The Senate Committee on Regulated Industries in the Florida legislature passed the Small Business Parity Act out of committee by a vote of 5-4 earlier this week. The bill (SB 1076) is similar but more limited than the 2017 Florida Small Business Protection Act, which also was passed by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee but then died when the legislative session ended in April. The 2018 version promotes parity in the relationship between franchisors and franchisees by preventing unjust termination and non-renewals without good cause, as well as preserving Florida franchisee rights to pursue legal disputes under Florida law. Further, the bill would require both sides to act in “good faith” toward each other and prevents unjust restrictions on transfers of the business. Testimony in favor of the legislation was led by Terry Hutchison, Vice Chairman of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations and a 7-11 franchise owner from Florida’s west coast. With the committee’s approval, the bill is now before the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the Committee agenda next week for its review.