Automotive Dealers

Sands Anderson can provide complete and thorough guidance to dealers, business owners, and executives in the motor vehicle business industry. We understand that your industry is complex and comprises one of the largest economic sectors in the country. As such, we work within our collaborative community to make sure we support your legal needs with strength and talent.

Because the automotive industry is vast, we tailor our legal counsel to each client’s specific goals. We root our approach in a deep understanding of the way laws affect motor vehicle dealers and the people who work with them. From the boardroom to the sales floor and, when necessary, in the courtroom, our team of automotive attorneys support their clients with care and forethought.

Administrative Agency and Governmental Relations

Our attorneys across multiple practice areas have successfully represented automotive dealers before the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board, often in cases of first impression. We also lobby on behalf of our clients before legislators and the executive branch of government, as well as regulatory agencies including:

  • State Corporation Commission
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer Board

Business Financing, Formation, and Structure

No matter your business objectives, we can tailor our legal support to help your dealership come out ahead. We articulate and clarify the benefits and limitations of business structures, as well as craft and review complex contracts including:

  • Financing Agreements
  • Partnership and Shareholder Documents
  • Corporate Restructuring
  • Contracts for Business Sale or Purchase

Sands Anderson attorneys have also devised innovative operational funding strategies and financial instruments, and helped negotiate the sale of partial ownerships and entire companies. Our breadth of resources further allows us to offer guidance for automotive dealers in other business transactions, such as:

Dealer Franchise Law Issues

With in-depth knowledge of dealers and trade groups, we help clients navigate a variety of arrangements between manufacturers and dealers, including:

  • Franchise Relationships
  • Franchise System Acquisitions
  • Dealerships
  • Manufacturing
  • Franchise Law Compliance
  • Dealer’s Rights
  • Licensing Agreements
  • Site Control
  • Due Diligence


As experienced courtroom litigators, we’ve successfully defended a variety of companies against claims under laws such as:

  • Equal Credit Opportunity
  • Fair Credit Reporting
  • Fair Debt Collection
  • Truth in Lending

We’ve also guided clients through a host of civil actions including:

  • Insurance Claims
  • Employment Disputes
  • Directors and Officers Liability
  • Sarbanes-Oxley
  • Misrepresentation

Our team provides efficient, cost-effective, and principled support handling cases involving millions of documents and hundreds of witnesses. We help navigate complex legal issues with confidence so our clients can look forward with ease.

Employment and Labor

Our extensive experience helps guide clients through employment counseling and litigation, as well as employee benefits matters. Our manufacturer and dealer clients regularly consult with us on legal needs such as:

  • Employment Contracts
  • Employee Handbooks and Personnel Policies
  • Grievances
  • Harassment
  • Non-Compete Agreements
  • Regulatory Compliance (ADA, FMLA, OSHA, etc.)
  • Termination

Our attorneys also guide employers through employee benefit plans including retirement, health, dependent care, and other cafeteria-style- and compensation plans for executives and staff.

Estate Planning and Succession Planning

Our attorneys regularly collaborate with our Estate Planning practice to provide thorough guidance in a variety of issues including:

  • Wealth Accumulation and Protection
  • Succession Planning
  • Estate Management
  • Trust Administration

Whether your business is yours alone or family-owned, a partnership or corporation, we can help you apply best practices to ensure your financial security.

Land Use and Zoning

With long-standing and extensive local government experience, we can confidently guide automotive dealers through zoning and land development issues. On behalf of our clients, we have worked with a variety of regulatory and legislative bodies at the local and state levels including:

  • Municipal Authorities
  • Planning Commissions
  • Zoning Commissions
  • Board of Supervisors

Our proficiency in the operations of local governments allows us to help clients navigate permitting and decision processes with ease and clarity. We’ve handled a wide-range of legal needs, such as:

  • Condemnation
  • Eminent Domain
  • Environmental Assessment and Compliance
  • Rezoning
  • Zoning Ordinance Interpretation

Insurance Coverage, Product Liability, and Risk Management

For clients in the automotive dealers industry, we can further counsel them on a variety of first party and third party claims including:

  • Life Coverage
  • Health Coverage
  • Disability Coverage
  • Officer and Director Liability
  • Garage Owner’s Liability Policies
  • Product Liability
  • Warranty Claims
  • Insurance Coverage Obligations
  • Duties to Defend Insureds
  • Management of Insurance Coverage Litigation

No matter your unique legal need, we can help you look forward, stay on track, and come out ahead.


For those seeking legal guidance on taxation details, we can advise you on a variety of legal obligations and options including:

  • Local, State, or Federal tax
  • Sales Tax
  • Property Tax
  • Business Licensing
  • Revenue
  • Capital Gains Tax Issues

In addition, we can consult on the tax obligations for owners and executives in the following areas:

  • Implementation and Fulfillment of Stock Option Plans
  • Repurchase Plans
  • Buyouts
  • Mergers and Asset Sales
  • Operations Acquisitions

Alternative Dispute Resolution

As accomplished and resilient litigators, our attorneys also have significant experience in both mediation and arbitration. We seek proactive and creative solutions to resolve disputes and support our clients’ success without a court appearance, whenever possible.


With in-depth experience as general counsel to sales organizations and trade associations, we understand the competitive and regulatory environment in which motor vehicle dealers, suppliers, and independents operate. We can adeptly guide clients through a variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Market Operations and Competition
  • Pricing
  • Contracts
  • Due Diligence


Our team has helped owners of racetracks and racing teams look forward, stay on track, and come out ahead. We’ve consulted property owners, manufacturers, teams, and drivers on a variety of legal responsibilities, including:

  • Negotiating Financing for Vehicles
  • Land Use and Economic Development Initiatives
  • Construction
  • Large Commercial Real Estate Transactions
  • Licensing
  • Sponsor Development
  • Trademark Protection

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