The Automotive Dealership industry is rapidly changing, requiring owners to be nimble and to adjust to pressures imposed by manufacturers related to industry consolidation, increased capital demands, floor plan requirements and mandatory facility upgrades.  Pullman & Comley’s experienced practitioners represent auto dealers in all aspects of their businesses, including sales and acquisitions, franchise disputes, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) appeals, DMV dealer licensing, employment, energy, acquisition, leasing and financing, taxes, real estate, zoning, environmental, waste handling, succession planning and consumer disputes. Our attorneys understand the regulatory, business and legal issues facing automotive dealers and have the experience to provide valuable counsel in areas important to this sector.


  • Represent numerous automotive clients in the acquisition, sale and restructuring of franchises
  • Represent dealers in consumer complaints and investigations; defense of consumer complaints in state and federal court and in arbitration
  • Negotiate minimum capitalization requirements with manufacturers
  • Serve as general counsel to auto dealers, including one of the nation's largest, for more than 20 years
  • Advise dealers on risk mitigation strategies and compliance with applicable laws
  • Establish and protect dealership identity
  • Regularly advise management in the creation and enforcement of employee handbooks and human resource policies and procedures, and defend dealerships in employment-related complaints brought before state and federal agencies
  • Advise dealerships on unemployment issues
  • Provide anti-harassment and management training, and training on other various employment issues and policies
  • Advise dealers on overtime pay obligations; the creation of enforceable non-competition and confidentiality agreements; and the establishment of computer, e-mail and Internet use policies to protect company equipment and information
  • Represent automobile dealers in add point and relocation cases before the Department of Motor Vehicles and in the courts
  • Negotiate and document floor plan and other credit facilities for automotive clients
  • Ensure that the real and business personal property of dealerships are equitably assessed for property tax purposes by municipal assessors
  • Advise dealer ownership on succession planning issues
  • Assist dealers and repairers in the purchase, sale, leasing, and financing of real estate
  • Assist clients with a broad range of environmental issues, including Connecticut Transfer Act compliance
  • Regularly obtain zoning and land use entitlements from municipalities throughout Connecticut for client dealer and/or repairer operations

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