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Harold L. Kestenbaum, Esq. Partner, Spadea Lignana Attorneys at Law

About Harold L. Kestenbaum, Esq.

HAROLD L. KESTENBAUM is an attorney who has specialized in franchise law and other matters relating to franchising since 1977. From May 1982 until September 1986, Harold served as franchise and general counsel to Sbarro, Inc., the national franchisor of over 1,000 family-style Italian restaurants and, was a director from March 1985 to December 2006. From September 1983 to October 1989, he served as President and Chairman of the Board of FranchiseIt Corporation, the first publicly traded company specializing in providing franchise marketing and consulting services and equity financing to emerging franchise companies, which he co-founded. Harold has authored the first book dedicated to the entrepreneur who wants to franchise his/her business called So You Want To Franchise Your Business. It is a step by step guide to what a businessperson needs to know and do to properly roll out a franchise program.

Harold has served as franchise counsel to many regional, national and international franchise companies in many diverse industries. 

Harold's expertise in franchise law is enhanced by his practical experience in serving as the Chief Executive Officer of a national franchisor and in serving as a Director of numerous nationally and internationally known franchisors, experiences that are rare and unique in the area of franchise law.

During the more than 40 years that Harold has been representing franchisors, many have gone on to be wildly successful. For example, one client that started from scratch with Harold, sold out to a private equity company for $35,000,000; another sold out to a private equity company for $30,000,000, also having started with Harold from scratch; another client just did an IPO and raised $45,000,000; one client has sold over 150 franchises in less than two years, also starting with Harold; and another has sold over 1,000 units, also starting with Harold, not to mention Sbarro and their 950 locations. His track record clearly speaks for itself.

Harold's firm was named as one of the top 10 franchise law firms in America as voted by Entrepreneur Magazine.

In May of 2019, Harold merged his successful law firm with the Philadelphia firm, Spadea Lignana, another franchise boutique firm. Harold is now a partner in that firm.

Harold Kestenbaum can be reached at 516-745-0099 or

Recent Posts by Harold L. Kestenbaum, Esq.

Franchising Timing

There is something to be said about timing when considering a business endeavor especially when you are preparing yourself and your business to begin the process of expansion through franchising. You need to be ready, and your prospective franchisees need to be ready, otherwise the outcome of your franchise program can be hit or miss. This isn’t the kind of business endeavor you want to miss.

An Explosion of Opportunity: Companies and Individuals Run Toward Franchising

The past two years have created an economic rollercoaster that caused professionals in all sectors of business to make one decision after another, most of them difficult. Small business owners decided to downsize, adapt, or close their doors. White- and blue-collar workers dealt with cuts in wages or hours, full layoffs, or position changes. Every aspect of business was affected, from staffing to operations to availability of financing. Nothing was easy.

Franchising in 2022: Why Some States See Record Growth and Others Lag Behind

2021 was an exceptionally strong year for franchisors and franchisees; what a comeback they made after two rollercoaster years of uncertainty across all factors on the franchise front. According to FranData and the International Franchise Association’s latest Franchise Outlook, 2022 will be another good year.

Timeline of Franchise Legal Preparation

As businesspeople, we give a lot of thought to time. We think in terms of Q1 through Q4, hours in a week, and when is the best time to do this or that? Regarding launching a franchise, we tend to compare the seasonal aspects of both the franchise industry and the industry in which we are operating, and choose the best time of year to get started. What we don’t often think of – in terms of time – is how long it takes to line up our legal ducks. Let this serve as a reminder that without the legalities, a franchise can’t get off the ground, and nobody has time for that.

Labor Shortages in the Food Services Market: Why Some Franchises are Thriving, and Some Are Not

Franchise owners in the food industry are feeling the brunt of the labor shortage that has plagued businesses, large and small, in a post-pandemic world. Early in the pandemic, restaurants struggled from shutdowns, consumer wariness, and limited capacity restrictions. As those things have improved in recent months, employers have been struck with a new problem – labor shortages.

The Positives of Post Pandemic Franchising

There is no question that the last year has been a challenging one for all business large and small, new and established, franchise and start-up. The forecast for the remaining quarters of 2021 is bright however, especially if you are interested in operating a business within an industry now conditioned to thrive post-pandemic, and specifically if it is a franchised concept.

Three Reasons 2021 is the BEST Time to Franchise Your Business

It seems odd to believe that now would be a good time to expand a business through franchising, considering we are just on the other side of 2020 and all that came with it. However, there is good news to be had for franchisors. Several factors support the idea that 2021 may be the best year yet to franchise a business, here are three of the top reasons to consider.

Three Ways Franchisors Should Pivot Right Now

By Harold Kestenbaum Despite what you might think, now is actually a great time for franchises. Whereas with the 2008 recession, access to funding and financing was extremely limited, the opposite is true now. With low interest rates and many funding programs targeting small businesses, franchisors have the unique opportunity right now to learn how to sell more franchises, despite the upheaval our world seems to be experiencing.

Fair Labor Standards Act Final Joint Employer Decision: Will It Be Good For Franchisors?

It will be good for franchisors beginning March 16, 2020. In fact, it is the ruling that instigated a collective sigh of relief from concerned franchisors nationwide, as all eyes have been on California and the latest joint employer status challenges of the past few years.