California Code, Business and Professions Code - BPC § 20999

For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) “Franchise” means any contract between a refiner and a distributor, between a refiner and a retailer, between a distributor and another distributor, or between a distributor and a retailer, under which a refiner or distributor authorizes or permits a retailer or distributor to use, in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of gasoline, diesel, gasohol, or aviation fuel, a trademark which is owned or controlled by such refiner or by a refiner which supplies fuel to the distributor which authorizes or permits such use.  The term “franchise” includes the following:

(1) Any contract under which a retailer or distributor is authorized or permitted to occupy leased marketing premises, which premises are to be employed in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of fuel under a trademark which is owned or controlled by such refiner or by a refiner which supplies fuel to the distributor which authorizes or permits such occupancy.

(2) Any contract pertaining to the supply of fuel which is to be sold, consigned, or distributed under a trademark owned or controlled by a refiner, or under a contract which has existed continuously since May 15, 1973, and pursuant to which, on May 15, 1973, fuel was sold, consigned, or distributed under a trademark owned and controlled on such date by a refiner.

(3) The unexpired portion of any franchise, as defined by the preceding provisions of this paragraph, which is transferred or assigned as authorized by the provisions of such franchise or by any applicable provision of state law which permits such transfer or assignment without regard to any provision of the franchise.

(b) “Franchise relationship” means the respective fuel marketing or distribution obligations and responsibilities of a franchisor and a franchisee which result from the marketing of fuel under a franchise.

(c) “Franchisor” means a refiner or distributor who authorizes or permits, under a franchise, a retailer or distributor to use a trademark in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of fuel.

(d) “Franchisee” means a retailer or distributor who is authorized or permitted, under a franchise, to use a trademark in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of fuel.

(e) “Refiner” means any person engaged in the refining of crude oil to produce fuel, and includes any affiliate of such person.

(f) “Distributor” means any person, including any affiliate of such person, who either purchases fuel for sale, consignment, or distribution to another, or receives fuel on consignment for consignment or distribution to his or her own fuel accounts or to accounts of his or her supplier, but shall not include a person who is an employee of, or merely serves as a common carrier providing transportation service for, such supplier.

(g) “Retailer” means any person who purchases fuel for sale to the general public for ultimate consumption.

(h) “Marketing premises” means, in the case of any franchise, premises which, under such franchise, are to be employed by the franchisee in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of fuel.

(i) “Leased marketing premises” means marketing premises owned, leased, or in any way controlled by a franchisor and which the franchisee is authorized or permitted, under the franchise, to employ in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of fuel.

(j) “Contract” means any oral or written agreement.  For supply purposes, delivery levels during the same month of the previous year shall be prima facie evidence of an agreement to deliver such levels.

(k) “Trademark” means any trademark, trade name, service mark, or other identifying symbol or name.

(l) “Fuel” means gasoline, diesel, gasohol, or aviation fuel.

(m) “Failure” does not include any failure for a cause beyond the reasonable control of either the franchise relationship or the franchisee.

(n) “Fail to renew” and “nonrenewal” mean, with respect to any franchise relationship, a failure to reinstate, continue, or extend the franchise relationship at any of the following times:

(1) At the conclusion of the term, or on the expiration date, stated in the relevant franchise.

(2) At any time, in the case of the relevant franchise which does not state a term of duration or an expiration date.

(3) Following a termination, on or after the effective date of this act, of the relevant franchise which was entered into prior to the effective date of this act and has not been renewed after that date.

(o) “Affiliate” means any person who, other than by means of a franchise, controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, any other person.

(p) “Relevant geographic market area” includes this state or a standard metropolitan statistical area within this state which has been established by the United States Office of Management and Budget.

(q) “Termination” includes cancellation.


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