Ryan D. Smith
Founder | Peak Franchise Law

Ryan D. Smith is the founder of Peak Franchise Law. The company’s tagline is “Franchising Successful Businesses.” As a franchise and business lawyer, Ryan has done exactly that since 2003. He represents franchise and business clients across the country and internationally in a wide variety of business industries.

  • Nationwide Franchising.
    Ryan is respected for creating clear and compliant Franchise Disclosure Documents and strong and well-organized Franchise Agreements. He has successfully filed many franchise registration and exemption applications in all states that so require. In fact, Ryan has positive, long-standing relationships with many state franchise examiners.
  • International Franchising.
    Ryan’s pre-law education emphasized international economics, and he has significant interest in international franchising. In cooperation with local legal counsel where needed, Ryan has helped franchisor clients expand into multiple foreign jurisdictions, including, but not limited to, Canada, Mexico, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He has also helped international companies franchise in the United States.
  • Franchise-Related Disputes.
    Ryan is known as a peacemaker, and has successfully negotiated multiple franchise-related disputes, thus avoiding the necessity for more formal and expensive dispute resolution proceedings. He is extremely familiar with state franchise relationship laws and helps franchisors comply with them to avoid potential liability.
  • Business, Contract and Trademark Law.
    Ryan is also experienced in areas of the law that complement his franchise practice and are useful to his franchise clients. These areas include business acquisitions, business entity formations, trademark selection and registration, commercial contracts, and others. Ryan has helped multiple successful business owners start, purchase and sell many different types of businesses. He has successfully registered a large number of unique trademarks, service marks, taglines, and logos. He has created and negotiated a variety of commercial/business contracts, including Asset Purchase Agreements; Stock Sale Agreements; Confidentiality, Nondisclosure, and Non-Competition Agreements; Shareholder Agreements; Buy-Sell Agreements (for business succession planning); LLC Operating Agreements; Service Agreements; Website Privacy Policies and Terms of Use; Manufacturing and Supply Agreements; Dealership/Distributorship Agreements; Trademark License and Assignment Agreements; non-franchise License Agreements; and many other types of contracts.


Co-Author of:

  • Government Regulation of Franchises
  • Business Aspects of Franchising
  • Franchise Agreement Form

The above chapters and form appear in Advising Oregon Businesses published by the Oregon State Bar Committee on Continuing Legal Education. These are reference materials for other business lawyers.

Seminars and Speaking Engagements

  • Peak Legal Checkup for Businesses, in Partnership with Umpqua Bank, Portland, Oregon, 2009
  • Franchise Disclosure Requirements, at the Annual Washington Retail Seminar, Seattle, Washington, 2008
  • The Business Sales Process, in Partnership with Norwest Business Sales, Welches, Oregon, 2006

Ongoing Franchise Legal Education

  • ABA Forum on Franchising, Denver, Colorado, 2019
  • ABA Forum on Franchising, Palm Springs, California, 2017
  • ABA Forum on Franchising, Seattle, Washington, 2014
  • ABA Forum on Franchising, Los Angeles, California, 2012
  • ABA Forum on Franchising, Phoenix, Arizona, 2007
  • IFA Franchise Legal Symposium, Washington, D.C., 2004

International Experience

  • Representation of U.S.-based franchisors expanding internationally into various foreign countries and foreign-based franchisors expanding into the U.S.
  • Research Assistant, World Family Policy Center (Non-Governmental Organization Accredited by the United Nations), 2001
  • Missionary, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Switzerland Geneva Mission, 1995 to 1997 (French language)

Admissions and Memberships

  • Member, Oregon State Bar, Since 2003
  • Member, Oregon State Bar Business Law Section
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association, Since 2017
  • Member, State Bar of Texas, Since 2017


  • University of Oregon School of Law, Juris Doctor Degree, 2003
  • Brigham Young University, Bachelor of Arts, International Studies in Global Economy, 1999

Community Activities and Hobbies

Ryan’s greatest joys come from spending time with his wife and children. He enjoys running, participating in a community basketball league, and outdoor activities like water and snow sports. Ryan is an experienced teacher, a dynamic public speaker, and a strong leader.