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Central America 2016: Franchise & Distribution

Franchise is a popular business model in Central America. The most populous franchise systems are fast food, full-service restaurants and car rental companies. As well as home grown franchises, Central America sees many US brands and European concepts.

Following the CAFTA and the improved investment climate throughout the region, the franchising sector is expanding at a strong rate. The agreement has provided improved trademark protection and lowered the cost of importing equipment. 

In Costa Rica – often considered the business hub for Central America – there are 278 registered franchises, 78 per cent of which are foreign brands and 22 per cent are Costa Rican. Guatemala, with the region’s largest population, has also been a popular destination for foreign brands and domestic brands to set up operations. 

Costa Rica

Pedro Muñoz, one of the founding partners of Arias & Muñoz, is a “highly capable” lawyer who has a “hands-on approach” to dealing with client matters.

Facio & Cañas’ Sergio Solera is noted for his franchise and cross-border expertise. He is a “talented” individual who “always puts the clients’ needs first”.

At BLP, Carolina Trejos has an “excellent track record” assisting clients in setting up business. She is “commercially astute” and “in high demand”.

El Salvador

Romero Pineda & Asociados’ vice president José Roberto Romero has extensive experience in franchising and IP. He assists clients across a broad range of industries from entertainment to food and beverages.

Guatemala

Rafael Alvarado Riedel at Consortium Legal is a “go-to” lawyer for foreign investment matters. His franchise and distribution expertise is considered “second to none”.

At Aguilar Castillo Love, Francisco José Castillo-Love is a “renowned player in the Guatemalan bar”. He is “internationally recognised” for his franchising expertise.

Claudia Pereira Rivera at Mayora & Mayora brings a “strong corporate outlook” to her clients in the franchising sector. She provides “no-nonsense advice” and is “incredibly dedicated”.

Honduras

Ricardo Mejia at Bufete Mejia & Asociados brings knowledge and experience in IP and advertising to his franchise clients. He is lauded for being “dynamic and resourceful”.

Consortium Legal’s José Rafael Rivera Ferrari is a well-known and highly regarded lawyer. He has vast experience in contentious matters and uses his experience to help clients avoid disputes.

Nicaragua

Gloria Maria de Alvarado at Alvarado y Asociados is a “seasoned practitioner” who provides “sensible and pragmatic advice” to clients in the franchising sector.

Panama

At Fábrega Molino & Mulino, José Agustín Preciado Miro is a “distinguished” lawyer with experience in franchise law. He is a “trusted adviser” and as such is “highly sought after”.

Alemán Cordero Galindo & Lee’s Cristina de Alba garners praise for her “first-rate work” and “excellent attention to detail”.

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W11 1QQ, UK