested in expanding their portfolios through investments in the franchise industry and has headed up due diligence for more than a dozen private equity funds purchasing franchise systems.


New and Emerging Franchises

Lynne regularly counsels new and emerging franchise companies in the development of business structures that facilitate healthy and regular growth. She counsels clients on entity formation and structure, and writes franchise disclosure documents, franchise agreements, and all related documents, paving the way for a business to grow from a handful of locations to a national or international franchise system. During her tenure, she has helped many franchise clients grow from one location to as many as hundreds of locations in the United States and internationally. Also, she has counseled clients on how to avoid being characterized as a “franchise” under federal and state laws.

Intellectual Property

Lynne helps franchisors realize the full value of one of their most valuable assets, their intellectual property. Through evaluating, monitoring, protecting, and defending trademarks, she helps clients avoid infringement and maintain brand integrity.

International Expansion

Lynne has extensive experience in helping franchisors expand internationally, guiding them through all stages of developing legally compliant international franchise programs. She works closely with franchisors to navigate complex international laws and has assisted clients expand into Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, the Middle East, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, and beyond.

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

Lynne serves as President of the Board of the Women’s Franchise Network Denver Chapter, a network of business professionals dedicated to strengthening the success of women in franchising, sponsored by the International Franchise Association. In addition, Lynne is a supporter of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, a non-profit dedicated to creating more pathways to economic security for Colorado Women.


  • J.D., University of Colorado
  • B.A., Carleton College

Areas Of Practice

Our business and finance attorneys represent national, regional and local clients participating in significant transactions.


  • Best Lawyers®, Franchise Law, 2019-2024
  • Colorado Super Lawyer, Franchise/Dealership, 2021-2024
  • Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year, Franchise Law, 2021
  • Franchise Times Legal Eagle, 2016-2020

Articles and Presentations

  • Author, “Franchise Registration States Move to Adopt NASAA’s Prohibitions on Disclaimers,” Firm Blog, February 2023
  • Author, “Pandemic-Driven Consumer Demands Are Changing Franchise Models in 2022,” Franchise Update, January 2022
  • Author, “What to Expect in the Franchise Sector,” ColoradoBiz, August 2021
  • Co-author, “Updating Your FDD – What to Consider,” QSR Magazine, April 2021
  • Presenter, “FDD Drafting in 2021,” Women’s Franchise Network, March 2021
  • Co-author, “What Franchisors Need to Know about NASAA’s Recent Commentary on Item 19,” Franchise Update, July 2020
  • Presenter, “Getting Coloradoans Back to Work,” Firm Webinar, May 2020
  • Co-author, “Franchise Disclosure Document State Extensions,” QSR Magazine, April 2020
  • Quoted, “Open Dialogue Helps Emerging Brands Avoid the Courtroom,” Franchise Times, March 2020
  • Moderator, “Expand Your Brand,” Franchise Business Network and Women’s Franchise Network, November 2019
  • Author, “Women in Franchising: The top three things franchisors look for in a franchisee, and why women make excellent franchisee candidates,” Franchising Today, April 2019
  • Presenter, “Updating Your Franchise Disclosure Document,” Women’s Franchise Network, March 2019
  • Moderator, “How to Avoid a Data Breach and Stay Out of the Headlines,” Women’s Franchise Network, August 2018
  • Moderator, “Updating Your Franchise Disclosure Document,” Women’s Franchise Network, February 2018
  • Moderator, “State of Franchising in Colorado,” Women’s Franchise Network, August 2017
  • Presenter, “Advising New and Emerging Franchisors on Their Journey to the Next Level,” International Franchise Association Legal Symposium, May 2016
  • Co-author, “Advising New and Emerging Franchisors on Their Journey to the Next Level (Legal Hurdles and Opportunities),” International Franchise Association Legal Symposium, May 2016
  • Co-author, “The New Federal Gift Card Regulations,” ABA’s Franchise Law Journal, Winter 2011
  • Co-author, “Federal District Court Case Involving Classification of Franchisees Raises Concerns,” Shopping Center Legal Update, Fall/Winter 2010
  • Author, “Disclosure Changes,” American Bar Association’s The FTC Franchise Rule, 2008
  • Author, “What is an Earnings Claim?,” American Bar Association’s Earning Claims, 2007
  • Co-author, “Alternative Distribution Arrangements,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2003
  • Co-author, “Annual Judicial & Legislative Update,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2001
  • Presenter, “Developing a Franchise Program for a Franchisor,” Franchise Law, CLE International, 2000

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising; Business Law Section
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • President of the Board, 2018 – Present, Denver Chapter of the Women’s Franchise Network
  • Women’s Foundation of Colorado


  • Colorado