Hotel Licensing

By R. Britton Colbert, CHA, CHIA

The hotel License Agreement and the Licensor’s Franchise Disclosure Document provide the foundation of hotel licensing. Selected key provisions of the hotel license agreement include: a) Obligations of the parties, b) Establishment and acknowledgement by the parties of System procedures, brand standards, including design and construction, and c) Relationship of the parties.

The License Agreement provides the authority for the enforcement of the preceding elements and the expectation that the brand standards and the standard operating procedures will be met by all parties without exception.

Many hotel disputes and much litigation emanate from the failure of the parties to fully comply with the license terms as well as with the operating standards. Many expert witness case assignments involved a number of these hotel license issues.

R. Britton Colbert has 35+ years of hotel industry experience, including direct operating responsibility for nine hotels in California, Washington, Illinois and Texas. He has consulted or testified in federal, state, municipal courts and for the Baltimore Police Commission. Frequent matters include franchise issues, wrongful death from fire, drowning, shooting incidents, and assaults, as well as accounting/financial and condemnation matters for the hotel industry. Mr. Colbert currently holds a real estate license from California, and the CHA and CHIA certifications from the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.